Come 3 p.m., we’re typically in need of a little mid-afternoon energy boost, which usually means a cup of stale coffee leftover from the morning. Gross. Instead, recharge with something yummy, like these energizing snacks that actually have the same effect as coffee but with the added joy of being, you know, food.
6 Snacks That'll Wake You Up as Much as Coffee
Yes, chocolate is involved
Popcorn With Dark Chocolate Drizzle
Well, this was a pleasant surprise. We typically think of popcorn as a treat, since it’s so often served drenched in butter at the movie theater. As long as you’re smart about toppings, it’s actually a great, energy-packed option, since it’s so high in fiber and low in calories. This recipe also calls for heart-healthy coconut oil and dark chocolate, which, in moderation, contains caffeine that will give you a no-crash boost.
Mint Chocolate Chip Green Smoothie
Leafy greens in general are great, but spinach in particular is an awesome choice for an energy boost. It’s packed with iron, which promotes red-blood-cell circulation, making you feel alert and able to concentrate. Also, this smoothie tastes like a mint-chocolate-chip milkshake, which is never a bad thing.
Coconut Almond Granola With Dark Chocolate Chunks
Oatmeal is a terrific breakfast, but oats shouldn’t be reserved for the morning. Whole grains are absorbed slowly, making for a prolonged energy release. They also contain B vitamins like niacin and folate, which help your body metabolize energy. For their part, almonds are packed with vitamin E and magnesium, which help you sustain energy throughout the day. Serve this sweet-but-virtuous treat over Greek yogurt, another source of energy.
Vanilla-blueberry Chia Pudding
Chia seeds have tons of fiber, the same amount of protein as an egg and more omega-3s than a piece of salmon. Add to all that the antioxidant superheroes that are blueberries (which have also been proven to boost cognitive function and mental agility) and you’ve got a pretty perfect midday snack.
Honey Roasted Chickpeas
Chickpeas have protein, carbs and fat. The carbs boost energy, while the fat and protein stabilize blood sugar by releasing those carbs steadily. Hummus is a great option, but we’re partial to these crispy little treats that taste shockingly similar to Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
Pumpkin No-bake Energy Bites
We’ve already talked about how great oats are for providing sustained energy, but these portable bites also have pepitas (pumpkin seeds), which have more protein per ounce than almonds, as well as a ton of iron and magnesium. These are also customizable, so yes, you can totally add some dark chocolate.