For most of us, an energy boost at the office comes in the form of coffee or, God forbid, a high-sugar, high caffeine energy drink. Luckily, there are other (healthy) alternatives that you can grab to give you an instant pick-me-up that don’t require preparation time or much money. Here are a few of the best:
Although oranges are (unfortunately, due to the modern marvel of globalisation) one of those fruits that are available all year round, if you are in the Northern Hemisphere, these babies are just coming into season.
It is no secret that oranges and citrus fruits generally are packed full of Vitamin C. On top of this though, apparently the simple act of simply smelling citrus, be it a lemon, orange or even some essential citrus oils, can revitalise the senses and stimulate alertness.
Walnuts don’t just look like mini brains, they are a brain super food. These nuts are packed with anti-inflammatory nutrients and are an excellent source of alpha linolenic acid (ALA), helping to promote blood flow, allowing efficient delivery of oxygen to the brain. Hello afternoon to-do list!
Switch out your daily apple of banana for berries. With this fruit, the darker the better. The benefits of these guys on brain health is long established. The latest research now suggests also that a diet high in berries is linked to a slower mental decline in areas like memory and focus.
A couple of squares of this stuff (think at least 70% cocoa, preferably 85%) will not only satisfy the 3pm sweet tooth craving, the flavanols found in cocoa can cause a surge of blood flow to the brain, resulting in increased levels of alertness and new-found determination. Go easy on this one though. We all know that too much of a good thing can be bad.
Kind of a no-brainer, but I needed to throw this one in there for good measure. If you are drinking coffee (and tea) throughout the day, plus attending meetings and the usual running around, you are constantly susceptible to dehydration. When we become dehydrated, our brain tissue actually shrinks. Being dehydrated means more than just being thirsty, it can also affect cognitive function. Make sure you sip water throughout the day to avoid this.
Try these alternatives next time you reach for that bottle of Coke, fifth cup of coffee or can of Red Bull. Getting your stimulation naturally is always preferable to artificial fixes, and healthier too.