Sometimes you just need a little jolt of energy, whether it's to help get you moving in the morning or to power you through the final hours of the workday. The problem is we too often reach for the wrong pick-me-ups, says Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, author of From Fatigued to Fantastic. "Some things, such as sugar, are energy loan sharks," he says. "They step on the gas pedal to make you go, but they don't put any gas in your tank to keep your energized." Case in point: If you guzzle an energy drink, which is packed with sugar, you'll get an insta-rush followed shortly by a crash. Instead of such faux fixes, you need things that'll nourish your body and help it produce energy on its own. Here are 10 easy ways to energize naturally.
Eating a small piece of chocolate can give you a quick, natural energy boost, says Teitelbaum. Chocolate contains a modest amount of caffeine, along with theobromine, caffeine's gentler cousin. Plus, in moderation, it isn't as bad for you as you think. "People don't realize that chocolate is a health food," he says. "It's full of phenols and other antioxidants that keep the heart and brain healthy." The darker the chocolate the more nutrients, caffeine, and theobromine you'll get. But Teitelbaum says even breaking off a few squares of a milk-chocolate Hershey's bar can do the trick. Just don't eat more than 1 ounce a day — that's a little more than half of your average bar — because chocolate still has a lot of sugar and fat.
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