The 12 best foods for a quick energy boost

Study break

It's 1:15am. You're falling asleep on your keyboard, but you still have 10 pages to write for your final paper. You don't have any coffee on hand, and nothing else is cutting it. You need an energy boost. What do you do??

We've consulted our friends at Spartan Race to get some advice on ways to get a quick burst of energy without turning to disgusting energy drinks that contain actual jet fuel (probably). Here's what they suggested.

1. Apples

Fruit like apples contain the "good kind" of sugar and carbs, which gives you a little energy burst without the horrible post-sugar high crash. The fiber in apples is a particularly effective energy boost. An image Img source

2. Chocolate (yes, rly)

But, to be clear, we're talking dark chocolate here. Not Reese's Cups. Pure chocolate is high in sugar and caffeine, so it works in a similar way to coffee. But, if you eat a little bit of dark chocolate, it'll be much better for you than a grande iced mocha. An image Img source

3. Bananas

Like apples, bananas are high in the carbs that give you energy and don't turn into bad sugar. You'll often see runners eat bananas before a workout or a race, because they're light (yet filling) and they're a great source of natural energy. An image Img source

4. Water

Ok....hear me out. I know drinking water at 1am when you're exhausted doesn't sound like it'll do anything. But, when you think about it, since water is one of the essential human needs (hey Maslow), it's an important energy source. Plus, dehydration leads to low energy- and, remember, if you're thirsty at ALL, it means you're already dehydrated! Therefore, if you keep up on your water intake, you're less likely to get dehydrated and feel drained. An image Img source

5. Mangoes

Mangoes are SO GOOD FOR YOU. They're full of important vitamins and nutrients like vitamins B and C, calcium, potassium, zinc, and folate, which turn food into energy in your body. They taste like candy (especially dried mango...yummmmm) but are soooo much better for you!

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6. Nuts

A handful of nuts is a great way to energize yourself, because they're high in magnesium and protein. And, if you're like me and you're a study-snacker, they're great to crunch on to satisfy your stress-hunger. If you close your eyes, you can pretend they're potato chips...maybe.

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7. Oatmeal

Oatmeal contains calcium, potassium, protein, and magnesium. Not to mention, it's low in fat and low in bad carbs. It's also super satisfying and filling, even in small amounts. I love drizzling a little bit of pure maple sugar on it to sweeten it up...So if you need a sweet fix, I highly recommend it.

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8. Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are delicious, and another great crunchy snack to mindlessly eat while you're studying. They're high in protein, monosaturated fat, fiber, and zinc, which means they're a super energy booster. There's so much you can do with them, like roast them with cinnamon or garlic powder or even parmesan cheese! 10/10 would recommend.

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9. Broccoli

Broccoli is obviously high in protein, but it's also loaded with, like...every single other nutrient out there. I know you're probably not gonna want to roast some broccoli in the middle of the night, but dipping some raw broccoli in ranch dressing is a good way to get that energy source in there! Plus...ranch, you guys. Ranch.

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10. Maple syrup

Being from Vermont originally, I'm a big maple syrup snob. Grade A Dark Amber from Vermont is where it's AT. Pure maple syrup (NOT Mrs. Butterworth, you uncultured swine) is super sweet but ALSO full of calcium, potassium, iron, zinc, and manganese. Remember when I said you should drizzle maple syrup on your oatmeal? I'm serious about this stuff!!!

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11. Quinoa

It might be a little bit much for a late night study snack, but if you prepare it in advance, it'll be great when you need a pick-me-up. Full of good carbs, protein, and amino acids, quinoa is good for you in SO many ways (one of which being that it's a natural energizer). It's worth the time!

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12. Leafy greens like kale, collard greens, and spinach

Ok, I know this sounds like a lot for a late night snack...but there are ways to make it work. Green juice or a green smoothie containing these bad boys is a quick, easy, and trendy way to get them in your system. Or, for a crunchy snack, try baking kale with paprika and salt in the oven. It's a perfect alternative to potato chips! An image Img source

As you make your way through finals week(s), keep these foods on hand to keep your energy up for all the late-night studying and early-morning exams. Who knows, maybe you won't even miss your coffee!

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