Bounce Back After a Bad Night's Sleep
Eat for All-Day Energy
After a rough night, skip the energy-drink IV in favor of revitalizing nutrients. "It's amazing how eating the right foods can help you make it through the day," says Lauren Antonucci, RD, the director of Nutrition Energy, a private nutrition-counseling service in New York City. Her meal plan will keep you revved -- and full -- until dinner.
When you wake up: Dehydration compounds fatigue, so down two glasses of water first thing. Aim to sip half your body weight in fluid ounces by bedtime (for a 145-pound woman, that's 72.5 ounces, or about nine cups).
Breakfast: Go for eggs, scrambled or hard-boiled. "They're one of the most absorbable types of protein, with just the right amount of fats and a dose of energy-boosting B vitamins," Antonucci says. For staying power, add healthy carbs, like a slice of whole-grain toast and some fruit. A hit of caffeine will kick-start your day; if java makes you jittery, grab a mug of green tea. It has some caffeine, plus a compound called epigallocatechin, which, studies show, produces a relaxed and attentive state.
Midmorning: Improve your focus with a handful of mixed nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, and peanuts. The protein provides a jolt of energy, while the combo of filling fiber and omega-3 fatty acids tides you over until lunch.
Lunch: Build your meal out of lean protein, slow-burning complex carbs, and healthy fats -- try a skinless chicken breast with a broccoli, black bean, and quinoa salad -- to power through the next few hours.
Late afternoon: Chips or chocolate chip cookies may sound awfully good right about now, but after causing a quick spike in your energy level, they will send it crashing. For a steady, long-lasting pick-me-up, choose nutrient-rich high-fiber foods like hummus with a whole-grain pita or baby carrots.
-- Chloe Metzger
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, November/December 2013.
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