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Get Energized For Your Workouts

Long days at work can zap your energy, but when exercise is still on your to-do list, you can't run out of steam. Make sure your meals are giving you a boost -- and not a brain-drain. Here's what to keep in mind:

What to Eat

1. Eat three meals a day (don't skip!) Food is energy.

2. Center every meal around a lean protein such as chicken, turkey, fish, light cheese, cottage cheese or peanut butter. High-protein foods will help keep you from getting hungry and slowing down between meals. (If you're hungry and tired two hours after you eat, chances are you didn't get enough protein.)

3. Opt for whole grains whenever possible. Complex carbs take longer to digest and they supply you with more energy than simple carbs do.

4. Use the same principals when you snack. Good bets: Apples dipped in peanut butter, mixed nuts, or granola.

What to Avoid

5. Stay away from processed or fatty foods that have little nutritional value and offer you less energy potential.

6. Salt can make you retain water and feel bloated. Avoid highly processed foods and hors d'oeuvres, which can often have a high salt content.

7. Too many drinks can dehydrate you or give you a headache -- neither of which is good for staying on top of your game. Alternate alcoholic beverages with non-alcoholic ones.

8. Limit yourself to one cup of coffee or other caffeinated beverage a day. Too much caffeine can make you feel weak or jittery.

Check out our Activity Calculator and see how many calories you're burning

Get more diet and fitness tips from the experts at The Nest

-- Justin Hartung

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