Over 2.25 billion cups of coffee – yep, you read that right – are consumed daily across the world. So if you’re worried that you’re a bit of a coffee addict, you’re not alone.
But how many cups should you be drinking each day? Multiple studies agree that four or five cups is what’s recommended, which is total to 400 milligrams of caffeine. (If you’re not sure what that equates to, one cup is about 70-140 milligrams of caffeine.)
The only thing is, if you’re ordering a medium or large coffee to wake you up each morning, that doesn’t count as one cup – more than likely, that’s two or three (or maybe even more, depending on the strength of the roast!).
Oh, and researchers found that if you’re drinking six or more coffees every day, you’re increasing your risk of heart disease by as much as 22%.
If you’re now staring at the coffee cup in your hand, cursing yourself out, don’t worry – The Latch has your back. And if you don’t drink coffee at all, but are desperately searching for extra energy, we’ve also got you covered.
Here are 17 energy-boosting foods to try:
1. Chia Seeds
These little things are packed with nutrients, fibre, healthy fats and protein that will give you long-lasting energy. We recommend sprinkling them on your cereal or blending them in a smoothie.
Sprinkle your newly purchased chia seeds all over this. A complex carbohydrate, they’re one of the best sources of slow-releasing energy, so they’ll keep you going all morning.
3. Dark, leafy greens
Yep, we’re talking kale and spinach. They’re nutrient-dense and contain filling proteins.
If you don’t like the taste of them raw – or they’re difficult for you to digest raw – cooking them with a splash of lemon juice or vinegar may help you out.
How could we forget the fruit that had a catchy jingle written about it in the 90s? Not only will they “make those bodies sing”, but they’ll boost your energy with their carbs, potassium and vitamin B6.
5. Sweet potatoes
With their fibre and complex carb content, these are also a nutritious (and delicious!) source of energy. Your body absorbs them slowly so you’ll get a steady supply of energy.
This is another one that has a catchy jingle written about it (‘ave an avo today, anyone?)
Full of healthy fats, these are used as energy sources. Their fibre also helps maintain steady energy levels.
Not only will they keep the doctor away, but their natural sugars and fibre also provide a slow and sustained energy release. With their high antioxidant content, the digestion of carbs is slowed down, releasing energy over a more extended period of time.
Packed with protein, eggs can give you a steady, sustained source of energy. Not only this but leucine (the most abundant amino acid in an egg), is known to stimulate energy production.
The simple sugars in yogurt, lactose and galactose, provide ready-to-use energy. A perfect 3 pm pick-me-up.
Or more specifically, chickpeas. These are another good source of complex carbs and fibre. And as you know by now, these are great for steady energy.
11. Dark chocolate
Perfect for people like me, who suffer from the condition called “a sweet tooth”. Yes, it has a bit of caffeine in it – but it doesn’t taste like coffee! Dark chocolate also contains theobromine, which will boost your energy levels.
A great option for anyone trying out Veganuary, or anyone who is just too broke right now to afford meat. Rich in carbs and fibre, and a good source of nutrients, this is another great energy-boosting food – that can be had for lunch or dinner.
Cooked using the air-pop cooking method, it’s a healthy option and an excellent low-calorie, energising snack.
Don’t go…nuts with these ones. A small serving of nuts will provide energy throughout the day, due to their blend of protein, fats and carbohydrates. The vitamins and minerals don’t hurt either.
It pains me to write this as someone who resolutely doesn’t eat fish, but fish is a great option for energy-boosting foods. Make sure to pick up fatty fish like salmon and tuna, they’re full of protein, fatty acids and B vitamins.
16. Brown rice
The less-processed counterpart of white rice, its low glycemic index combined with its large portion of manganese will keep your energy levels up.
It also pains me to write this one, because I don’t trust blueberries – open them up, and they’re not even blue! But these will also give you a longer-lasting energy boost, and apparently help with cognitive function and mental agility.