Why I Don't Recommend Energy Drinks:
Energy drinks are there to supplement energy that we have lost from having a hectic lifestyle, busy workload, being a full time student, and overall life events that weigh us down. I know that we can become bogged down from having a busy schedule and running on little to know sleep but if you want to be a clean running machine, then you have to remember to take care of your body. Here are some tips on how to conserve your energy and make the most out of your day:
- DON'T CRAM! A planner is your best friend, trust me! Look at all your syllabi's now and write down all your test, projects, and papers in a planner NOW! Waiting until the last minute to complete a task is surefire way to exhaust yourself. Here is an example of my planner for the month of September. When you have your academic priorities in FIRST (such as your study days or when to start researching and writing a paper) then it is easier to plan for a successful and less stressful semester.
- TONE DOWN YOUR WORKLOAD! You are in school to learn, earn a degree, and attain life skills for a career. If you are in many organizations, then pick and choose which one has more importance to you. Don't feel bad because you have to turn down the Dog Walker's Association because you have to do community service for your Business Association. On that same note, try not to spread yourself too thin. Unless required, do not attend all the service or social events your organization or club is doing. Surely, there are ways to remain a member and NOT go to everything.
- WORKOUT! If you have time of course. Regular physical fitness can actually boost your energy and fights fatigue. Instead of reaching for a cup of coffee or an energy drink, try lacing up your tennis shoes and go for a quick jog on a free Saturday. But, be careful because too much exercise has the exact opposite effect and will cause muscle fatigue, muscle damage, and exhaustion.
- SLEEP! Make time to sleep. If you follow the two steps above, there should be at least 5 hours a day you can commit to sleeping. If you can, sneak to a quiet section in your library and take a quick nap.
- EAT A HEALTHY DIET! In short, if you eat crap, then you feel like crap! Don't stuff your body with calorie heavy and nutrient low greasy or fried foods. The same goes with alcohol, boozing too much will lead you to lose precious time nursing a hangover-time that could have been spent studying.
- Breakfast: duh! You can't start your day right on an empty stomach. Try scrambled eggs with a side of whole wheat toast or a fruit salad for a quick and filling breakfast.
- Ask any fad dieter and they will tell you that carbs are the devil. However, carbohydrates are the body's preferred energy source and they raise serotonin levels. Serotonin is a hormone that plays an important role in energy, sleep, and mood. Like I always say, make sure you are eating "good carbs" such as whole grains, brown rice, and oats which absorb in the body more slowly thereby keeping your blood sugar and energy levels stable. When you reach for sweets, they cause your blood sugar to spike, making you feel more tired.
- Cashews and almonds: not only are nuts rich in protein but they are a vital source of magnesium, a mineral that converts sugar and energy.
- Drink water: staying hydrated will stop you from being tired. There is also some science that suggests that even mild dehydration slows your metabolism and drains your energy.
- Citrus fruits: have you ever ate an orange or a grapefruit and didn't feel an immediate energy boost? Plus, thee vitamin C in these delicious fruits can help you recover from a cold-but not prevent it! Hey, even the smell of fresh citrus wakes me up!
- Dark chocolate: this is a plus for chocolate lovers such as myself since the flavanoids in dark chocolate are known to boost energy and mood!
In all, with good planning tips and a healthy lifestyle, you can combat any energy slump that comes your way. If you have any tips on what works, feel free to mention them in the comment box below.
-Eating Clean in College