Slumped over your desk at work? Turn to one of these energy-boosting snacks instead of drinking yet another cup of coffee. They’ll provide you with enough stamina to power through the day—plus, they’re simple enough to fix in any office kitchen.
1. AN APPLE WITH PEANUT BUTTER
Keep a jar of peanut butter in your office kitchen and tuck an apple into your purse or pocket before you head to work. Once mid-day fatigue hits, cut the apple into slices and dip them into a tablespoon of peanut butter. The protein will give you long-lasting energy, and your body will burn the apple’s natural sugars more slowly than it would the processed sugars found in vending machine snacks.
2. TRAIL MIX
Trail mix is a mixed bag in more ways than one. (Too punny? I get it.) It can either be healthy or horrible for you, depending on whether it’s packed with chocolate chips, yogurt covered raisins, and other tasty—yet sugary—additions. However, trail mixes containing a variety of nuts and dried fruits provide you with an ideal combination of unsaturated fats, fiber, and protein. The fiber will keep you full longer, the protein will slow down the metabolism of carbs (to stretch out their energy release), and the fats will give you long-lasting energy.
Try making your own fruit-and-nut trail mix at home and bringing it to work. Get creative and mix in whole-grain cereals, seeds, and other tasty additions.
3. YOGURT AND CEREAL
Yogurt with cereal sprinkled on top gives you that magic carb-protein combo to kick your energy back in gear. Make sure to choose a whole grain cereal that’s filled with fiber and has less than seven grams of sugar per serving. As for the yogurt, select low-fat options with less than 20 grams of sugar per cup. One great option is to purchase plain yogurt and flavor it with a natural sweetener, like honey.
These crunchy green soybeans are filled with tryptophan, an amino acid that keeps your appetite in check. They’re also portable and easy to eat on the go.
5. AIR-POPPED POPCORN
Strip away the butter, salt, and oil, and air-popped popcorn is actually a healthy whole-grain carbohydrate. It keeps your blood sugar stable, and it’s better for you than other crunchy snacks like chips and crackers. Choose a butter-free version and season it with herbs, spices, and condiments.
6. VEGGIES AND HUMMUS
This combination of fat and fiber will keep you energized and full well into the afternoon. Hummus is healthy, but filled with calories, so stick to a ¼ cup serving. Select veggies with a high water content—like cucumbers, radishes, tomatoes, and peppers—to stay hydrated.
7. HARD-BOILED EGGS
An egg is a magical combination of proteins, fats, and animo acids packed inside a delicate shell. You likely can’t poach or scramble an egg at work, so try hard-boiling a few at home and packing them in your lunch bag.
8. DARK CHOCOLATE
In the mood for dessert? A square of dark chocolate is loaded with theobromine, a chemical compound that’s similar to caffeine. We can’t think of a more delicious way to perk up.