You don’t have to rely on your sixth cup of coffee to get through the day. While you may worry a mid-day meal will tank your desire to work, certain foods have actually been proven to boost productivity.
Still not convinced? Learn about the seven foods below and how they can provide that natural push of energy you so desperately need.
1. Dark Chocolate
Who doesn’t love chocolate? Dating back to 2,000 B.C., the Maya in Central America would drink chocolate in the form of a bitter, fermented beverage sometimes mixed with wine. Today, it’s a tasty treat often enjoyed on holidays like Easter and Halloween.
Dark chocolate is made up of 50 to 90% cocoa solids — compared to only 10 to 15% in milk chocolate. These cocoa solids naturally contain caffeine, helping you stay alert and focused. Two ounces of 70% dark chocolate contains 50 to 60 milligrams of caffeine, equivalent to half an eight-ounce cup of coffee.
2. Roast Beef
Protein and other nutrients are what help you feel energized, build muscle and function normally. And one ounce of roast beef has more than seven grams of protein.
Roast beef is chock full of the vitamins and nutrients we need to feel naturally energized throughout the day, including protein, fat, carbohydrates, iron and vitamin B-12.
Roast beef also contains vitamin B-12, essential to the body’s process of converting food into energy. If you’re deficient in B-12, you may feel weak, tired and even lightheaded. Eating three ounces of roast beef will provide all the B-12 you need for the day.
Beer is 90% water — something everyone needs to survive — and contains ingredients like barley, hops, and yeast. Beer offers more nutritional value than many other alcoholic drinks with antioxidants and flavonoids in the form of barley and hops.
Beer is also rich in protein, vitamin B, iron, phosphates, fiber and more — all needed for a healthy, functioning body. Researchers say that moderate beer drinkers are 23% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s and dementia compared to their non-drinking counterparts.
4. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is a key source of vitamins and nutrients needed for a healthy and productive lifestyle. This tasty and versatile food — which can be eaten plain, mixed with berries, sprinkled with granola, etc. — is packed with protein, which prevents fatigue, builds muscle and aids cell growth.
It’s also a source of B-12, an essential vitamin which pulls energy from the foods you eat. Other key nutrients like iodine and calcium assist with proper metabolism function and limit fat production in the body, allowing you to feel more energized, lose weight and stay fit.
Ginger is a natural source of nutrients like protein, carbohydrates, iron, vitamin C, potassium and more. All of these are required for healthy and normal body function, including natural energy production. Research has also found ginger promotes natural energy through adrenaline secretion, making you feel more awake, alert and focused.
This root can be eaten in a variety of ways — consumed fresh, dried as a spice, in oil form and even as juice. Fresh or dried ginger is a great way to add flavor to food and drinks without using salt or sugar.
We know — water isn’t a very “surprising” food. Hear us out.
According to a survey, 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated — and not because we aren’t drinking enough water. But we eat diets high in sodium, which can offset the water we do drink.
Dehydration is actually one of the most common preventable medical problems in the world, causing symptoms like sleepiness, lack of energy, headaches and more.
To boost your productivity and feel more energized, cut out sodium-rich foods and introduce more water into your daily routine. Try drinking a full glass before every meal or using a marked water bottle to visually track your progress.
How to Boost Productivity With Food
We’re all prone to feeling tired — especially in the middle of the workday. If you’ve been plotting ways to sneak in a nap, you’re not the only one. But if you plan your meals and eat the right foods, you don’t have to relegate yourself to exhaustion.
Instead of sipping coffee, take a bite of dark chocolate for a natural caffeine boost. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and don’t forget to relax with a beer now and again, specifically one rich in protein. And never forget the importance of B-12, found in tasty foods like roast beef and Greek yogurt, which help turn your food into a natural boost of energy.