You hear a lot about how you shouldn't consume sugary foods like donuts in the morning because your blood sugar will spike and then crash, leaving you exhausted by noon.
But what about the good foods to keep you awake? What are the best superfoods for energy?
Instead of just rattling off ingredients, we put together some quick meal ideas filled with antioxidant and protein-rich superfoods to keep you satisfied and alert all day long!
12 Superfoods for Energy to Keep You Focused and Alert All Day Long
What should you look for when choosing meals with superfoods for energy?
Well, some protein is a must. Depending on your goals and physical activity, anywhere from 6 to 20+ grams should do just fine.
To process protein and build muscle, you'll also need amino acids.
Whole grains are also important because they're packed with fiber to keep hunger at bay and fuel your cells with energy.
Don't neglect healthy fats for brain power either!
Finally, antioxidants, vitamin C, calcium, potassium, and vitamins (especially B vitamins) help give your cells the energy they need to keep your mind focused and your body moving.
1. Raw Nuts and Seeds with Goji Berries
The nut roasting process destroys a lot of the important antioxidants, like vitamin E, and damages healthy fats. (1)
If roasted nuts smell fishy or "off," that means the healthy fats have started to oxidize.
With raw nuts like walnuts, you can enjoy omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and other minerals.
Goji berries are loaded with antioxidants that studies suggest may support cognitive function and reduce fatigue so they're the perfect pair for walnuts.
2. Nut Butter and Banana Whole Grain Toast with Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds are one of the best superfoods for energy because they're a complete protein which means they provide all nine essential amino acids.
Bananas offer plenty of potassium which most American diets lack and nut butter provides a nice dose of protein. (2)
3. Leafy Green Smoothie with Cordyceps
Leafy green veggies like kale blend well into a smoothie with some apple or pineapple to provide a sweet taste.
4. Brown Rice and Green Veggies
Brown rice is a complex carb, so it provides awesome sustained energy and fiber (desperately lacking in most American diets). (4)
Add some roasted veggies to your brown rice like asparagus, spinach, or kale for some iron and antioxidants.
5. Blueberries with Oatmeal
Blueberries are an awesome superfood for energy because they're packed with powerful antioxidants that studies show might support brain health and memory. (5)
In fact, blueberries are one of the most antioxidant-rich common foods you can find in the produce aisle (plus they're a reliable source of fiber).
Throw them on top of oatmeal for extra sustained energy from complex carbs along with a spoonful of almond butter for healthy fats and extra protein.
6. Acai with Cacao in Greek Yogurt
Acai berries are another nutrient-dense superfood for energy loaded antioxidants.
Stir some acai berries into a bowl of Greek yogurt for an extra 21 grams of protein and probiotics to support digestion.
Even better, add a scoop of unsweetened cacao powder for extra antioxidants and deeper flavor without fat or sugar!
7. Spirulina, Coconut, Banana Smoothie
Spirulina is a type of alga that provides a hefty dose of protein and iron in every tablespoon for sustained energy. (8)
Blend spirulina with other whole foods like a frozen banana and coconut milk for a delicious energy source.
Healthy fats in coconut milk help boost energy while bananas provide potassium.
8. Chia Seeds or Flax Seeds
Chia seeds and flax seeds are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Plus, they're both super versatile.
Blend strawberries with almond milk and mix in a few tablespoons of chia seeds for a tasty pudding.
Sprinkle some flax seeds on top of your oatmeal or granola for heart health and energy.
9. Avocado on Whole Grain Toast
Avocado is packed with potassium – more than a banana in fact – along with plenty of healthy fats for sustained energy.
Avocado and whole grain toast are filled with the nutrients your body needs to stay active and alert all day long.
10. Eggs with Hummus Over Quinoa
Eggs are truly a superfood for energy because they deliver an average of 6 grams of protein plus tons of amino acids for energy production.
Hummus adds a silky texture to your scrambled eggs along with some complex carbs to stave away hunger.
Finally, quinoa adds even more protein, iron, fiber, and magnesium. Magnesium is difficult to find in diet alone but it's essential for muscle contractions and nerve health. (11)
11. Green Tea
Green tea provides just the right amount of caffeine to keep your mind alert after a meal. (12)
Plus, it also provides l-theanine, which helps you feel calm yet focused. (13)
Green tea is also loaded with antioxidants to help support the immune system and defend against free radicals.
12. Maca Smoothie
Maca is a fruit that grows in Peru but its typically found in powder form throughout the west. (14)
Its malty caramel flavor makes maca perfect for blending into smoothies with coconut or cacao.
As an adaptogen, maca may defend the immune system against stress so you might feel more prepared and energized for the day ahead.
The Bottom Line on Superfoods for Energy
Your body needs well-rounded meals to stay energized through the morning and into the afternoon.
Superfoods for energy as part of a healthy lifestyle are important for fueling your cells to work, function, and getting things done.
And they don't have to taste bad either!