Is there a point in your day when you feel drained? For some of us it happens around lunchtime; our eyes start to feel heavy and we're sure we can't make it to 5:00 without passing out at our desks. For others, the work week leaves us too drained to get out of bed on the weekends and we're left binge-watching Netflix in bed instead of spending the weekend out with friends and family. But before you overload on coffee or chug an energy drink, know that there are more healthful ways to give yourself that extra little push you need to get on with your day. You can actually eat yourself awake!
Alissa Rumsey, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, says that a healthy balance of protein and carbs is the way to go. The carbohydrates will give you quick energy, and the protein will help you feel full, making you less susceptible to the weakness and fatigue that comes from an empty stomach.
Rumsey also says that even though they're tempting, sugary snacks or caffeine-laden beverages are not a good choice when you're feeling tired. "While you may feel more alert initially," Rumsey says, "you get a quick drop soon after which can leave you [feeling] sluggish. Processed foods like white bread, white pasta, and other products that aren't whole grain can also cause your blood sugar to climb, followed by the inevitable crash that will make you feel tired. Energy drinks are not a good option — while these may give you a temporary boost of energy, as soon as the caffeine buzz wears off you'll feel exhausted again. They are also high in sugar, which makes the crash afterwards more apparent."
So, what do you eat to wake yourself up then? If you're looking for some meals and snacks that will fill you up but won't make you feel like lapsing into a food coma, try these healthy and delicious options.
Check out the slideshow above to learn which foods fight fatigue.