Funny during the whole stretch of the semester break, you were ready to rock all day long. But now that school is about to start again, you will again wake up dog-tired and drag all morning. Come afternoon, you will barely keep your eyelids propped open in English. By soccer practice, your arms and legs feel as heavy as a soggy sneaker. But you don’t have to take sluggish days lying down. Rejuvenating yourself is as easy as these six simple lifestyle switches…
Chow Down Regularly. Food is fuel for your body. And, no, that doesn’t mean downing Chippy or La-La; it means nutritious snacks and meals. It’s easy to get busy that you even forget to eat. But when it comes to your packed schedule –especially if it involves activity of any kind, you need the kind of fuel that food has to offer.
To keep your energy level on an even keel throughout the day, chow on something every three or four hours. Nuts, fruits and easy-to-eat veggies, potato sticks, are excellent snacks. Stick to well-rounded meals that include proteins like chicken, fish, meat or beans, along with good fats, like olive oil, and good carbs, such as veggies, fruits, and whole-grain breads and pasta.
Eat Good Carbs. Wondering what the heck a carb is? Carbs, short for carbohydrates, is the scientific name for a major ingredient in veggies, fruits, grains and beans. Veggies, grains, and beans can also contain protein and fats, but they tend to have a higher amount of carbs than, say, meat, which has more protein.
With all those no-carb, low-carb products out there, you’d think carbs are evil. Not so! In fact, all active people, like us students, need carbs to fuel our movements. Muscle cells work nonstop and need a steady flow of glucose – also known as digested carbohydrates – pouring in.
If you lack, carbs, you can get fatigued, dizzy and moody –your drive falls flat. Carbohydrate-rich foods keep you revved. All foods give you energy, but carbs do it especially fast.
Exactly what carbs you should eat depends on your energy level. If you’re sluggish pump, pump quick energy into your system by eating simple carbohydrates. These foods break down the fastest, quickly raising blood sugar and energy levels. Fruits and carbohydrate-rich sports drink like Gatorade, are excellent for keeping you going.
Drink Up! Sleepiness and fatigue can be signs of dehydration, so drink plenty of water throughout the day. Choose water over calorie-filled soft drinks and juices. Save the sweet stuff for an occasional treat.
De-Caffeinate Yourself. Drinks like Red Bull, Mountain Dew, cola and coffee are loaded with buzz-giving caffeine. A little can help you be alert, but it’s easy to develop a tolerance, requiring more and more to get the same jolt. If you cut back, your body shows signs of caffeine withdrawal, like headaches, crankiness and sleepiness.
Break the caffeine cycle by shifting to water and juice. Already addicted? Cut back slowly. Go from three sodas a day to one, for example. Or go for weaker versions of caffeinated drinks, like tea.
Avoid the Sugar Roller Coaster. Too much high-sugar food, like candy, soft drinks, juices and ice cream, can give some people a quick energy burst followed by a blood sugar drop that makes them want to curl up for a nap. Re-train your taste buds to go for more complex, natural sweet like fruits.
Get Your Zzz’s. Sleep plays a huge role in how energized you feel. Surfing the Web into the wee hours coupled with an early-morning alarm clock is a recipe for lethargy. Hate to break it to you, but getting to bed at a decent hour has an important purpose: Sleep is needed downtime for your body to rejuvenate. So get some shut-eye for your next day in school!