Your body turns the foods you eat into energy by converting foods to glucose, or blood sugar. Sugary foods provide short-term energy but will result in a crash as blood sugar levels drop. For energy throughout the day, choose foods that stabilize blood sugar and provide essential nutrients.
Simple carbohydrates like cookies, white bread, white pasta and candy may give your body a quick burst of energy as the sugars are converted to glucose but will leave you feeling less energized than before as blood sugar levels drop. Complex carbohydrates like whole grain bread, whole wheat pasta and brown rice give your body long-term energy because it takes longer to convert to glucose. Enjoy oatmeal for breakfast, a sandwich on whole grain bread for lunch and brown rice for dinner to feel energized throughout the day.
Fruits and Vegetables
The fiber in whole grains that provide long-lasting energy is also present in fruits and vegetables. Fruits like apples provide a quick burst of energy but also contain enough fiber to keep your blood sugar stable, notes WebMD. As an added bonus, many fruits and veggies provide vitamin C and iron, which also boost energy. Enjoy fruit juices, kiwi, cantaloupe and strawberries. Make a stir fry with green and red peppers and broccoli for dinner and add additional iron with baby spinach in your sandwich at lunch.
Proteins and Fats
Protein provides long lasting, stable energy. Enjoy lean meats and protein, beans, and tofu. Fish like salmon will also provide a good source of protein as will cheese or yogurt. A small amount of fat is also needed for energy. Many protein sources also contain fats, such as peanut butter, almonds, cashews and hazelnuts. Add healthy fat to lean meats by cooking in olive oil.
For healthy, stable energy, eat a combination of carbohydrates, protein and fat, recommends Prevention.com. For example, enjoy an apple with a small amount of peanut butter: The apple will provide carbohydrates, while the peanut butter gives your body protein and fat. A low fat cheese stick with whole grain crackers is another good choice. In addition, eat several small meals throughout the day rather than three large meals. To maintain your energy levels, do not skip meals.