What to Eat Before a Busy Day

Eat 2 cups spinach with 3 ounces chicken breast, 1∕2 cup chickpeas, and 1∕3 cup mandarin orange segments; 1 whole-wheat roll; 1 cup green tea.

Why spinach with chicken, chickpeas, and oranges?

Spinach is a top vegetarian source of iron. "This mineral helps blood cells ferry oxygen throughout the body to fight fatigue and brain fog," says Somer. To boost the absorption, power up your greens with orange slices, which contain vitamin C. Chicken and chickpeas will help you work more efficiently too: "Protein prompts your brain to produce norepinephrine and dopamine, chemical messengers that promote alertness," says Somer.

Why a whole-wheat roll?

Forget going low-carb when you need to think fast. Researchers at Tufts University found that people scored lower on memory and logic tests when they avoided the stuff. "Whole grains provide a steady supply of glucose," explains Koff. "That's the brain's primary source of fuel."

Why green tea?

Power up with green tea, not soda, and you'll get a hit of stimulating caffeine and L-theanine, an amino acid that can boost alertness. A study in the journal Appetite found that these compounds improved reaction times. Try fresh brewed, sans sugar.

ARTICLE: Get Off-The-Charts Energy

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