How to Avoid the Dreaded Mid Afternoon Energy Slump
How to Avoid the Dreaded Mid Afternoon Energy Slump
It is a familiar phenomenon: the communal loss of momentum that hits the office at around 2pm.
If you are someone that finds themselves running out of steam on a regular basis, this article may be able to offer some suggestions for achieving equilibrium.
There are simple ways to tweak your routine to help keep your engine ticking over steadily all day long.
You must start as you mean to go on, and that means no skipping on breakfast which is a very important meal.
Waking up to a balanced breakfast, with a little protein and complex carbohydrate, gets your engine off to a gentle start.
Too much sugar in this meal would mean a spike of energy that would soon run out and leave you hunting for the next fix.
Your brain needs a fresh supply of nutrients after 8 hours of fasting, so make this meal count.
Cut Out (or Cut Down On) Caffeine
Consider cutting out caffeine, and opt for water on your ‘coffee breaks’ instead.
Tea and coffee may give you a temporary boost, but this is always followed by a slump, which makes you crave more.
Drinking caffeine regularly can also trap you into a cycle of disrupted sleep patterns and will affect your body’s natural rhythm.
If you’re craving an alternative to caffeine, incidentally, you might enjoy our blog on the Top 5 Healthiest Teas.
Staying hydrated is incredibly important for beating the afternoon slump, so ensure you drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Dehydration causes fatigue and has a direct impact on the function of your brain. Even being just 1% dehydrated results in 5% decrease in brain function according to studies.
All cellular activity relies on water to work efficiently, so drinking enough will benefit your whole body. Drink at least 8 glasses a day, and consider opting for alkalised water for maximum impact.
Alkalised water helps your blood maintain the ideal pH of between 7.35 and 7.45. When our blood is too acidic, our body has to work hard to maintain the optimum level. We are left tired and vulnerable to inflammatory disease when alkaline levels drop into the acidic range, so alkaline water is a simple way to support this balance.
When the pH level is right, it is thought that unfriendly bacteria, cancer, yeast and viruses are unable to thrive, so you could be protecting yourself against disease, and even those pesky bugs going around the office while you’re at it!
In order to keep your metabolism fired up and prevent desperate hunger pangs, it is a good idea to eat small regular snacks. Ideally one snack in the morning and one snack in the afternoon.
It is important to avoid the sugar trap. Chocolate, sweets, crisps and pastries will provide a short-term boost, but the sugar is quickly metabolised and you will be left feeling lower in energy than before.
You can avoid this dip in blood sugar levels by opting for fresh fruit, unsalted nuts, vegetable sticks, rice cakes or homemade organic popcorn. These choices will keep your blood sugar stable, and provide enough sustenance to last until your next meal.
You might also consider Maximum Vibrance, a blend of nutritious fruit and vegetables concentrated into a fine powder: two scoops provides 165 calories, with 20g of plant protein and an assortment of energy-boosting nutrients. Mix with water to ensure simultaneous hydration. If you find two servings heavy, just use one.
Prioritise a Slow-Release Lunch
It is vital to eat a good balanced slow-release lunch. Skipping this meal will result in an empty fuel tank by 2 or 3pm, and you will run the risk of heading to the vending machine in desperation for an energy top up.
Eating a meal including protein, complex carbohydrates and a little healthy fat, will stock up your engine and keep you ticking over nicely until home time. However, overeating at lunch will cause an increase of blood flow to your digestive system, and therefore a decrease of blood flow to the brain.
This is obviously not desirable, since a reduction in oxygen flow to the brain will cause loss of concentration and loss of mental capacity.
Prioritising a nutritionally balanced lunch will keep you on track for the rest of the day, and provide the perfect fuel for your post-office workout.
If it is at all possible, one of the best ways to boost energy mid afternoon is to escape from your desk.
Standing up and stepping away from the computer is an easy way to give yourself a real break. If you can also get outside in nature, like to a local park, then all the better.
Fresh air and a burst of physical activity will get the blood flow going again, and increase the oxygenation of your blood. This will make you feel more awake and alert, and refreshed for the rest of the afternoon.
In conclusion, your aim for each day is to keep your blood sugar and hydration levels stable. This is the key to maintaining energy all day long, keeping a balanced mood and reducing afternoon tiredness.
Our bodies follow a natural circadian rhythm which makes us feel tired at night, and alert in the day. If we tailor our day to suit these rhythms, and support our natural cycles with regards to our diet, we can avoid energy slumps. We can feel revitalised and energised throughout each and every day, with a positive outlook and clarity of mind.
Follow our advice and you’ll never look back!