Schedule your meals for optimum energy and productivity

The markets may crash, but you never should—the guys at the top of their game are the ones as alert at the close of business as they are at 9 A.M. Maintaining a routine of eating three to five times a day can keep your energy levels constant and your metabolism humming. Try this schedule, straight from nutritional experts.

6 A.M.: Start your day with an eight-ounce glass of water, says dietitian Cheryl Forberg, the author of Flavor First, Cut Calories and Boost Flavor. "After a full night's sleep, you'll be dehydrated, which can make you feel fatigued. A glass of water will give you a burst of energy and help you choose wisely at breakfast because your stomach won't feel as empty."

8 A.M.: Breakfast is "the perfect way to jump-start your metabolism," says dietitian Keri Glassman, the founder of Nutritious Life in New York City. Her eat-smart suggestions: A cheesy egg sandwich (one whole egg and three egg whites, two slices of whole-wheat toast, one ounce of lean ham, and a slice of American or Cheddar cheese); the protein-rich combo provides a healthy dose of brain-boosting choline. Or mix one cup of protein-rich plain Greek yogurt, 15 chopped omega-3-packed walnuts, and a cup of blueberries.

11 A.M.: Try a handful of raw almonds and a banana if your energy feels low, suggests dietitian Christian Henderson, the founder of Pure Nutrition in New York City.

1 P.M.: "Lunch should be a combination of healthy, unprocessed protein, fat, and carbs to help keep blood sugar stable and prevent that mid-afternoon energy slump," says Jeffrey Morrison, M.D. For an average workday meal, he recommends grilled chicken over arugula with slices of avocado, eggs, and beets. Keep portions small to medium to avoid that post-meal desire to nap under your desk.

4 P.M.: Stave off pre-dinner munchies with celery and carrot sticks with three tablespoons of hummus or guacamole. Briefcase-friendly options: turkey jerky and an apple.

7 P.M.: Focus on vegetables and lean protein at dinner, Glassman says. Try an eight-ounce fillet of grilled salmon or a turkey burger with broccoli or sauteed spinach and a cup of quinoa.

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