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Diet and Recipe Articles
Learn easy ways to get your body going.

by Hallie Levine

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Here's five fast ways to maximize your energy. These hints are for everyone--whether you want to counteract a sluggish feeling at the end of the day, or you want to maintain high energy levels while working out.

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Try Rhodiola
You've heard that ginseng is energizing, but the herb rhodiola, available in health food stores, may also increase brain chemicals that stimulate your central nervous system and increase alertness. One Russian study found that people who took rhodiola reported higher levels of physical fitness, better coordination, and less mental fatigue. Try 100 mg twice a day.

Drink Up
"Half of the people who come to me complaining of fatigue are actually dehydrated," says Woodson Merrell, MD, executive director of the Continuum Center for Health and Healing at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. Aim to drink eight glasses of water a day. (Yes, this health cliché works.)

Skip the Gym
If you're already exhausted, don't head to the gym. If you're physically fatigued, exercise will make you feel worse. Instead, take a nap--or at least a break.

Borrow Your Kid's Lunch
...but only if it's a banana and peanut butter sandwich. Bananas pack potassium, a mineral your body needs to convert sugar in your blood into energy, says energy expert Susan Lark, MD, author of The Chemistry of Success: Six Secrets of Peak Performance. The peanut butter is high in magnesium, which gives your cells much-needed energy. Aim for 400 mg of magnesium and 3,500 mg of potassium daily. Other good choices: fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts.

See Your Doctor About Sinusitis
That worn-out and achy feeling may be due to sinus problems, not true fatigue. A recent Georgetown University survey of almost 300 patients found that those who reported unexplained chronic fatigue were nine times more likely to have sinusitis symptoms (such as facial pressure, nasal congestion, and headache) than were those who felt rested and well. Clearing them up helped the fatigue


Hallie Levine is a freelance writer in New York City who has written about health and fitness for more than 20 national publications, including Glamour, Newsweek, and the New York Post.

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