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While all of the above will help you feel better throughout the day, there are also foods you should avoid if you find that you're feeling sluggish more often than you'd like.

Avoid large, high-fat meals. Fats stay in the stomach longer, diverting blood away from your brain, muscles, and other tissues, which in turn can make you feel sluggish for up to six hours.

Break the bread-first habit. Swig down some milk or bite into that salmon -- protein primes the brain to produce dopamine, a chemical that keeps you alert. Carbohydrates, on the other hand, cause the body to release serotonin, a calming brain chemical.

Have at least one iron-rich food per day. Iron helps transport oxygen to your tissues. Good sources of iron include red meats, the dark meat of chicken or turkey, oysters, clams, iron-enriched breads and cereals, raisins, dried apricots, and legumes.

Don't eat too little. Many people deserve far more calories than they think. Most active people can consume 2,000 to 2,400 calories per day and still maintain the same body weight.

Watch your intake of alcohol and coffee. Alcohol is a sedative that can also cause dehydration. Coffee can pep you up in the short term, but can cause you to drop like a ton of bricks later on. Counter every glass of alcohol or coffee with one glass of water.


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