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Foods That Boost Energy Levels

By R. Y. Langham, Ph.D.

Consuming a healthy diet and eating at regular intervals can help boost and maintain your energy levels. Proteins, carbohydrates and healthy fats provide the body with the energy it needs to function efficiently, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. A variety of factors can affect your energy levels, such as sleep patterns, overall health and caloric intake, but consuming certain foods can provide you with the essential nutrients needed to boost your energy levels.

Caffeinated Food and Beverages

Caffeinated beverages like coffee can boost your energy levels. Caffeine is in a variety of beverages and foods, such as coffee, chocolate, tea, energy drinks and many soft drinks. According to TeensHealth from Nemours, caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, increases your alertness, elevates your mood and gives you a temporary boost in energy that may last up to six hours. TeensHealth states that the effects of caffeine can vary from person to person depending on your age, weight and caffeine sensitivity, but consuming more than 500 milligrams -- about 5 cups -- daily may cause anxiety, dizziness, headaches, disrupted sleep patterns and the jitters.

Fresh Fruits

Fresh fruits such as apples, oranges, pineapples, blueberries, bananas and strawberries can provide a boost of energy. Fruits are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber and water. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fruits also contain simple carbohydrates, sugars naturally found in fruits, vegetables and milk. Simple carbohydrates are easily broken down by the digestive system into glucose, energy used by the body. The University of Missouri Extension says fruits and fruit juices can provide you with a quick boost of energy prior to exercising. Increase your energy level shortly before participating in physical activities such as jogging, running or sports by eating a piece of fruit or drinking a glass of fruit juice.

Yogurt

To boost your energy levels before exercising or dinner, try snacking on yogurt, according to "Fitness" magazine. Yogurt contains both protein and carbohydrates, nutrients that provide you with energy and a feeling of fullness. Sprinkling some crunchy cereal on top of your yogurt can provide additional carbohydrates; combined with protein from the yogurt, this can help increase your energy and delay your hunger for a prolonged amount of time.

Almonds and Walnuts

Nuts like almonds and walnuts can supply extra energy, according to "Fitness." Almonds and walnuts are rich in healthy unsaturated fats, which help you stay full for a longer period of time. They also contain healthy amounts of fiber, selenium, vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids, nutrients that keep the body functioning at an optimal level. Other food sources that contain healthy unsaturated fats include oils such as canola, olive, nut and soybean, seeds, salmon and tuna.

Protein-Based Foods

Incorporating protein-based foods into your daily diet can help boost your energy levels. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, protein-based foods provide your body with the fuel it needs to build and repair tissues. Your body does not have the ability to store extra protein, so it burns it for energy or converts it to fat. You can find protein in a variety of foods, including lean red meat, fish, beans, poultry, nuts, milk, tofu, soy milk, peanut butter, yogurt and cheese. According to AND, consuming 6 ounces of protein-based food sources daily can provide you with enough protein to boost your energy levels.

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