There’s no way around it: Diet is directly responsible for a large portion of your energy level. You can caffeinate and catnap as much as you want, but without making nutritious food choices, sustained energy just isn’t feasible.
When looking for such energy, certain foods function more effectively than others. We’ve reached out to nutritionists in order to identify the best ingredients and modes of eating to keep your body full of energy throughout the entire day.
Sigornie Pfefferle, a Gatorade Sports Nutrition Fellow at St. Vincent Sports Performance in Indianapolis, earned a BS in chemistry from the University of South Dakota and a master’s degree in nutrition with an emphasis in sports nutrition from the University of Utah. If anyone knows about how to effectively fuel the body, it’s her. She wisely suggests a whole diet approach to sustained energy instead of sourcing one energizing ingredient:
"There isn't one magical ingredient that helps keep energy levels up; it's about fueling frequency and composition. I always recommend never going more than four hours without eating, whether that's a meal or snack, to help keep energy levels up and avoid those big-time crashes. When it comes to what to eat, aim for getting carbs, protein, fruits, and veggies at meals and carbs and protein as a snack. Carbohydrates help provide that quick energy while protein helps sustain it.”
If it’s one sole ingredient that you seek, though, something simple you can add into your diet or use in a recipe that will give you a little boost, we’ve got you covered. Reaching for ingredients that are high in certain vitamins and minerals is part of the trick.
Mitra Shirmohammadi, MSc, RHN, and Chief Nutritionist for Nutriholist, suggests foods rich in magnesium and vitamin B for sustained energy:
“Real whole foods with high levels of magnesium and B vitamins are the best when it comes to providing an energy boost. So foods such as beans, nuts, seeds, [and] dark green leafy vegetables… are all great options.”
That being said, Shirmohammadi also suggests looking to superfoods for a great source of energy. For Shirmohammadi’s superfood suggestions as well as the other energy-boosting ingredients that nutritionists recommend, click ahead.