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Q: What are the best energy-boosting foods?
A: Energizing foods contain enough fiber, protein and/or healthy fats to keep us full while also helping to keep our blood sugar and mood stable. My clients often ask me how I have so much energy while training, running a business and caring for three young kids. The answer is that I eat the way I advise others to eat—and rarely stay out past 10 p.m.!
Nuts, beans, lentils and low-fat (not nonfat) yogurts can stand alone to bring up and stabilize energy levels when you need a boost. Additionally, any complex carbohydrate can be energizing and long lasting, when paired with a little protein and/or fat. This is why I always recommend (and eat) two-item snacks. Combos to try: fruit and nuts, hummus and carrots, Greek yogurt with whole grain cereal, or crackers with cheese. Also avoid highly concentrated sources of refined sugar, which only serve to cause a rapid drop in energy when they are quickly metabolized.
Lauren Antonucci, R.D., is a board-certified specialist in sports dietetics, three-time Ironman finisher and the founding director of Nutrition Energy in New York City.