Eating for energy doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, we’re pretty sure you can handle these 6 simple food rules to keep going strong all day long. Here’s what to do—and what not to.
1. DO begin each day with hot lemon water.
Before energy drinks, there were lemons: They’re a source of electrolytes, which are critical for cells to produce energy. Squeeze half a fresh lemon into 8 to 10 ounces of hot water, or add a cube of frozen lemon juice to hot water.
2. DO eat oatmeal for breakfast.
Not a new fad, we know. But oats’ fiber and protein get digested slowly, stabilizing blood sugar levels all day. Energy-boosting potassium and magnesium add to the package (and the risk of boil-over on the stove every morning makes you all the more alert, right?).
3. DO check your pee.
It should be the shade of lemonade or lighter; if it’s darker, you need to drink more fluids. One 2012 University of Connecticut study found that young, healthy women who were even mildly dehydrated reported more fatigue and poorer concentration.
4. DON’T dis quinoa.
It has more protein than virtually any rice or other grain or plant source. In fact, it’s widely regarded as a complete protein, which is usually found only in animal products. It’s also rich in folate, magnesium, and phosphorus, all vital ingredients for you-know-what. Get cooking with these 6 tasty quinoa recipes.
5. DON’T go more than 5 hours without eating.
Not because munching keeps you from dozing off at work but because frequent snacks keep blood sugar up, so you don’t crash or get ravenous and overeat. Always opt for carbs to supply cells with easy energy, plus protein to slow digestion, making the boost last.
6. DON’T overdo it on the java.
Aside from a morning cup, save caffeine for the rare times you really can’t focus or have to be alert to, say, drive for hours. If you go beyond that, your body starts expecting regular hits—and you end up feeling tired whenever you don’t feed the addiction.