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Instant Energizers

Fatigue-busting tips to boost your energy at work or the gym.


"An added bonus is, tea is loaded with antioxidants and other health-promoting substances," O'Neil says.

Stock your pantry, briefcase, or desk with a variety of tea flavors and individually packed, simple cookies or 100-calorie snack packs so you can enjoy your very own "afternoon tea" time.

2. Bed and Breakfast

First off, you need a good night's sleep -- if you're sleep-deprived, it's going to be challenging to overcome energy lulls with anything other than a nap. Then, be sure to get your blood sugar perking with a healthy breakfast.

"Many people skip breakfast and this usually leads to a midmorning slump," says Marissa Moore, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.

A bowl of whole-grain cereal, fruit, and low-fat milk makes a quick, healthy breakfast. If you just don't have time to sit down, whip up a smoothie or grab a breakfast bar, banana, or yogurt.

3. Grab a (Balanced) Snack

A balanced snack could be exactly what you need to rev up your energy levels. But not any snack will do the trick: "Think carbohydrates and protein," says Moore.

Some foods, like fruit, are simple carbohydrates that are easily absorbed and result in a quick rise in blood sugar and energy. Fruit also has the benefit of containing water, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. But if you add some low-fat or lean protein to your fruit, you've got a snack that can provide a steady stream of energy for several hours.

Plan ahead and take along one or more of these energizing snacks:

  • Apples with peanut butter
  • Hummus (or other low-fat dip) and vegetables
  • String cheese (or any kind of low-fat cheese) and whole-grain crackers
  • 100-calorie packs of popcorn, crackers, or simple cookies
  • Sugar-free cocoa with an added splash of skim milk
  • Rice cakes with nut butter
  • Low-fat yogurt and fruit
  • Hard-boiled egg and a glass of juice
  • Glass of skim milk and graham crackers
  • Fruit smoothie
  • Low-sugar granola or cereal bar
  • Mini whole-wheat bagel and soft cheese
  • Trail mix of dried fruit and nuts

Of course, snacks also add calories. Keep your portions small, so you'll get the energy boost without weight gain.

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