Foods can boost energy in three ways: by providing sufficient calories, by delivering stimulants like caffeine, and by pushing the metabolism to burn fuel more efficiently. As for mood, the best foods are those that stabilize blood sugar and trigger feel-good brain chemicals, such as serotonin.
Carbs may be the foe of fad diets, but they’re vital for boosting energy and mood. They are the body’s preferred source of fuel, plus they raise serotonin levels. The key is to avoid sweets, which cause blood sugar to spike and plummet, leading to fatigue and moodiness. Instead, turn to whole grains like whole-wheat bread, brown rice, and cereal. The body absorbs whole grains more slowly, keeping blood sugar and energy levels stable.
Be sure that you flip the package and read the ingredients. If it doesn’t say “whole (wheat, oat, bran)” within the first two or three ingredients, it isn’t what you are looking for. Many products are making statements of “whole grains” on the front of the package, but including very little inside.