9 healthy foods that will give you an instant energy boost

Step away from the Red Bull and coffee

MOST POPULAR

Exhausted? Aren't we all. It's that time of year when the days are shorter, the nights are longer, and everything is just, well, that bit harder.

But before you reach for that third cup of coffee or a can of Red Bull (which, a new study shows, can cause your body to store the added sugar as fat, hamper the absorption of nutrients from any other food you eat, and leave you feeling lethargic and depressed after the initial hit), try incorporating these natural energy boosters to your daily diet instead.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

1. Bananas

The original and best, bananas are an energy powerhouse.

Made up primarily of natural sugars (glucose, fructose and sucrose), and packed full of fibre and mood-boosting potassium, make sure you try and pack away at least one a day, either on its own or chopped on to yoghurt or porridge.

For an added boost, top with your favourite nut butter.

2. Matcha

We know it's all about turmeric lattes right now, but you can't deny the energy-giving properties of this green superpower.

MOST POPULAR

Made from ground dark green tea leaves (the leaves are grown in special conditions to make them more nutrient dense), matcha gives the same boost as a cup of coffee, but it lasts longer.

Plus, rather than that awful edgy coffee comedown, it promotes mental focus and clarity.

What's not to love?

3. Brown rice

The ultimate slow-release carbohydrate, rice is rich in the mineral manganese, which helps your body convert food into fuel.

Have some with homemade chilli or bean stew at lunch for a productive afternoon.

4. Honey

A spoonful of honey is the healthy equivalent of downing a glucose-rich energy drink.

Have some with hot water and lemon for a pre-workout boost, or add some to anything from tea to natural yoghurt to replenish muscles after exercise.

5. Eggs

Just one little egg provides your body with 30% of its daily protein and is full of amino acids and omega 3, fuelling you for longer.

Try to have eggs for breakfast 2-3 times a week if you can.

If you're in a rush, boil a couple the night before, and have with a handful of spinach and oatcakes at your desk.

6. Nuts

Nuts are incredibly nutrient dense, especially almonds and brazil nuts.

Almonds in particular are full of copper and that wonder mineral manganese, both of which ensure energy flows efficiently around the body throughout the day.

Keep a bag in your desk for snacking on between meals.

If you have time, try soaking them overnight to make them easier to digest.

7. Oily fish

Oily fish such as salmon is full of omega 3 fatty acids, protein and minerals such as riboflavin. These in turn help your body absorb other nutrients more effectively, meaning you get as much energy from your food as possible.

Try eat a couple of pieces a week.

8. Mushrooms

One serving of mushrooms provides you with nearly 50% of your recommended iron intake in one fell swoop - good news for vegetarians.

Iron is essential in transporting oxygen through the bloodstream - without an efficient oxygen supply, we can feel tired and lethargic.

Add some to your lunchtime salad or make a nourishing soup to avoid that mid-afternoon slump.

9. Water

Last but most certainly not least, good old H20.

Water helps transport nutrients and oxygen around the body, meaning that if you're feeling tired, it could be a sign that you need to drink more water.

Make sure you drink at least 2 litres a day, more if you're doing exercise, and add ice if you want to feel extra alert.

Read Next: