It's Friday and after a long week, I know we could all use a pick-me-up to make it through the final hours in the office. Instead of downing cup after cup of coffee, trade your cappuccino for a healthier energy boost. Here are some of my favorite snacks that naturally increase your stamina.
Apples: Everyone's heard that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but did you know eating an apple can give you as much energy as a cup of coffee without the caffeine crash? Apples contain about 13 grams of glucose, a natural sugar. These sugars provoke a similar response to caffeine because the vitamins are released slowly, making you feel more awake.
Honey: This sticky, sweet food includes healthy carbohydrates like fructose and glucose as well as vitamins, amino acids and antioxidants. Sports dietitians recommend athletes add honey to their pre-exercise meal to instantly boost performance and endurance while reducing muscle fatigue. Compared to other forms of sugar, honey keeps blood sugar levels constant.
Green Tea: This soothing drink is loaded with epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a substance that increases the rate of fat burn. Green tea also contains some caffeine (but not too much!) to nudge up those energy levels temporarily when you need them the most.
Greek Yogurt: Its liquid form makes yogurt easy to digest so your body absorbs the calcium and vitamins B2, B5 and B12 immediately, resulting in an instant energy kick. Yogurt's high protein levels mean this energy will last while keeping you satisfied and elevating your mental state.
Almonds: This portable snack delivers a potent combination of nutrients like vitamin E, copper and magnesium, known as the "miracle mineral" for its ability to support the immune system, improve sleep patterns, relax muscles, relieve stress and boost mood. The protein and fiber in these nuts also stabilizes your blood sugar levels and slows digestion, regulating your energy.