5 Energy-Boosting Snacks
Snacks with staying power
If you're fighting the urge to nap on your desk after lunch, then maybe that midday cup of coffee just isn't cutting it. Stave off the afternoon slump by swapping your caffeine for one of these five light, low-cal bites. They'll fight fatigue and keep you going between meals.
1/2 cup sliced banana (or a small apple) with 1 tablespoon peanut butter
Midday snacks should contain about 100 calories or 15 grams of carbohydrates. The natural sweetness in fruit takes longer to metabolize than the processed sugars you'll find in candy. And the protein in peanut butter provides a long-lasting form of energy.
4 whole-grain crackers spread with 1 tablespoon hummus
Complex carbohydrates such as whole grains and beans are some of the best energy boosters out there, and can fill you up without making you sluggish. Hummus, a spread made from garbanzo beans, contributes fiber and a little olive oil, both of which help satiate hunger pangs.
1/4 cup dried fruits and nuts
Thanks to their mix of good fat and protein, nuts are a slow-burning food and provide sustained energy. Dried fruit provides a touch of sweetness, but with the added benefits of fiber. Just a small handful is best, though: Too many carbs can cause low blood sugar, resulting in mid-afternoon sleepiness.
6 ounces of plain nonfat yogurt mixed with 1 tablespoon granola
Granola's mix of grains, nuts, and dried fruit is the perfect crunchy complement to creamy, protein-packed yogurt. If you like your yogurt a little sweeter, stir in a dab of honey and sliced fresh berries.
A whole grain, high-protein bar
Pre-packaged cereal bars aren't just for breakfast, and they're the perfect snack at work or on-the-go. Choose bars with at least 5 grams of fiber and protein, but with less than 15 grams of sugar. Watch out for meal-replacement bars that are overloaded with calories—though you can always cut them into halves or quarters to create 100-calorie portions.