For optimal energy, it’s important to eat a balanced diet, hit the gym regularly, and get plenty of sleep. But in the modern age, doing these things isn’t always possible.
Fortunately, there are some foods that may elevate your energy levels. In this guide from Sunwink, we go over our 10 favorite energy-boosting foods that can help enhance your diet.
How Can You Get More Energy?
To have all-day energy, it’s important to make sure that all parts of your health are taken care of.
If you think about it, fatigue can set in if anything is off-kilter. Being dehydrated, having a vitamin deficiency, feeling stressed out, and not getting enough fresh air are just some of the many factors that can lower your energy.
Our bodies are meant to be vibrant, energetic, and dynamic. If you feel tired, then there’s very likely a good reason for it. If the obvious culprits — such as not enough sleep — aren’t it, then dig a little deeper to uncover the true causes of fatigue.
Read on to discover surprising ways you can be lowering your energy.
Surprising Energy Zappers
Even if it feels like you’re doing everything right, you may still experience low energy. Fatigue can set in due to the following (surprising) reasons:
- Foodsensitivity: While the right food can give you tons of energy, hidden food sensitivities can leave you feeling fatigued. Unlike allergies, food sensitivities are fairly mild and build up over time. Some common food sensitivities include gluten, dairy, soy, and wheat. However, everyone is unique, so it’s possible for you to experience “uncommon” food sensitivities.
- Sugar: While it can make for a great (occasional) treat, sugar is potentially energy-zapping. Regularly consuming sugar can lead the body to mobilize insulin and adrenaline hormones, which can lead to a dramatic spike in energy followed by a crash.
- Sleepapnea: Some sleep disorders, like insomnia, are no secret to the person who suffers from them. However, sleep apnea is tricky because it happens during sleep. Those with sleep apnea have their breathing stop for short periods during sleep, which can lead to sleep that is not restorative.
- Depression: Sometimes, the causes of low energy may not be physical. Depression is one psychiatric condition that can cause someone to feel tired all the time. It’s accompanied by a loss of interest in normal activities and interests, changes in appetite, and feelings of guilt, hopelessness, and worthlessness.
- Anxiety: While anxiety is seen as a state of high energy, this feeling of being constantly “on edge” can lead to a serious crash at the end of the day. Unsurprisingly, many people with anxiety report feeling fatigued.
There are many more potential causes of low energy. If you can’t figure out why you feel tired, it’s a good idea to work with your doctor to uncover the root cause. But if that’s not possible, then you can use your diet to get your energy back.
Read on to discover 10 of our favorite foods to boost energy.
10 Natural Energy Boosters
Coffee is a natural stimulant that works by blocking adenosine, a molecule that relaxes the brain.
Adenosine builds up throughout the day, which explains why we get tired in the evening. Coffee blocks this chemical from exerting its sleep-inducing effects on the brain. It can also increase adrenaline, which can increase the heart rate. Last, coffee can release feel-good chemicals, like dopamine, which can improve mood.
A cup of coffee in the morning can make for an excellent pick-me-up — especially if you didn’t get much sleep the night before. Plus, research continues to show a relationship between coffee and many markers of good health, such as easier weight loss and improved brain function.
Even though coffee is one of the most widely-consumed beverages in the world, it can leave some people feeling a bit jittery. Matcha — which is derived from the green tea leaf — can provide a less intense bout of energy.
While matcha has almost as much caffeine as coffee, it gets digested much slower. This means that it provides the body with a gradual increase in energy — minus the crash that may come with drinking coffee.
Plus, matcha is high in antioxidants, which means more potential health benefits for the brain. This could result in feelings of higher clarity and focus.
While we love matcha lattes, there are many other ways to incorporate matcha into your diet. Add it to your oatmeal, mix it up with your ice cream, or incorporate it into your baked goods.
Matcha is high in caffeine, so it’s best not to have it too late in the day.
Maca is a root plant that’s been used for centuries in Peru as a way to support sex hormones. Some small studies also show that maca could help support healthy energy levels.
While researchers aren’t sure exactly how maca works, it’s likely similar to most adaptogens. Maca can potentially help maintain energy levels, which in turn can support your energy.
There’s nothing more comforting than a hot cup of cocoa. Besides soothing you, cacao can also potentially give you an energy boost.
Cacao contains theobromine, a compound that may support the heart, blood vessels, and healthy blood pressure. While it could provide a bit of energy support, cacao likely won’t cause a rapid rise and crash in energy that some people experience with coffee.
Our Cacao Clarity Superfood Powder can be added to your coffee, tea, or smoothies. You can even try it with your choice of milk for a caffeine alternative.
Electrolytes are minerals like sodium, potassium, and magnesium that regulate tons of processes in the body. If you find yourself dehydrated, you may need electrolytes in addition to water to restore hydration — and to help your energy levels. A natural drink with electrolytes, like coconut water, can potentially help improve feelings of energy.
Used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine, ashwagandha is an adaptogen that may help maintain a healthy balance of stress hormones. As a result, it could support healthy adrenals.
As a bonus, ashwagandha can support feelings of calm and relaxation. Unwinding at the end of a busy day — with our Hibiscus Mint Unwind Sparkling Superfood Tonic — can give you more energy in the long run.
7. Vitamin B12
A deficiency in this vitamin can result in fatigue. But a clinical deficiency isn’t necessary to experience a dip in energy levels. Not getting enough of this essential vitamin can interfere with the body’s ability to convert fat and protein into energy, making you feel more tired than usual.
While it’s recommended to get vitamin B12 from whole food sources — such as meat, seafood, and eggs — supplements can also be a potentially effective way to increase vitamin B12 levels.
8. Açai Berry
Açai berries have potential wellness benefits that could indirectly raise your energy levels. They’re full of vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and antioxidants, which — in combination — can help maintain whole-body health and improve feelings of alertness.
Try our Berry Healthy Skin Superfood Powder to beat fatigue while getting your glow on.
Creatine is a natural compound that’s made out of the amino acids L-arginine, glycine, and theanine. Most creatine in your body is stored in your muscles. During bouts of intense physical activity, like short sprints, the muscles deliver creatine to assist with the movements.
Creatine accomplishes this by “recycling” adenosine triphosphate (ATP). This molecule — if we remember anything from our high school science classes — is the energy currency of life.
When ATP is broken down, it can’t be used by the body’s cells anymore. Creatine essentially makes it reusable again in a short period of time.
Creatine is a favorite in the body-building world, with tons of studies that show its safety and effectiveness. It can be used as a pre-workout supplement to help improve your workouts. However, it can also be used throughout the day to give your general energy levels a boost.
Besides enhancing physical energy, creatine can also give your brain a boost. While more research is needed, there’s some evidence that creatine can improve cognitive performance with longer stamina on brain tasks.
10. Lion’s Mane
Lion’s Mane is a mushroom that grows wild in many parts of the world. It’s been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries to support overall health and wellness. Some people believe it supplies a steady energy stream.
First, lion’s mane has high antioxidant levels, which can support cell health and function. Your body’s cells are responsible for creating energy, so this type of support may help you maintain better energy levels.
Second, lion’s mane could help support muscle function and health. If you experience low energy levels during your workouts, lion’s mane could help you out.
You can try lion’s mane — combined with cacao, maca, and reishi mushroom — in our Cacao Clarity Superfood Powder.
Sunwink for All-Day Energy
For optimal energy levels, the importance of diet, exercise, and sleep can’t be overstated. But it’s not always possible to keep our routines in top shape.
For a boost of wellness, discover the world of superfood ingredients. With Sunwink’s delicious superfood tonics and powders, improving your clarity will feel almost effortless.