Summer days are long and sometimes you need a pick-me-up. Energy-boosting snacks are the perfect way to power on until lunchtime or curb the mid-afternoon slump. Snacks should have around 100 to 200 calories and naturally contain both carbs and protein to invigorate your body and mind. Instead of grabbing a caffeinated beverage or sugary treat, try these energy-boosting snacks to power-up your days:
Dried Fruit + Nuts
Trail mix satisfies that craving for sweet and salty in every bite. Skip the artificial sugary ingredients like chocolate chunks, yogurt bites and pretzels and stick to the natural basics – dried fruits and nuts. Almonds and walnuts are particularly great for boosting energy.
Plain Greek Yogurt or Cottage Cheese
Dairy is a great source of protein and calcium and when it is not artificially sweetened with fruit flavors it is relatively low in carbohydrates. If you feel the need to sweeten it, however, add a few fresh berries or a dab of honey.
Whole Grain Crackers/Bread + Hummus
Dip and eat yummy whole grain crackers or bread into hummus for a winning combo of both complex carbs and protein. You can also mix it up with carrots, celery, cucumbers, peppers or squash to get your fill of raw veggies for the day.
Now available in snack-sized individual packages, dried seaweed is a superfood veggie from the sea. Lightly salted, it makes a great alternative to chips and still gives you that crunch you desire.
Fruit + Nut Butter
Pair an apple, banana, peach or orange with a spoonful of nut butter and you’ve got a terrific energy-boosting snack. The natural sugar from the fruit combined with the protein from the nut butter will work hard for you until your next meal.
Hard Boiled Eggs
Eggs aren’t only for breakfast. So easy to take on-the-go and so full of protein, hard boiled eggs are often an overlooked energy-boosting snack at any time of day. But do limit yourself to one or two per snack because they have fat – too much of a good thing isn’t so good.
Loaded with antioxidants like Vitamins A and C, sweet potatoes make a sweet and fabulous snack. For a variation on a plain baked sweet potato, try baking it in strips or rounds with olive oil and a little salt for a fry-like snack.
Roasted Seeds or Chickpeas
Pumpkin seeds and chickpeas are delicious when roasted and lightly seasoned. Try a variety of sweet and savory flavors to match your taste buds.
Snacks don’t have to be “snacky.” Save half your sandwich, salad or salmon filet to eat as a snack later in the day. Snack foods sometimes lend themselves to unnecessary sugars and processing but when you choose whole foods like those you’d eat as a meal, you’ll keep your snacks natural and nutritious.
Sources: Fitness Magazine, Health, Women’s Day, Greatist and Elle