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Stamina Boosting Superfoods: Healthier Alternatives to Energy Drinks and Cocaine

Tired businessman sleeping on the workplace by leaning on the table with multiple screens on it. Stock information on displays.

As any honest investment banker will tell you, long hours, all-nighters and sleep deprivation are part and parcel of the job. Consequently, the industry is plagued with rumours and stereotypes of being a drug fuelled, energy drink-bingeing industry with many of its workers using unconventional methods to cope with these high demands.

Of course, such behaviour is in no way universal – but you’ll struggle to find a bank where such claims are without some substance.

IB Insider explores some healthier alternatives to the Domino’s at the desk, and how to stay energised through the early mornings and late nights. They’re also a lot cheaper than the London lockdown powder market.

Snacks – Raw Vegetables

It’s hardly groundbreaking that vegetables are good for you. However, there’s another reason why it may be a good idea to stash some carrots/celery sticks as desk snacks when working into the night.

And no it’s not because carrots help you see in the dark.

A Frontiers in Psychology study describes how raw vegetables can improve mental health and flourishing. Fuelling your body with the right nutrients then helps to keep you focused and energised on a long-term basis.

Alternatively, convince yourself that the can of Monster Mango Loco on your desk counts as one of your 5-a-day.

Main course – Tyramine

Tyramine is an amino acid that causes the release of brain stimulant norepinephrine. As it’s usually a good idea to avoid tyramine rich foods before bed, turn to them at work for the opposite effect.

Foods with high tyramine levels include cured meats, aged cheeses, avocados and soy sauce. It’s also fairly likely that turning up with a pungent meat and cheese platter will not endear you to colleagues.

Dessert – Dark Chocolate

Not only does dark chocolate contain antioxidants and magnesium, but it’s also high in caffeine due to its 80% cocoa content.

Wash down some dark chocolate with an Americano and you’ll wonder if you ever need to sleep. After years of being the last chocolate left in the Heroes tin, Bourneville bites back.

Drink – Mate Tea

For those still wanting to tap into the South American market, fear not… After the dark chocolate palate cleanser to our superpowered desk meal comes the final flourish.

Mate Tea is undoubtedly a curveball, and you may get some odd looks drinking a herb infusion through a metal straw at your desk.

However, the popular South American brew is powerful stuff, and used by professional sportsmen to give them long lasting energy. (Football fans may recognise it after the England team were seen drinking it, as well as individuals such as Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez).

According to Healthline, it has more antioxidants than green tea, slightly less caffeine than coffee, and no jittery side effects. Healthy, energising, and 100% chance of burning your tongue when sucked up through a conducting metal straw.


If the metal straw and herb combination doesn’t immediately make you want to swap out that Americano, then there is one last roll of the dice.

Korean Red Ginseng tea.

The brew that launched a thousand ships at Troy through its ability to decrease oxidative stress and boost blood flow.

Be warned that Korean Red Ginseng tea is also a powerful aphrodisiac and used to treat cases of erectile dysfunction. This may disrupt the energy of the office.

At IB Insider, we want to help you not only begin a successful career in investment banking, but also to sustain one.

Whilst most are unlikely are turn up to their first day at the office with an aged stilton sandwich and mate gourd in hand, it is worth remembering that there are alternatives to the Monster and Modafinil meal deal.

Q. What do coke, carrots and the IB Insider Course have in common?

A. They’re all used to give you a head start in the IB world. Check out our latest courses here.

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