How do you feel around 2:00 p.m.?

Me? I find myself yawning even wishing I could take a siesta. 

Lack of sleep will affect your energy levels throughout the day, but surprisingly, food can also drain your energy. But good news! There are foods that can increase your energy levels, and I am not referring to the 5 Hour Energy Drink.

It may only last less than an hour, but it can zap your energy and make you less productive. Perhaps not surprisingly, the type and quantity of food you eat play essential roles in determining your energy levels during the day.

Even though all foods give you energy, some foods contain nutrients that could help increase your energy levels and maintain your alertness and focus throughout the day.

What all of these foods have in common is that they contain a healthy balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats that fuel the body and offer a steady level of energy.

1. Bananas- may be one of the best foods for energy. They’re an excellent source of complex carbs, potassium, and vitamin B6, all of which can help boost your energy levels

2. Almonds – Actually walnuts and cashews can all be a great snack to boost your energy levels. Nuts are known for their high-calorie density and abundance of proteins, carbs, and healthy fats.

3. Water – Dehydration can leave you feeling drained and tired. Staying hydrated helps maintain our energy levels by keeping our muscles energized. Even mild dehydration can affect your mood, energy level, and ability to focus your thoughts.

4. Green tea – I bet you thought I was going to say coffee. Coffee will give you energy but it can also make you crash if you consume more than four cups a day. So in my opinion green tea is the winner. Green tea contains less caffeine than coffee but enough to produce an effect. It also contains the amino acid L-theanine, which can work synergistically with caffeine to improve brain function.

5.Hummus – Traditional hummus is low in fat, typically contains no sugar, and is low in calories. It is also high in protein, so it provides energy without packing on the pounds. Try dipping carrots, peppers, and broccoli in your hummus, (by the way they are all energizing foods too!)

6. Edamame – Which is soybean. They are rich in vitamins and minerals, low in sugar, and a great source of protein. I always order an extra serving of edamame at my local sushi restaurant and save it for my mid-afternoon snack.

7. Dark Chocolate – Yep, I included chocolate, but the keyword here is dark. Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, both of which will boost your energy levels. In moderation, the caffeine and sugar in chocolate won’t lead to an energy crash. As a general rule, the darker the chocolate the less sugar and the more energy-boosting potential it has. Look for 65% or higher dark chocolate. I crave chocolate some days most days, and I have found that one small bite of dark chocolate will take that craving away!

8. Hard-boiled eggs – are not only a tremendously satisfying food but also full of energy that can help fuel your day. They’re packed with protein, which can give you a steady and sustained source of energy. Hard-boiled is easy to eat for an afternoon pick me up. 

9. Yogurt – The carbs in yogurt are mainly in the form of simple sugars, such as lactose. When broken down, these sugars can provide ready-to-go energy levels. Try adding blueberries, and you have the perfect energy snack.

10. Granola Bar -Sometimes they are called energy bars, can be a good source of energy. Granola bars and energy bars are small, portable snacks that give you fuel during the day.

Real energy comes from real food. Perform at your very best by eating foods that keep your energy going day in and day out.