These research-proven pick-me-ups will get you going and keep you charged, even if you’ve had too little sleep. Have a Protein-Powered Breakfast Toast alone or even a granola bar won’t do it. You need protein to feel full and satisfied and to avoid the blood sugar roller coaster an all-carb meal triggers, which leaves you feeling tired and cranky. “You can make and eat a fatigue-beating breakfast in five minutes, which is probably all the time you’ll have on a morning when you’re tired and have slept in as late as possible,” says registered dietitian Elizabeth Somer. But protein doesn’t mean bacon, eggs, and sausage (as if you’d have time for these, anyway). Somer’s suggestions: whole-grain toast with peanut butter and a banana; whole-grain cereal with low- or non-fat milk and fruit; low-fat plain yogurt with berries, granola, and a handful of nuts.
Sip Water If you’re dehydrated, you’ll feel more blah, and you may function less well, too. A small Swiss study found that when volunteers were deprived of water (in this case, for 24 hours), they were nearly twice as tired and one-third less alert. They also had to work twice as hard at a series of cognitive tests. It’s unlikely you’d be that dehydrated, but to stay on par, sip frequently. Don’t gulp, though — your body can’t absorb too much at a time. “Drink a lot of water quickly and your kidneys just filter much of it out of your bloodstream and eliminate it before your body can use it all,” says Somer.