Energy Boosters in the Office Vending Machine
Need a pickup? Gather your loose change and head to the pantry.
All-Natural Performance Enhancers
You've been hearing it through the grapevine for years: Raisins, which are almost three-quarters sugar by weight, are a great way to perk up fast. And should you be running a corporate challenge or playing your company's rival softball team after work, those dried grapes have been found to boost athletic performance just as well as pricey sports chews
Mood Lifters That Will Remind You of Your Hawaiian Vacation
The raisin's tropical cousins, dehydrated pineapple
and papaya, are also high in natural sugar (note: Many brands also sprinkle these sweet nuggets with granulated sugar), so they'll deliver a quick hit of energy. Papayas are also high in vitamin B6 and folic acid, which have been found to be lacking in studies in patients who suffer from depression.
A Quaffable Coffee Alternative
You've already met your mug-a-day quota, but you're looking for something a little more exciting than water. Pass over the soda (too much added sugar) and the energy drinks (too much caffeine, as well as other jitter-inducing mystery ingredients) and reach instead for a bottle of green tea
, preferably unsweetened. Many brands have about one quarter to one third the amount of caffeine
of a serving of brewed coffee, so they'll nudge you awake without affecting your sleep later on.
Energy Sustainers That Come in Different Shapes and Sizes
Are you getting your 320 mg of magnesium per day
(for men, that's 420 mg/day)? If you're way under that limit, it could explain why you feel so depleted after walking upstairs to the copy machine. Magnesium is critical for processes like energy metabolism, and research nutritionist Forrest H. Nielsen, PhD, has found that magnesium deficiencies can make physical activity feel much more taxing than it should. Almonds, cashews, peanuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are all terrific sources—and conveniently, are often packaged together.
End-of-Workday Cookies For Carbaholics
If you're one of those people who crave carbs in the late afternoon, pick up a pack of Fig Newtons. Carbs can help some people's brain produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates moods, explains Judith Wurtman, PhD, a co-author of The Serotonin Power Diet
. Sweet and starchy snacks like these Newtons (40 grams carbs)
are easy to digest, and the dried figs are densely packed with potassium as well as natural sugar.
Best Bet Slump Busters
If only all vending machines were stocked with doctor-approved, flavonol-rich chocolate made with at least 70 percent cocoa
. But although humble peanut M&Ms aren't considered as "healthy," they'll provide the sugar, as well as small amounts of magnesium and caffeine, to get you through the afternoon.
Next: Perfect snacks for the anxious, the stressed and the tired