Honey - Honey is a rich source of carbohydrates, providing 17 grams per tablespoon, which makes it ideal for your working muscles since carbohydrates are the primary fuel the body uses for energy. Carbohydrates are necessary in the diet to help maintain muscle glycogen, also known as stored carbohydrates, which are the most important fuel source for athletes to help them keep going. Whether you’re looking for an energy boost or just a sweet reward after a long workout, honey is a quick, easy, and delicious all-natural energy source!
Apples - Apples are great sources of many nutrients such as soluble fiber, vitamin C and antioxidants called polyphenols. Apples are also rich in fructose, which is the predominant sugar found in fruit. Fructose takes a little more time than sucrose to be metabolized into glucose, so it’s a good energy source that doesn’t spike blood sugar levels and insulin release too dramatically. A small apple weighing 200 grams contains about 20 grams of sugar and provides a total of 100 calories. Eating a small apple may not give you a dramatic energy boost, but it will supply a steady supply of glucose to your brain and muscles for at least an hour or so. Furthermore, the soluble fiber in apples will make you feel full for longer and help keep hunger pains at bay.
Eggs - Researchers reviewing 25 studies on protein suggest that the protein in eggs makes a valuable contribution to muscle strength, helps to satisfy hunger and provides a source of sustained energy. They suggest that because research shows eggs are rich in leucine, an essential amino acid that plays an important role in how muscles use glucose, they would be a valuable food for men and women undergoing endurance training.
Sweet Potatoes - Muscles require carbohydrates for energy, and sweet potatoes are a great source, with a medium-sized one providing 24g. In addition, sweet potatoes provide a healthy dose of complex carbohydrates, which take longer to be digested and help supply the body with energy over a longer period of time. Unlike simple carbohydrates - which break down fast into glucose for quick energy, and turn into fat stores that can cause weight gain when unused - complex carbohydrates break down into glycogen and are stored in the liver or muscles to be used as fuel for exercise. They are also a good source of dietary fiber, which has a gradual, steadying effect on blood sugar, making sweet potatoes a sustained source of energy.
Salmon - Salmon dominates when it comes to sponsoring your energy. A tiny 200g slab of the pink stuff will give you well over your RDA of vitamins B6 and B12, which help your body release energy from the rest of the food you eat. So you’ll get all the zip from the rice in that sushi roll. Protein isn’t the only ingredient of muscle. In fact, as a study by Texas A&M University found men with a moderate cholesterol intake had better muscle gains than those on a low-cholesterol diet, regardless of their protein intake. The researchers hypothesized the cholesterol may aid in muscle repair; and that’s where salmon’s 55mg of cholesterol overshadows tuna’s 44mg, which will tip the scales in the pink one’s favor.
Oranges - An orange is high in energy due to the sugars it contains, specifically, fructose. These sugars can be broken down to provide the body with energy. Pasta contains grains which are more complex sugars that will also provide energy. Pasta can provide energy for a longer duration than the orange because the carbohydrates in pasta are more complex than those of an orange, but it's possible that the orange would provide a better burst of energy since the sugars are more easily broken down since they are less complex. A big orange give 75 – 100 calories of energy. Orange is a rich source of vitamin C. it also contains vitamins A, B and some minerals like phosphorus, iron, sodium, copper, sulphur and chlorine.
Bananas - Bananas contain three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber. A banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy. Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world's leading athletes. But energy isn't the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.
Oats - Oats are a wonder food. They are a brilliant source of energy and a great way to start your day given that they are full of slow-release energy. Oats, depending how you eat them, have a medium to low GI (Glycemic Index) rating. This means that they release sugars into the bloodstream slower than other, usually more sugary, foods. The result is that you should feel fuller for longer and not snack so much. Oat bran has the lowest GI at 50, rolled oats at 51 and good old porridge at 58 so eating any form of oats first thing in the morning will help to keep you going until lunchtime.
Beans - Beans are a great source of energy. The burst of energy you get from a bowl of beans will last for hours, enabling you to participate in more activities, resulting in burning more calories. If you go to the gym or go for a walk, you will be able to walk farther and faster or have a more intense workout at the gym due to the added energy, making this a very good addition to a diet designed for eating to burn fat.
Spinach - Spinach is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet, which makes it a perfect ally for people seeking to restore their vitality and heal from chronic fatigue syndrome. Spinach is considered an excellent source of 13 vitamins and minerals, and is full of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds that reduce cellular stress, giving your adrenal glands (which control stress response) a well-needed rest and leaving you with extra energy.
Yogurt - Yogurt's health benefits have been noted for centuries. The people of the world that eat a lot of this food tend to live very long and healthy lives. Many are robust well into their nineties and beyond. The immune system is greatly enhanced by the consumption of this food, so it is no wonder that yogurt eaters live such healthy lives. One key reason why yogurt gives you energy is because it contains the amino acid tyrosine, which converts into the chemicals dopamine and adrenaline to give your body a pleasantly stimulated feeling. Tyrosine will wake you up much like coffee without the jittery sensations and insomnia that caffeine can cause. Yogurt is an excellent source of high quality protein. Just one 8 ounce serving of plain yogurt will give you about 20 percent of your Daily Value for protein. This enables your body to make its own proteins to maintain your muscles and organs.
Almonds - Just 1 oz.of almonds (roughly 20) contains more than 40 percent of your Daily Value of vitamin E, an antioxidant that supports the immune system by neutralizing free radicals. Almonds, like hazelnuts and sunflower seeds, also supply beneficial mono- and polyunsaturated fats, which are key building blocks for healthy cells. The "Harvard Heart Letter" lists a variety of activities and the energy you expend when doing them for 30 minutes. At the low end, for example, a 155-lb. person can expect to burn 149 calories doing yoga. At the other end of the scale, running at 10 miles per hour for 30 minutes burns 614 calories in a 155-lb. person. That means that 1 cup of almonds provides easily enough energy in theory for most half-hour activities.
Have a favorite high energy food you'd like to share with us? Let us know in the comments below!