Ask Dr. V: 6 Natural Energy Boosters – They’re Probably in Your Pantry Now!

lemon water

Put down the 6 Hour Energy Drink and pass on the double espresso or candy bar.

Starting the day with a healthy breakfast and plenty of water will naturally give you a boost to your day, but what other foods are going to keep you going from work to the gym and beyond?

Swap in one of these six healthier ways to give yourself a natural energy boost. They can be found in many common foods you’ll want to work into your next meal – most of which are probably in your pantry right now:

  1. Need a nap? Grab some kiwi instead!  Not only do two kiwis add up to only 100 calories, but they have twice the potassium of a banana and twice the vitamin C of an orange. Each kiwi has 2.5 grams of fiber, which keeps you full and prevents energy lows when you’re hungry. Final bonus? The simple sugars found in kiwi will give you a quick rush of energy, which is better and healthier than a shot of any energy drink.
  2. Eggs! Opt to eat eggs for breakfast or a mid-day snack.  The egg yolks pack a Vitamin D punch that helps you convert your food into energy.  Added bonus?  It helps you maintain strong bones as well!
  3. Don’t worry; I’m not cutting out your coffee.  Caffeine is natural and a great pick me up when you are feeling an energy slump.  Just remember there’s a difference between a cup of coffee for an extra boost (it’s even shown to improve exercise performance) and a Grande Frappucino. Try to limit your intake in general, and try to keep it to eight ounces or less.
  4. Create a Natural Energy Drink: Add lemon to your water! Water is a major must if you want to feel energized and refreshed all day long.  The lemon in the water transforms it into a natural energy drink packed with electrolytes, which are critical for cells to produce energy. It’s especially important to have a big glass of water when you wake up in the morning and continue drinking water throughout the day. You’ll feel the difference!  Added bonus – your skin will thank and reward you as well!
  5. dark chocolateFinally an Excuse to Eat Chocolate, Dark Chocolate that is. That’s right, if you get a bar that is at least 70% dark chocolate you’re pumping yourself with iron and magnesium, which will give you that end of the day boost you need to keep going.
  6. Pick Your Favorite Whole Grain: Brown Rice, Cereal, Oats, Spelt, and Wheat for constant, regular energy all day long! These grains are going to give you the fiber, complex carbohydrates and iron you need to keep going from meal to meal without hitting a slump. They also slow the release of glucose into the bloodstream, which means you’re going to have a more consistent flow of energy throughout the day.

Try working these six foods into your meal plan to stay energized and inspired from wake up to work out to bedtime!

Dr. V at workDr. Yael “Dr. V” Varnado  is a Cornell-educated physician and a medical and health expert, known for her ability to deliver straight, relatable and relevant information on timely topics that matter most.

She is passionate about women’s health issues and teaching all those she reaches about preventative care, helping to stop heath problems before they start.  Dr. V is the creator of the Live Right at Night Campaign focusing on women’s sexual and physical health and safety between the hours of 5 pm and 9 am.

She is also the founder of the Get Checked for Life non-profit that assists members of underserved communities, improving their quality of life by educating and giving them access to the necessary tools and medical resources. You can find Dr. V on Facebook and Twitter via @AskDrV and online at

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