If you’re not a coffee drinker, consider adding green tea to your morning routine. Green tea contains L-theanine, an amino acid that increases alpha brain waves. These brain waves are similar to the ones that happen when you spend time meditating, so your body responds by becoming more relaxed and calm. In turn, you are more focused. For a tea with more flavor, go for peppermint tea. Studies have found that the smell of peppermint can perk up your brain by reducing anxiety and fatigue. Try sipping on these brews in the afternoon if you’re trying to avoid the higher caffeine content of coffee.
Coffee and Spices
Of course, coffee is another option for increasing your alertness. The drink is famous for its ability to perk you up and help you focus and has also been linked to other health benefits. If you don’t mind the caffeine jolt, go for a cup of coffee when you find yourself in a slump. And for an extra boost, add a few sprinkles of cinnamon to your coffee. A recent study found that the smell of cinnamon can make you feel more alert and decrease frustration.
There’s good news for chocolate lovers! Dark chocolate has been shown to boost blood flow to the brain and stimulate the release of feel-good chemicals called neurotransmitters. That means dark chocolate may increase your alertness while simultaneously putting you in a good mood. Better yet, as little as one-third of an ounce of chocolate may help protect against age-related memory loss.
A recent study found that people who ate two or more daily servings of vegetables, especially leafy greens, had an increase in mental performance and focus that matched people five years their junior. This boost in alertness is just another reason to go for that salad at lunch.
Studies show that eating berries can boost your concentration and memory up to five hours after consumption. The antioxidants in berries increase blood flow to the brain, which in turn, makes mental tasks easier. In addition to a boost in alertness, the health benefits of berries also include a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s, so try adding darkly-pigmented fruits like blueberries to your oatmeal or snack on them in the afternoon.
We all know the health benefits of drinking lots of water. But, did you know that going for a glass of water can help you regain your focus? Studies show that dehydration can negatively affect your memory and brain function, so it’s important to stay hydrated. Adding a few drops of lemon to your water can improve your mental performance even more.
Try incorporating avocado into your meals or snacks to help clear a foggy brain. Avocados contain monounsaturated fats that support nerves in the brain and increase mental alertness. Add the healthy food to your burger at lunch, or snack on chips and guacamole when you’re feeling less alert.
Remember to get off to the right start with a healthy breakfast every day. Try eating whole grains, oatmeal, high-protein eggs, or fruit and nut mixes to help you stay focused all morning.