It's been a while since you've had your carb heavy lunch, but it's another few hours before home time. The 3pm slump strikes and you reach for the communal office cookies. And as we make a cup of tea in which to dunk our biscuit if choice, we know that this might not be the best answer - a sugar rush will only serve to worsen this well known dip.
So today we've decided to take a gander at some of the snacks that will actually do you some good and give you that much needed, longer lasting energy supply.
The reason most of us seem to suffer with this daily dip is because when we're hungry, our lunches tend to be a little too carb heavy and a little too light on protein/fibre, which itself causes the slump in the first place.
See, the sugars in a carb heavy meal have the same quick fix effect on our energy levels as something that's labelled clearly as sugary substance. Instead, opt for more slow release energy foods both at lunch time and for your afternoon snack. You'll stand a far greater chance of maintaining not only your energy levels, but also your mood.
Another reason we might dip as the day goes on is because we started the day on the wrong foot. We all know of the importance of breakfast but still, it's something that so many of us give little importance to.
If you rise to a hot cup of coffee and a bowl of sugary cereal that pretends to be nourishing and 'low-fat', you're not giving your body the fuel that it needs to maintain itself as the day goes on. Get breakfast right along with plenty of water to hydrate your body, followed with plenty of protein and fibre at lunch and the 3pm slump may not strike with the same severity at all.
So why do we feel tired after food? As per wellness coach Cassie Tipper at Details.com:
Eating raises your body's core temperature as the body works to digest and metabolize your food... A few hours post-meal, your core body temperature drops, signaling your brain to release melatonin, which causes you to feel tired.
Here's a few ideas of what to incorporate into your daily food plan to help maintain your energy levels.
- Porridge for breakfast - oats are packed with B Vitamins, folic acid. Both of these are energy rich and packed with fibre which we need for blood sugar level maintenance. This is an ideal breakfast after your night-long fast.
- A handful of nuts and seeds - one of your best friends when it comes to slow release energy.
- Some sliced banana with a smearing of peanut butter on each piece - a much better treat than a bar of your favourite chocolate.
- Plenty of water - dehydration is one of the primary reasons why we feel tired. If you've yet to make it to six-eight glasses a day, keep trying, you won't regret it.
- Some natural yoghurt with berries and apple - fruit, as we know, is abundant in energy boosting vitamins and minerals as well as the fibre we need to remain fuller for longer and maintain our blood sugar levels.
- Spinach - and other leafy green vegetables are rich in B Vitamins which boast all kinds of energy producing goodness.
Any more snack ideas for keeping your energy levels where we need 'em?