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Women's Health

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6 Quick Ways to Boost Energy

WebMD Feature
Reviewed by David Kiefer, MD

Are you all too familiar with the afternoon slump? Even after a decent night’s sleep, you might still find yourself struggling to power through the day.

Kick your energy level up a notch with these tips. You won't feel wired when it’s time to wind down, either.

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By Sarah Mahoney How to quit nitpicking It's not even noon on a Sunday, and I've been biting my tongue all morning. When my husband sat down to Web surf two hours ago, I resisted the urge to remind him that he had promised to clean the basement. I held my tongue again when our 13-year-old trashed the kitchen while creating his "it's due tomorrow!" science project. And I even managed to stifle myself when my teenage daughter left a plate in the sink instead of reaching 18 inches...

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Start Your Day With Fiber

The type of breakfast you choose can mean the difference between feeling sluggish or full steam ahead.

“It's really important to think of food as your fuel,” says Jessica Crandall, CDE, a Colorado-based registered dietitian.

Meals with the most oomph are packed with both fiber and protein, a combo that keeps your tummy feeling full and your blood sugar steady. By contrast, when you eat low-fiber grains, your blood sugar spikes, then drops a short time later, leading to an energy crash.

For a power-packed morning meal, try eggs and multigrain toast, or oatmeal with a side of yogurt and berries.

Or nosh on nuts, which are rich in fiber and protein “Add a few nuts on top of your cereal or your yogurt parfait,” says Joan Salge Blake, RDN, a clinical associate professor of nutrition at Boston University.

Take Lots of Short Breaks

This can make you more productive by helping you avoid burnout.

“It’s okay to say, 'I need to take a few minutes to refresh myself,'” says Wanda D. Filer, MD, a family doctor in York, PA.

Researchers at Louisiana State University say workers who take several short breaks throughout the day work more quickly -- and make fewer mistakes -- than those who take just one or two longer breaks.

Snack Right

Is your stomach growling? Don’t just dash to the vending machine. Simple carbs and sugars, like those found in candy and chips, will raise your blood sugar for a short-lived boost, then leave you feeling drowsy and still hungry for the rest of the day.

Instead, go for high-fiber, high-protein options like trail mix or energy bars. Bring a snack from home.

“Try an apple or banana with peanut butter,” Crandall says, “or nuts, or whole-grain crackers with string cheese.”

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