Everybody’s had that feeling: you start work energized, feeling great, and then all of a sudden your eyes begin to droop. You read the same line in the same email five times. Your reply to the email contains the words to the song you were just listening to instead of what you wanted to say. No matter what you do, you can’t shake it.
The reason you can’t shake it? It’s simple: you lost the battle before it even began. Your energy levels were determined by the foods you ate and are eating, and the difference between the right foods and the wrong foods are enough to make or break your day. With that in mind, here are a few food hacks that can supercharge your day faster than shotgunning a Red Bull (note: do not do that. It only ends in tears and jitters).
1) Eat Breakfast
This is the #1 rule that helps, and yet it’s one of the food hacks most people violate. I cannot stress how important eating breakfast is to your energy levels throughout the day. Even if you’re not hungry at all in the morning, you’ve got to eat something: a protein shake, a piece of toast, or some fruit will all do the job. Breakfast is critical for moving your body out of sleep and into wakefulness, and you’ll lag behind if you don’t give it the jump start it needs in the morning.
2) Cut Down On The Caffeine
This might seem counterintuitive. In fact, many people count caffeine on their own secret list of food hacks for energy. Caffeine is a tempting companion all day to ease our energy woes: caffeine junkies that crank out work for hours on end are all over movies and TV, right? They are- but they also firmly belong in the realm of fiction. The reality is that caffeine will give you a quick spike of energy that can help you be productive in the short term while causing you to crash in the long term.
A better method is to imbibe small, consistent amounts of caffeine throughout the day- make a large cup and sip it, for example, instead of pounding espresso shots when you feel your attention slipping. Trust me, your body will thank you for it.
3) Avoid Sugar
Sugar is an always-present temptation in almost every office, but it’s also one of the worst things you can put in your body if you’re looking to stay alert and productive. Sugary treats are often high in fat as well, and it gives you a one-two knockout punch: the fat in the candy bar will make you lethargic and counteract the temporary boost the sugar gives you, and it’ll only worsen the crash you’ll have when the sugar high wears off.
4) Eat Smaller, More Frequent Meals
Much like your caffeine intake, having one large meal at lunch will cause your energy levels to spike and then dive back down. Add this to your food hacks list instead: eat smaller, more frequent meals and keep your energy levels constant throughout the day so you don’t crash, even if that means giving up a large lunch in favor of smaller, healthier meals.
On a related note, it’s not a bad idea to snack either: whole grains and fruits are ideal for keeping you energized throughout the day, and it’s a good idea to have them on hand for keeping your energy levels stable all day long!
5) Stay Hydrated
One of our food hacks isn’t even really a food hack at all: sometimes your energy problem isn’t food related at all- it’s drink related! Dehydration is a major energy killer, as it reduces the body’s ability to transport nutrients and causes you to feel drained more quickly. Not to mention that sips of cold water trick your body into feeling more alert due to the temperature difference, so keeping hydrated is a no-brainer and can really help your afternoon doldrums!
Did these food hacks help? Share them to your friends! Or let us know your favorite food hacks in the comments!