Let’s be honest, we all have those days that we want (need) five more minutes of sleep in the morning (guilty!), but if rolling out of bed feels like torture every single day it may be time to change your routine. Rather than downing another cup of coffee, there are certain foods that can help you feel more awake.
Here’s what to reach for next time you find yourself yawning long before it’s time for bed!
Two-thirds of your body is made up of water, and many basic body functions rely on this simple substance to run smoothly. Because of this, fatigue is often a sign of dehydration. Stay hydrated by starting your morning with water and keeping a bottle handy throughout the day. If you struggle to drink your 8 cups a day, try adding lemon and mint or sipping coconut water.
Protein, the building block of muscles, also contains amino acids to help you feel alert. Choose lean proteins, (such as seafood, poultry, eggs, edamame, nuts and seeds, beans and peas) over those high in saturated fat. Foods high in fat, like burgers, take a lot of energy to digest and can leave you feeling zapped of energy.
3. CITRUS FRUITS
Citrus fruits boast the power of flavonoids and vitamin C, which both help alleviate a constant feeling of exhaustion or tiredness. While Vitamin C is a miracle worker, it’s actually the citrus scent that can help to cure chronic fatigue. Since smelling oranges, lemons, and limes stimulate alertness, grab your favorite fruit and eat up!
4. MAGNESIUM-RICH FOODS
Magnesium may be the most overlooked mineral, but the body uses is it in more than 300 reactions – many of which give you energy. A chronic lack of magnesium in the body yields many consequences – including low energy levels. Magnesium is vital to energy production, and symptoms of magnesium deficiency include fatigue, weakness, anxiety, and irritability. Aim for 310 to 420 milligrams of magnesium per day, which can be found in leafy green vegetables (cooked spinach has 157mg per cup), pumpkin seeds (156mg per ounce), black beans (120mg per cup) and oatmeal (63mg per cup), to name a few. (Note that vegetarian sources of iron are not absorbed very well unless they’re accompanied by a source of vitamin C—yet another reason to add veggies to your meal!).
5. DARK CHOCOLATE
We saved the best for last! A little piece of dark chocolate could be just the boost you need. A recent study found that eating a tiny amount of dark chocolate helps fight fatigue. The amount that worked in the study was tiny — just half a square — but if it’s good quality chocolate (look for at least 70% cacao), a small square will go a long way. Bonus – cacao (what chocolate is made from) is one of the richest sources of magnesium.