How will sugar, water, and stimulants affect my work during the day?

Poor nutrition can be as draining as the wrong diet, and the consequences can sneak up on you. If you’re constantly dragging, and you suffer headaches or an inability to get enough sleep despite following proper sleep habits, you may be suffering from a nutritional deficiency.

Sometimes, all you have to do to power up your energy is to recognize the symptoms of nutritional imbalances, and then to take steps to address them. These tips can help you with that.

1. Get a good balance of essential nutrients. Things can go wrong with your body if you don’t make sure it gets all it needs to function right. Check your symptoms, and eat more of what you might be lacking. Vitamins may be in order, too.

2. Replace favorite foods with metabolism-boosting substitutes. Too much sugar can activate your appetite instead of control it. Try an egg-white omelet in the morning instead of cereal, or a protein shake in the afternoon.

3. Hydrate yourself. If you feel like you’re drained dry, maybe you are. While technically not a nutrient, we don’t get all the water we need from the food we eat, so supplementation is essential.

4. Steer clear of stimulants. There’s no doubt that stimulants perk you up, but they do it in a way that you have to pay for later. Even legal stimulants trigger a “fight-or-flight” reflex that releases stress hormones, followed by a big energy slump.

5. Limit your alcohol consumption. Will the occasional beer or glass of wine with dinner hurt you? Not really, but alcohol is a depressant; too much at any one time can negatively impact your energy level for a day or more.

6. Stop smoking! Not only does the kickback from nicotine cause a short-term energy loss, in the long term, smoking can damage your lungs, decreasing your ability to take in oxygen — a vital energy fuel.

7. Focus on convenience. If you’re working hard to increase your energy level through good nutritional habits, make it easier to succeed. Start by limiting the worst energy stealers in your environment, and make it convenient to eat right.

8. Clear your house of junk. Get rid of those temptations! Keep sugary and high-fat snacks out of your cupboard, both at work and at home, and clear out the liquor cabinet, too. Don’t forget to throw out the cigarettes while you’re at it.

Your body needs certain food and nutrients for repair, growth, and energy. If you’re not getting all you need, you’ll eventually run down. So learn to overcome your poor nutritional habits, or you’ll pay the metabolic price.

© 2008 Laura Stack. Laura Stack is a personal productivity expert, author, and professional speaker who helps busy workers Leave the Office Earlier® with Maximum Results in Minimum Time™. She is the president of The Productivity Pro®, Inc., a time management training firm specializing in productivity improvement in high-stress organizations. Since 1992, Laura has presented keynotes and seminars on improving output, lowering stress, and saving time in today’s workplaces. She is the bestselling author of three works published by Broadway Books: The Exhaustion Cure (2008), Find More Time (2006) and Leave the Office Earlier (2004). Laura is a spokesperson for Microsoft, 3M, and Day-Timers®, Inc and has been featured on the CBS Early Show, CNN, and the New York Times. Her clients include Cisco Systems, Sunoco, KPMG, Nationwide, and 3M. To have Laura speak at your next event, call 303-471-7401. Visit <> to sign up for her free monthly productivity newsletter.