Firefighter Diet: On-the-Go Foods for More Energy

As a firefighter, there are days when you’re expending energy like an Olympic athlete.  Responding to fires, explosions, car accidents – sometimes in the same day – is exhausting. By the time you get to the end of a shift, there’s barely enough energy left to crawl into the cab of your truck to drive home. A firefighter diet isn’t always a balanced one. We remember those days.  We also wish we had known how eating these foods below, perfect for the on-the-go lifestyle, could have helped us save a little ‘in the tank’ for the end of the day.

On-the-Go Food for Energy

Whether it’s the morning, middle of the day, or nighttime, a lack of energy could affect performance on the job.  Adding in foods that are edible on-the-go and proven to promote energy levels will make you feel better.  Below is a list of some of our favorites. 

firefighter diet


We think bananas are one of the best foods for energy as a firefighter.  They are quick to eat, come in their own wrapper, and are packed with complex carbohydrates, potassium, and vitamin B6.  All these nutrients help to boost your energy levels. 

Sweet Potatoes

Yes, these can be eaten on the go, too.  Cook a few ahead of time and let them cool.  They are quite tasty at room temperature.  Aside from being delicious, they are a nutritious source of energy when you’re looking for an extra boost.  Because of their fiber and complex carb content, they digest slowly.  Therefore, they provide you with a steady supply of energy throughout your shift.


Coffee beans are one of nature’s foods. A black cup of coffee, as you probably know, makes you feel better when you’re tired.  Here, however, are some additional things to know.  More than 400 mg of caffeine per day is not recommended.  That equals about 4 cups.  The added sugar, milk, or flavored creamer may make it taste better to you, but not necessary for the energy boost.


What’s a firefighter diet without water? While not a food, you know more than most that water is critical for life in so many ways.  More importantly, water is involved in many of your body’s cellular functions, including energy production.  If you are not drinking enough water, you may become dehydrated.  Even slight dehydration can influence your body.  Dehydration will slow bodily functions, leaving you feeling sluggish and tired.  Drinking water may be one of the simplest ways to stay energized. 


An apple a day keeps the doctor away.  It also packs carbs, natural sugars, and fiber to keep you going.  They also have a high antioxidant content.  Studies show that antioxidants may slow digestion of cards, so they release energy over an extended period.

Dark Chocolate

An important distinction here is that we are not talking about milk chocolate.  Dark chocolate has a higher antioxidant content because of the larger amount of cocoa.  These particular antioxidants have been shown to increase blood flow throughout your body.   Increased blood flow aids in the delivery of oxygen to the brain and muscles improving their functions.

Yerba Mate

If you’re not familiar with this one, it’s a perfect blend of coffee and tea with health benefits. Click this link to read more about it on the Hive Brands website.  For a flavored ready-to-drink twist on Yerba Mate, check out this product on Amazon.  If you order yourself some, let us know.

Firefighter Diet

Below are a few more of the on-the-go foods good for energy in a firefighter diet.

  • Goji Berries
  • Edamame
  • Avocados (considered a superfood)
  • Oranges
  • Strawberries
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Walnuts

We hope you find these foods for a firefighter diet helpful and easy to fit into your daily life.  More importantly, we hope they help you feel more energized.

Thank You for Your Service

The TSF Fire Equipment team is made up of former Fire Chiefs, Firefighters, and Military personnel. We understand your sacrifice and thank you for your service. If you’d like to learn more about us, please visit our About page. If you’d like to start a conversation, email Todd at