Add This Popular Ingredient To Your Diet For An Instant Energy Boost

When you feel yourself fading fast, you know you're in need of a little pep in your step. While coffee or sugar can certainly provide you with that zap of energy you're after, it won't last long and may even leave you feeling worse after the fact. 

When you ingest large amounts of sugar, the body springs into action and sends insulin to the rescue to restore balance to your blood sugar levels. This causes that spike of blood glucose to drop, and your energy comes crashing down along with it. Similarly, once that initial stimulating jolt of caffeine starts to wane, so does your energy. What you really need is a snack that will provide you with sustained energy.

Peanut butter is a flavorful addition to sandwiches, oatmeal, your favorite Halloween candies, and more. Not only does it strike the perfect balance between nutty and creamy, but this popular ingredient can also enhance your energy levels in addition to delighting your taste buds. That's because peanut butter contains energy-boosting nutrients that can keep that spring in your step going well throughout the day.

Energy-boosting nutrients found in peanut butter

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that in just 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, you'll get 3.6 grams of protein, over 0.7 grams of fiber, more than 90 milligrams of potassium, 54.2 milligrams of phosphorus, 27 milligrams of magnesium, 7.84 milligrams of calcium, and much more. Experts at The Joint Chiropractic explain that peanut butter gives you twice the bang for your buck when you're in need of a lift because both the protein and carbohydrate content in peanut butter are promptly converted into energy by the body.

Containing numerous vitamins and minerals, peanuts are also rich in niacin, a B vitamin that supports the breakdown of food into energy, as outlined in a 2016 scientific review published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology. For these reasons, you can eat smaller amounts of peanuts than you might have to with other foods while still gaining greater amounts of energy.

How much peanut butter should you eat to increase your energy levels?

Much like peanuts, you only need a snack-size serving for peanut butter to work its energy-boosting magic. Experts recommend keeping servings to 2 tablespoons daily and consuming peanut butter in moderation (via TODAY). 

The kind of peanut butter you eat can also affect your energy and overall health. For example, some brands come packed with added sugar or salt, which may be detrimental to your health over time if eaten in excess. To help keep consumption of additives to a minimum, take a look at the product label and choose peanut butters that contain less than 5 grams of added sugar and less than 100 milligrams of sodium per serving.

The next time you're feeling low on energy and dragging your feet, consider reaching for that jar of peanut butter. What's more, try pairing it with another deliciously nutritious snack like apples, celery, or yogurt, or adding it to your favorite smoothie recipe.