05 Jan How to Combat the Afternoon Energy Slump
Do you often find yourself experiencing an afternoon energy slump at 2 or 3 p.m.? You know—the brain fog sets in, your attention is wandering and your focus has completely disappeared?
In today’s fast-paced world many of us have a lot on our plate and are looking to increase energy levels and beat the afternoon slump. Sadly, there is little we can do to change the ways of the world. BUT, what we can do is increase energy levels by following a number of relatively simple steps…
Have a healthy & balanced breakfast. Many people often skip breakfast because they simply don’t have time to have a meal in the morning OR they quickly grab a coffee and a sugar-filled carb such as a granola bar, muffin, or pastry. This combination of coffee and a processed carb will give you energy for an hour or two, but it will quickly turn into an energy crash come lunch time. Instead, choose a nutritious breakfast that includes a carb, protein, and fat to keep you fuller for longer and will give you energy instead of taking it away. Here are some healthy breakfast suggestions:
- Yogurt + nuts + berries
- Oatmeal + peanut butter
- Avocado toast + egg on top
- Smoothie with protein powder (like FITTEAM LEAN) + frozen fruit
- Scrambled eggs + toast
2. Drink up! Not drinking enough water throughout the day can certainly lead to fatigue, tiredness, and headaches. Did you know that if you feel thirsty then you’re already dehydrated? Make sure you’re drinking enough water by keeping a water bottle by your side throughout the day and spice it up by adding fruit to your water or choose a calorie-free seltzer or of course try adding in a packet of FIT or HYDRATE! You can tell you’re hydrated if your urine is a light lemonade color which is what we should be aiming for! If your urine is clear that means you’re over-hydrated, and if it’s dark yellow that means you’re dehydrated.
3. Take a movement break. Taking a brisk walk can be a great way to beat the afternoon slump by getting some fresh air in and getting your oxygen flowing in your body, especially if you’re sitting at a desk all day. Making time for a short 10-15 minute walk can really make a huge difference in your energy levels.
4. What’s for lunch? Just like for breakfast, it’s important to choose a healthy and balanced lunch to avoid post-lunch fatigue. Many people make the mistake of eating too much for lunch and/or having a lunch loaded with carbohydrates and not enough protein or fat. Instead, try out the plate method by having ½ of your plate made up of vegetables, ¼ of your plate a lean protein, and ¼ of your plate carbohydrates. Make sure you also add in a healthy fat (olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocado, etc.) to slow down digestion and to help prevent blood sugar spikes. Here are some suggestions for lunch:
- Salad with grilled chicken breast, cheese, tomato, cucumber and vinaigrette dressing.
- Whole grain wrap with tuna, avocado, lettuce, celery, and red onion.
- Turkey and cheese roll ups with cucumbers and hummus
5. Get enough sleep. I know this may sound simple, but it’s easier said than done. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night to feel energized throughout the day and to improve your concentration and productivity.
Integrate these strategies gradually, one by one or in combinations. Eventually these strategies will become firmly embedded in your routines and will become second nature, helping you to maintain high energy levels throughout the day, everyday!