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Women's Health

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Instant Energizers

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


4. Eat Before You Exercise

After a long day of work or a long night's rest, you need an energy boost before heading to the gym.

"The best pre- and postworkout snacks contain low-fat protein and carbohydrate," says Moore.

Protein helps your body repair muscle tissue, and carbohydrates give you fuel to help your body perform the physical activity and replenish blood glucose afterward.

"Make sure the foods you eat before working out are easily digested," says O'Neil, who recommends keeping the snack small.

Also, don't forget to drink plenty of water before, during, and after physical activity. O'Neil also recommends drinking an enhanced water or a small container of sports drink, to help keep you hydrated and give you a bit of sugar for energy.

Here are some healthy snacks for before or after a workout:

  • Low-fat yogurt and whole-grain cereal or crackers
  • Small container of natural applesauce and a handful of nuts
  • Bananas, to provide quick energy plus potassium for muscles
  • Dried fruit and nuts
  • A fruit smoothie
  • Low-fat cheese and a piece of fruit
  • Whole-grain toast with nut butter

5. Get Moving

One reason your energy is flagging at work could be the fact that you've been sitting in the same chair hour after hour, without moving much more than your fingers.

"Get up out of your chair and move around at least a few minutes every hour," advises Moore.

Instead of sending an email, go to your colleague's office. Schedule a walking meeting. Take the stairs to the restroom a few floors away. Just find a reason to move around and be more active. And don't think of it as wasting time. It could well help you be more productive.

"Engaging in small bursts of physical activity can be very energizing and help you overcome a slump and think more clearly," Moore says.

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Reviewed on October 12, 2006

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