8 Foods and Drinks to Fight Fatigue
We’ve all hit that afternoon slump — that time when we want nothing more than the sugar high (and crash) we’ll get from that leftover doughnut in the break room. Or we down an extra cup of coffee before the big meeting only to be left feeling jittery.
1. Fresh, High-Fiber Fruits
One of the reasons that doughnut looks so tasty when you hit the afternoon slump is that it provides a quick boost of energy from sugar — but, it’s got nothing to sustain, meaning it also provides a crash.
Fresh, high-fiber fruits can provide that quick burst of energy without the crash. “Bananas are a great fruit for sustained energy,” says Kylie Burk, a certified holistic health coach and owner of Radiant and Abundant. “You won’t get the jolt or the jitters you do from caffeine. Instead, you’ll have energy from calories, fiber, and natural sugars digested throughout the day — giving you an even energy level rather than a rollercoaster.”
2. Dark Chocolate
“Low levels of iron is a biggie for low energy,” says Burk. “Make sure to eat foods with iron.” Other iron-rich foods to help you hit your daily quota include spinach, red meat, legumes, and quinoa.
Of course, one more tempting 4pm iron source is a bit of dark chocolate. While not the most iron-rich source out there, one ounce of dark chocolate contains about 19 percent of your daily recommended intake of iron, along with a little caffeine.
3. Nuts and Avocados
When done right, snacking at work can be a great way to fight fatigue — you just have to make sure you’re choosing the right snacks.
Protein and healthy fats may help to provide your body with long-lasting energy: Reach for nuts or avocados to keep yourself satiated, energized, and away from the sweets.
4. Yellow Peppers
An oft-forgotten veggie is the sweet yellow pepper, and the vibrant color of this pepper’s skin is where the nutrition is at. Yellow peppers are packed with Vitamin C — a snack-size portion of 10 strips contains well over 100% of your recommended daily intake.
Pack these punchy snack sticks with a protein-rich dip such as hummus for a light, energizing slump-buster.
5. Jerky or Energy Bites
6. Pumpkin Seeds
To stay energized, our bodies need certain nutrients, some of which it can’t make and must get from food. That includes a number of essential amino acids, one of which is leucine.
A handful of pumpkin seeds can provide a shot of energy, along with important nutrients such as leucine, protein, and that satisfying crunch.
7. Flax Seeds
One of the major nutrients currently being studied in relation to maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system is omega-3 fatty acids.
The most common recommendation for eating more omega-3s is salmon, but there are other, more snack-appropriate options. Both flax seeds and walnuts are sources of alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA, which is converted by your body to DHA, another omega-3 fatty acid.
Sprinkle some flax seeds or walnuts on top of yogurt for a snack packed with health-promoting, energizing nutrients.
8. Water (With a Kick)
One of the simplest things you can drink for fatigue is water. “No, but seriously, it’s that simple,” says Burk, who says it’s easy to mistake dehydration with hunger or lack of energy. “A simple glass of water can really be the trick to waking up the cells in your body so they can perform optimally and run smoothly.”
For an extra pick-me-up in your beverage, add some chia seeds or a shot of fresh lemon juice.