When it comes time to hone in and focus on a project at work, most guys reach for an espresso or (yet another) black coffee to stay sharp throughout the day. As effective as this can be, a better long-term approach is reaching for whole foods to keep you on your A-game, says Robyn Coale, R.D. “Caffeine stimulates us, but actually ends up taking more [from our body] than what we get through that process by stressing the adrenal glands,” Coale says. “We want to be getting stimulation from nutrient-dense, plant-based foods instead.”
A combination of healthy fats, protein, and carbs consumed together is what replenishes energy levels. If you aim for a mix of carbs, fat, and protein at each meal and snack, you won’t have to worry about crashing and losing focus during the day. The other key to staying alert without caffeine is to eat every two to three hours. By doing this, you maintain your blood sugar levels.
These general guidelines, along with incorporating some brain-boosting foods in your diet, will help you stay alert sans caffeine.