Are you struggling most mornings to find your “get up and go”? Don’t rely on an energy drink or a few extra coffees to get you by. Instead, go for some naturally energizing foods and drinks that will help you focus, give you energy, and last you much longer than an excess caffeine or a sugary breakfast will.

You’ll experience a greater sense of energy when you consume foods that support your body and your brain. Sugary foods and drinks will just leave you depleted and moody later on and most of them won’t keep you full. This is especially true with processed foods and drinks.

Foods that support your body and brain will contain B vitamins, natural carbs that digest more slowly to prevent blood sugar spikes, and preferably have some protein to add satiety and jump start your metabolism. Drinks that support your body and brain will contain hydrating properties, antioxidants, and natural vitamins and minerals like B vitamins and magnesium.

Check out these five awesome foods and drinks to help you get through your morning with zest and zeal!

1. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a good source of B vitamins, complex carbohydrates, protein, magnesium, and potassium. It’s also slow to digest, which means it’s easy on your blood sugar. Oatmeal is a great breakfast whether you’re vegan or not. It’s satisfying, easy to digest for most people, easy to prepare, and can even be made ahead of time if you’re short on time. Oatmeal will give you just the boost of energy you’re looking for to start your day! Be sure to prepare rolled oats or steel-cut since those are less-processed and will stay with you longer than instant varieties.

2. Quinoa

Not into oats? Have some quinoa instead. This grain-like seed is rich in protein, iron, B vitamins, magnesium, and fiber. This means it’s packed with energy and satiety. Quinoa has a yummy nutty flavor to it and is just as easy to prepare as oats. You can cook it on the stove or your slow-cooker. Quinoa flakes are even available that you can prepare just like oatmeal. If you’re looking for new ways to enjoy quinoa, check out some tips for adding it to your menu everyday for one full week!

3. A Green Smoothie

Green smoothies are one of the most nutritious beverages anyone could add to their menu, in my opinion. For an energy packed drink that you can make in minutes, you’ll likely get more vegetables and fruits than anyone eating the Standard American Diet does in one whole day. To make an energy-packed, blood-sugar friendly smoothie, be sure to add some specific ingredients like: kale (rich in magnesium and protein to aid in energy production and blood sugar balance), maca (an energizing superfood), chia seeds (packed with protein, iron, fiber, and magnesium), and berries (which are high in fiber, natural sugars that digest slowly, and antioxidants to provide cellular energy.) Aim to make your smoothie with more greens than fruit if possible and try some alternatives to bananas if you need ideas. This will stabilize your blood sugar much better than a fruit rich smoothie will. You can even add a protein powder or some nuts and seeds to your smoothie if you need more sustenance.

4. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are truly as close to a perfect food (nutritionally speaking) as you can get. They’re also a great alternative to grains if you don’t eat grains and are incredibly easy to digest. Chia seeds contain iron, magnesium, protein, omega 3 fats, fiber, and no sugar. They’re higher in antioxidants than blueberries per serving and pack more nutrients than all other nuts and seeds. Add a tablespoon or two to your menu however you can. Stir them into oatmeal, use them in a smoothie, make chia pudding, sugar-free protein bars, or adding them to energy bars or bites. Or, check out some different ways to use chia that are just as delicious and good for you too.

5. A Single Cup of Black Coffee

There’s no need to quit your coffee obsession, but keep it to one cup and drink it black if you can. A little unsweetened non-dairy milk and stevia is fine since those are naturally free of sugar. Coffee is a rich source of magnesium, B vitamins, zinc, and copper. It’s also high in antioxidants and may help lower your insulin.  For best results, have your coffee with a healthy breakfast instead of consuming it alone. A single cup of black coffee has been shown to be beneficial for everything from preventing diabetes to preventing depression in women. More, however, may cause negative side effects.

Remember, when it comes to real energy, look for foods and drinks that contain high amounts of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and blood-sugar balancing properties. You should also drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration and fatigue. Now, nix those nasty coffee house drinks and a wimpy piece of toast and jam. Power up your morning with these plant-based power foods and drinks instead!

What’s your favorite healthy foods and drinks to add energy to your day?

Image Source: How to Make a Basic, Beginner Green Smoothie That Rocks