What is the Best Foods for Energy?

What is the Best Food for Energy?
Reading Time: 7 minutes

Searching out what the best foods for energy are; it is not that easy of a task. Taking into consideration the health aspect of the equation.

In today’s article, we are looking at the correlation between the foods chosen that increase the energy level in a healthy way and the less healthy options that are on the market.

The fastest way to increase energy levels is to grab some high content sugary drink that will shoot your blood sugar sky-high.

That is not a healthy way to achieve the goal of increasing your energy level, and that method will lead to the crash when the sugar burns off.

Selecting the fresh foods that provide energy naturally is the best plan when everything is going right, and the meals are readily available.

What to do when 85% of the food that is available to you is not the healthy items that you need to stay on your diet plan?

This situation happens more often than not, especially with bad or unfinished pre-planning is the case.

We must be diligent in our selections to ensure that we have the right foods on hand to be successful with our diet plans.

Does Protein Affect Energy?

Proteins are broken down by the body slower than carbohydrates and the proteins in our food is used in different ways by the body than the carbs.

Proteins are needed to repair and build tissues when protein is insufficient; you can feel fatigued, and your energy level will suffer too.

The best way to defend against this fatigue is to ensure that you are getting enough protein in your diet. The recommended amount is .8 grams protein per kilogram of body weight.

• A 200-pound man (90.7 kg) will need to consume 72.5 grams of protein for the day.

• A 150-pound woman (68.0 kg) will need to consume 54.4 grams of protein for the day.

Meat for protein

Dividing the grams of protein required per the typical three meals per day means that the 200-pound man will need approximately 24 grams of protein per meal. The 150-pound woman will need about 23 grams of protein per meal.

The rule of thumb on energy in a gram of protein and carbohydrate is four calories, and there are nine calories in a gram of fat.

The body prefers to use carbs for energy sources and will only use protein for energy when in a starvation mode or if there is no fat or carbs present.

Which proteins are the best for adding to your diet and are more comfortable for the body to process?

List High Protein Foods.

There is a lot of research that suggests that protein in a diet will increase a person’s to feel full longer. Personally, that has never been the case for me.

Meals do not seem complete without some form of meat, that may be more from our culture and the habits that the culture develops in us.

Getting a good source of protein in your breakfast is an excellent way to make sure that we eliminate the risk of becoming hungry too soon after the meal.

• Eggs are an inexpensive source of protein that many turns to for their breakfast needs.

o Eggs have 6 grams of protein per egg.

• Milk, Cheese, and Yogurt – are excellent sources of protein and can easily be added to any meal to supplement the protein intake.

o Milk and Cheese have 8 grams of protein per serving.

o Yogurt has 17 grams of protein per cup.

Milk and dairy animals

• Beans – adding a half cup of beans to your meal is the same as an ounce of broiled steak, and it has the added benefit of additional fiber to slow down the digestive process and provide energy over extended periods.

o Beans have 41 grams of protein per cup.

• Lean meats are excellent sources of protein, and when cooked healthily, such as broiled without the skin, is considered heart healthy as well; the best meat options or seafood, poultry, pork, lean cuts of beef.

o Seafood has 24 grams of protein per 3 oz

o Poultry has 10 grams of protein per 3 oz

o Pork has 23 grams of protein per 3 oz

o Beef 22 grams of protein per 3 oz

• Soy can provide a source of protein and studies show that consuming fifty grams of soy per day lowers cholesterol approximately three percent.

o Soy has 68 grams of protein per cup.

• Whey protein is popular with athletes and people who are lactose intolerant. It provides an excellent replacement protein for those who do not wish to eat (Meal Replacement Shakes)

Protein Shakes

o Whey protein has 2.1 grams of protein per cup.

Looking at the protein content from the examples above will give you an idea of the size of the portion that is appropriate to eat from each of the protein sources listed.

The amount of protein you are eating may be more than you need, with all the focus on reducing carbs and fat; the only alternative is to increase the protein in your diet.

Typically, the extra protein is not going to cause any problems, but extended high protein diets can cause kidney damage, keep that in mind when you are doing your physicals with your doctor and discuss it with them.

Does Fiber Affect Energy?

Fiber can get converted to energy by the body, and it does not affect the blood sugar or increase the insulin levels which makes it a better choice for people with diabetes.

Carbohydrates that come in the fiber are complex carbs, and if they are water-soluble than they will provide you with some energy boost, this is approximately two calories per gram of soluble fiber.

That is not going to give you much of an energy boost, but what it does for you is help the digestive process and allows the body to extract more energy from the food.

More important than any energy boost in the fiber will give you a better sense of being full and reduce the risk of overeating. Overweight people usually are eating too compared to what they are burning, and that caused weight gain.

The best rule of thumb for getting the correct amount of fiber in your diet is to consume the recommended amount of fiber in your diet. The recommended amount is 14 grams per 1,000 calories consumed.

List High Fiber Foods

The best sources of fiber for people with diabetes, the American Diabetes Association recommend that people with diabetes consume 25 to 50 grams of protein a day versus the average person, who consumes approximately 15 grams protein per day.

As with any dietary choices, it is better to pick the source of fiber that is processed the least and has the lowest amount of fats. The exception would be people who are on the keto diet and are consuming 75% of their calories from fat.

• Beans top the list for sources of fiber because the American Diabetes Association considers these a Superfood because of the vitamins and minerals that a ½ cup contains, and gives you as much protein as an ounce of meat without the saturated fats.

• Dark green leafy vegetable such as spinach, collards, and kale. These are an excellent source because they are low in calories and carbs

• Citrus fruits – grapefruits, organs, lemons, and limes which provide all the fiber, vitamin C, folate, and potassium when getting the recommended servings per day

Citrus Fruits

• Nuts and whole grains are good sources of fiber, and they help to provide energy over more extended periods.

• Fish high in Omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, trout, and albacore tuna are recommended to add to your diet two to three times per week.

• Dairy products such as milk and yogurt are good sources of protein and fiber and provide the body with energy all day.

Conclusion

Getting the power needed from the foods that we eat in our daily routines is very important to maintain healthy weights, and if people follow this from a young age when they get older, they will thank themselves.

I know this from personal experience, not the good personal experience either, it took my health affecting my abilities to function correctly before listening to the doctor’s warnings.

If there was a time machine available and I could send my younger self a message, it would be to make eating a healthy diet more of a priority.

Man Looking Back

Since that is not going to happen all we can do is make a choice every day to improve our knowledge and our resolve to stick to the dietary decision that will lead to a successful weight management lifestyle.

Hope that you enjoyed this article and it helps to encourage someone to look at their food choices and make the correct adjustments.

Please leave your comments, experiences, suggestions, or question in the comment section below.

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22 thoughts on “What is the Best Foods for Energy?

  1. Very informative post, thank you.

    I consider myself to be a “health-conscious” person and so it is essential for me to know what exactly am I stuffing into my mouth that eventually goes into my body. My motto since learning of the importance of practicing a healthy lifestyle is, “You are what you eat.” 

    That’s right! What we eat plays a significant factor in our health. I believe that eating a healthy, balanced meal is key to having the energy that our body needs to survive each day, most especially when our job requires us to be active throughout the day.

    While it is commonly said that protein is the best source of energy, I need to listen to my body. And my body is telling me that I need enough carbs that’s why I always jump start my day with carbs such as rice, pasta and bread and a glass of milk. I do need protein and vegetables as well, but I take them only during lunch and dinner. 

    1. Thanks for sharing your experiences and comments about paying attention to the signals that your body is telling you; that is something that most people can train themselves to do, and people would be much better off if they would take the time to learn how to listen to their bodies.

  2. Excellent article about what the best foods for energy are. I found it extremely useful as I am trying to work on my weight and just took up intermittent fasting and noticed that I have started feeling fatigued and dizzy recently. 

    I talked to my Doctor, and he said I wasn’t getting enough energy foods and vitamins because I had limited my meals. 

    So, I would use the information you’ve provided on Protein for energy and plan out a new menu to enable my system to get all the nutrients it needs to function properly and get back my power. 

    1. I am doing the Intermittent Fasting and know what you are talking about here. What helped me is this drink that I take every morning, and it helps to get me to lunch. My fasting is for 16 hours and eating in an eight-hour window.

      8 ounces water.
      One teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar (unfiltered).
      Two teaspoons freshly squeezed Lemon juice.
      One teaspoon Honey.1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon.
      1/4 teaspoon Turmeric.

      Taking a good supplement helps with maintaining a healthy energy level all day. Sustain

  3. It is an efficient article. Food for energy is an issue for everyone. On average, we need about 24 gram of protein per meal. You list the protein and fiber food. 

    Selecting proper combinations of protein and fiber food is essential. I usually feel hunger in the late afternoon. To prevent this, I am on purpose to eat protein-rich food for lunch. 

    However, this does not prevent my afternoon hunger. Do you have suggestions to relieve my afternoon hunger?

    My wife is a vegetarian, and all his protein source is from beans. Amazing to me that she never feel hunger in the afternoon. Maybe I should eat more beans food for lunch to prevent my afternoon hunger?

    1. Beans are an excellent source of energy, and they have good protein too. If you can eat beans with some whole grain rice that may increase your strength in the afternoons.

  4. I hate the way the media and food industry promote highly processed foods as good for you.  In reality, highly processed foods cause a sugar crash. I feel that we, American’s, overeat processed foods. 

    This is why so many people suffer from obesity and diabetes. I appreciate how you are helping people to get more energy by eating healthier foods. Thanks for the information.

    1. Process foods and fast foods are what causes most of the problems with people gaining too much weight and leads them to types two diabetes. 

      I am a perfect example, even though I thought that I was making changes; it was not enough until my health got so bad that it required some drastic changes.

  5. Thank you for sharing an article on the best food for energy. In my own opinion, both carbs and protein are essential in our diet to maintain good health. 

    Sometimes I took a white fast in my religion which requires you taking only carbohydrates and fruits alone without protein food. 

    My body was feeling empty as there was no protein to complement the carbs. Carbs alone cannot sustain the energy it is giving without protein. 

    Thanks for this educating post. 

    1. Protein and fiber help people to feel full for extended periods. It can also help to provide energy distributed evenly throughout the day.  

  6. Excellent reading this article on what is the best foods for energy, it is essential to eat an adequate amount of protein meals daily. Good to learn that taking a high-protein diet for an extended period can increase your risk of kidney damage. 

    Overeating protein can also affect people who already have kidney disease. The effect comes from the excess nitrogen found in the amino acids that make up proteins. It just has to be in the right quantity. Not too much and not too small

    1. Good point on people with kidney problems a high protein diet is not suitable for them. They will need special attention from a dietician to help them learn what items that best fills their needs.

  7. Wow. Excellent information in this post!

    I have once asked myself this same question and been trying to find a reliable answer to it not until I stumbled on this post. 

    It amazed me that yogurt is very high in protein with 17 grams per cup. 

    I always believe proteins only build and repair body tissues; I never knew protein and fiber could be excellent sources of energy.

    1. Thank you for your comments and glad that you enjoyed the article. Yogurt is very good for people who can eat it by having any adverse side effects. 

  8. One mistake we don’t want to make is to overdo it on the protein. As you said, people may tend to overeat protein if their fixation is on following a low-carb lifestyle.

    You alluded to the fact that there are many sources non-meat sources of protein which we can avail ourselves.

    If we can turn toward more non-meat sources of protein, such as beans/legumes, this can provide the added benefit of also providing us with other essential nutrients as well. So it really would be a win/win.

    I love meat. But I think that we all should strive to incorporate non-meat sources of protein as well.

    The additional protein will help us to achieve a well-balanced diet, which is replete with a full swath of our nutritional needs.

    1. Good point to increase the amount of protein that comes from beans and other sources that do not contain the saturated fats that are in the fatty meats. Thank you for your comments!

  9. I share the same thoughts as you have outlined in this post. With a lot of focus on reducing carb and fat intake, logically people should start eating more protein. However, there’s a worry here for me, primarily if it affects our body organs.

    Most blogs don’t discuss the importance of fiber intake; I got to know how vital fiber was after suffering from constipation. In my opinion, it’s good to eat food all in the right proportion.

    1. Great point that you make Louis, it is so important to keep thing balanced in this busy life that is sometimes a huge challenge. Lately, I have been paying much more attention to the fiber content in the protein sources and especially in the protein bars. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

  10. So many great nutrition truths in this article. I agree with your comment about how you have personally never felt more full with a heavier emphasis on protein. Protein shakes/bars do nothing for me. I would get bored eating a bunch of chicken before I really got full off of it.

    Now a days with the keto diet and all that stuff, many people are placing more emphasis on fat. I’ve personally found the most success in my eating when I aim to eat balanced. Even if I have a high protein/high fat meal, I won’t feel full if it is completely devoid of carbs.

    I don’t track my macros, but if I were to guess I’d probably feel my best and have my weight most under control if I aim to be around 40% carbs and the rest split between protein & fat. All of us are so different.

    1. You are right about getting bored with food; it helps to have some variety to keep you from getting tired of the same thing every day. 

      Yesterday I spoke to someone who has had diabetes for years, and she was not aware of the dangers of the keto diet for people with diabetes. 

      An incorrect diet by someone with diabetes can send them into a diabetic coma, that makes the risk too high for the possible reward of losing weight.  

      Sounds like you have the right idea keeping your diet balanced, keep up the good work!

  11. Thanks your article has given me a great understanding of why I feel so low in energy. My energy seems to run out around about 2-3 pm during the week. It is especially worse when it is very hot…and dangerous when I drive in heavy traffic. 

    Unfortunately, I am dairy intolerant and cannot take anything dairy wise, would you know of any alternatives that would give the same amount of protein in my diet?

    Also, if there are no alternative foods for dairy? What if I take supplements to take the place of certain food items and what is your stance on having supplements?

    1. The energy drain in the afternoon is pretty standard, and I hear that complaint all the time, being lactose intolerant rules out any dairy products to provide energy but there are many suitable substitutes to consider.

      In a previous article, I have a natural energy drink  that is working great for me; it works best to take it in the morning when I first started making it was right before bedtime, and I could not sleep!

      8 ounces water.
      1 teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar (unfiltered).
      2 teaspoon fresh squeezed Lemon juice.
      1 teaspoon Honey.1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon.
      1/4 teaspoon Turmeric.

      I do believe in taking a daily supplement and have been using the same one for years with excellent results. Here is a link for more information:Sustain by Avisae.

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