The 9 Best Foods For An Energy Boost

Kayla Itsines

May 25, 2021

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When you start noticing your energy levels dipping, do you tend to reach for a cup of coffee or something sweet? Those might keep you going for a little while, but it’s likely to be a short-term fix. 

If you’ve ever felt the full force of a 3pm slump, then you might want to find ways to increase your energy, naturally! I’ve put together a list of some foods for energy boosting that you can add to your plate. 

Best foods for energy

Following a balanced diet is a great way to ensure you have plenty of energy but sometimes you need a little extra to keep you going. Adding energy-rich foods to your meals can be just the boost you need, particularly if you’ve recently started working out.

These are some of the best foods to eat for energy during the day!


Raw, unsalted almonds are a great snack, especially if you’re feeling a bit run down. Almonds contain a number of B-vitamins, which help your body to convert food into energy. 

Almonds also contain magnesium, which is needed for your muscles to function optimally. Low magnesium levels may leave you feeling tired faster when you exercise.


Starting your day off with a bowl of oats can help give you long-lasting energy! Oats contain beta-glucan, which is a form of soluble fibre that slows down the digestion of food. That means your body doesn’t absorb glucose (sugar) as quickly, so you get a slow release of energy. 

Oats are also rich in a number of B vitamins, which help your body to metabolise energy. Using oats for something yummy like these Banana Pecan Overnight Oats recipe helps you get a sweet fix while also giving you energy for the day! 

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Popeye was onto something! Spinach is a really good source of iron, which your body needs to produce energy. 

The iron in spinach is called ‘non-haem’ iron, which is a form our body doesn’t absorb as readily. To get the most benefit from eating spinach or other green leafy vegetables, try to add foods high in vitamin C to the same meal. For example, you might want to add some red capsicum (peppers) or some orange slices to a spinach salad.


Everyone knows how much I love eggs! They can provide our bodies with energy in a few ways and it’s easy to add eggs to your favourite foods. 

Eggs are a complete protein, which means they contain all of the essential amino acids our body needs for tasks like building tissue and producing energy. Eggs also contain iron and zinc, two minerals that can help to keep your energy level up.

Brown rice

You might not think of brown rice when you’re thinking of foods for energy but hear me out! Brown rice contains manganese, which is a mineral that helps your enzymes to break down protein and carbohydrates - two key macronutrients your body needs - to give your body energy. 

Brown rice is also a source of fibre and has a low GI (glycemic index) which means your body gets a slow release of energy over a longer period of time. 


If you’re ever struggling to stay awake, reach for an apple! Apples provide a steady supply of glucose to your brain and muscles, which means energy is released over a longer period of time. 

Perfect for an on-the-go snack, apples are a source of soluble fibre which can keep you feeling fuller for longer. 


Dates can help your body to metabolise carbs, protein and fats, thanks to the B-vitamins they contain. This helps your body turn food into energy, particularly when combined with the other nutrients found in dates. Potassium, calcium, manganese, copper and iron can all work to give your energy level a boost too. While dates provide a dose of natural sweetness, their fibre content can help to keep your blood sugar stable. 

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One of the best foods for energy, salmon is a source of protein, omega 3 fatty acids and B vitamins. In particular, salmon is a source of vitamin B6, niacin and riboflavin — which help to convert your food into energy. 

Adding salmon to your plate can also be a great way to help reduce inflammation, which may cause feelings of fatigue.


I talk about avocados being a source of ‘healthy fats’ a lot, but did you know that they can affect your energy levels? Avocados contain monounsaturated fat, which your body uses for energy, rather than storing it as fat. As a source of folate, vitamins C and B6, as well as niacin, avocados can help your body to fight fatigue.

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It’s easy to eat foods for energy

If you are already following a well-balanced diet, then you are probably already eating plenty of the best foods for energy. 

When you’re feeling tired, I know it can be tempting to reach for a quick fix, like a cup of coffee. Instead, try drinking some more water and including some of these energy foods in your day. I’m sure you’ll start to notice a difference!

Kayla Itsines

I’m Kayla Itsines, co-founder and head trainer at Sweat! I’ve been a certified personal trainer since 2008 and am also certified in pregnancy and postnatal exercise. My goal has always been to empower women by giving them the practical tools they need to improve their health and fitness and feel more confident.


* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.


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