Many people experience a drop in energy in the afternoon. While in some ways that is a natural “slump”, most of us could sail through this time with much more energy than we may be used to, provided we give out bodies the right fuel. Here are three key tips to prevent the afternoon slump:
1. Be sure to start your day right with breakfast and try not to ever miss it (meaning have more than coffee or tea and OJ). Breakfast sets the stage of your metabolism for the rest of the day. Often, if you don’t eat enough at breakfast, your body will ask for extra food for the rest of the day. It is the perfect time to have a good amount of carbs, especially if you have a job that requires a lot of cognitive use. Also make sure you have enough good protein – or you may be hungry soon after breakfast. Protein also helps to keep your blood sugar stable, and thus a key factor for many processes in the body, including the prevention of stress.
2. At lunch especially, be sure you consume enough protein, and less carbohydrates and a good amount of vegetables. Many afternoon slumps – or the craving for any food (especially sweets) are just the body getting overwhelmed from eating too many carbs, and then going into a blood sugar slump, causing fatigue, mental and/or physical.
In a quick article like this, it is difficult to provide more specific input on how many carbs and protein to consume, but a good general starting point would be to have at least half your plate be vegetables for lunch, a good palm-size portion of protein and carbs. The vegetables will provide a wonderful amount of fiber and phyto-chemicals as well.
3. Get outside – even just stepping outdoors – and get some fresh air. Even a few deep breaths in fresh air will help get extra oxygen into your brain and re-energize you for the rest of the afternoon. Better yet, take a walk around the block for as little as 5 minutes can do wonders.
Enjoy experimenting with any of these tips ~ and here’s to greater energy for you