No one's denying that caffeine is a valuable tool, but another strategy is ensuring you eat the right foods to wake you up and crush the day.
Your blood sugar levels are low when you first wake up.
Plus, your body and brain are kind of dehydrated.
Energy-boosting foods loaded with complex carbs, healthy fats, protein, amino acids, and plenty of vitamins and minerals are essential.
10 of the Best Foods to Wake You Up and Keep You Energized All Day
Include these foods in your morning routine for B vitamins, immune support, essential nutrients, and well-rounded energy all day!
1. Oatmeal with Nut Butter
Oatmeal provides complex carbs for sustained energy along with fiber and a nice dose of protein. Plus, oats provide plenty of essential nutrients (1) like:
- lots of iron
- B vitamins
Add a scoop of almond or peanut butter and unsweetened cocoa powder to your oatmeal for a brownie batter flavor with some vitamin E for an antioxidant boost.
2. Dark Chocolate Nut Butter Banana Smoothie
Dark chocolate cocoa powder is about to become your new favorite ingredient because it's sugar-free and fat-free but loaded with flavor.
Frozen banana gives you a healthy dose of potassium. Low potassium levels can lead to fatigue and less than 2% of adults consume enough potassium. (2)
Nut butter adds a perfect blend of flavor, fat, and protein to keep you satisfied and energized enough to avoid that afternoon slump.
3. Eggs on Wholegrain Toast
Eggs are one of the best foods to wake you up because they're loaded with difficult to find amino acids. (3)
Plus, you get plenty of protein!
Wholegrain toast is the perfect vessel for your eggs because it provides complex carbs that burn slow for sustained energy.
4. Greek Yogurt with Oats
What's not to love about no sugar added Greek yogurt?
Over 20 grams of protein per serving plus probiotics? Yes, please!
Alone, Greek yogurt can be kind of bleh as a meal.
Instead, toss a cup of oats into a bowl with a heaping scoop of Greek yogurt, a tablespoon of stevia, blueberries, cinnamon, and nutmeg for some blueberry muffin flavor overnight oats.
5. Chia Seed Pudding
Chia seeds aren't just one of the best foods to wake you up, they're important for brain and heart health benefits.
Most Americans don't get enough omega-3 fatty acids in their diet but chia seeds are loaded with them. (4)
Throw some strawberries and almond milk into a blender to make healthy strawberry milk. Add a few tablespoons of chia seeds along with some stevia for a natural sweetener that won't spike blood sugar levels and wait for the magic to happen!
6. Leafy Green Smoothie
Veggies might not come to mind first thing in the morning but they're some of the best foods to boost energy.
Toss some kale, spinach, and celery into a blender with some pineapple or apples for a quick natural sugar kick and antioxidant immune system boost. (5)
7. Avocado Anything
Who doesn't love avocado toast? Don't limit yourself!
Avocado is one of the most versatile foods to wake you up: blend into cacao smoothies or eggs, slice it on top of wholegrain toast, eat it as-is with a drizzle of honey and Greek yogurt.
Not only is avocado one of the best vegan sources of omega-3 fatty acids, but it also supplies more potassium than a banana. (6)
8. Cinnamon Roll Smoothie with Medicinal Mushrooms
Who needs energy drinks or expensive Starbucks when you can create your own designer smoothie?
In a blender, combine a frozen banana, a teaspoon of cinnamon, a few drops of butter extract or a tablespoon of natural grass-fed butter, a handful of oats, a tablespoon of stevia, and a scoop of medicinal mushroom extract (like lion's mane or cordyceps) for a natural (and delicious) pick-me-up.
9. Cottage Cheese and Pineapple
Classic cottage cheese is always a great low-fat protein choice (just watch the sodium levels) and pineapple is loaded with natural sugars, vitamin C, manganese, and antioxidants that fight inflammation and fatigue. (7, 8)
10. A Cup of Coffee
Of course, you can't go wrong with a nice cup of coffee -- especially if the thought of food first thing in the morning turns your stomach.
Kick your morning cup of coffee up a notch with energy boosts like:
Morning Tips to Wake Up and Stay Energized
When you first wake up, start the day by drinking a big glass of water, preferably with some lemon juice for an extra burst of vitamin C.
During the day, you don’t go seven to eight hours without drinking water, right? Well, that's exactly what happens while you're sleeping. When you wake up, you're experiencing some mild dehydration.
If you're routinely neglecting your morning water consumption (remember that you need at least 64 ounces every day on average), your body and mind will always feel sluggish and burned out.
Proper sleep hygiene is also critical.
During sleep, your brain cells purge waste and renew themselves so getting at least seven hours each night is extremely important not just for boosting energy levels but also for maintaining brain health.
Exercise is important for several reasons, including sustained energy. (10)
Physical activity can increase endorphin levels, reduce cortisol, and improve sleep -- all of which are crucial for energy levels.