If you make frequent midday vending machine runs or pour extra cups of coffee in the middle of the afternoon, you’re likely experiencing what is known as the afternoon slump. You need something to keep you awake as you finish the workday, so you reach for something high in sugar or caffeine. But these quick fixes are just that: quick. They only work for a short period of time and then send you crashing and feeling even more sluggish than before.
To combat the afternoon slump, try some of these super foods that will give you an energy boost without the crash.
handful of nuts, especially almonds, will provide you with energy and keep you full for the rest of the day. Almonds contain tons of protein, magnesium and vitamins to keep you going, and they’re very rich in nutrients. As an added bonus, almonds have other health benefits: they can aid in blood pressure control and help with weight loss.
Try making yourself a trail mix with almonds, dark chocolate and dried berries for a satisfying and wholesome snack that you can keep at your desk. You can make this at home, then create small snack bags for yourself for built-in portion control.
Choosing fruits and berries over a chocolate bar is always a wise decision. Any fruit, veggie or berry would be suitable, but there are a few that really pack quite a punch for knocking out your drowsiness:
Bananas: These powerhouses are made up of sugars and fiber, so they give you energy long after your last bite. Try them with peanut butter if you want a more filling snack.
Oranges: Oranges provide steady energy instead of giving you a quick rush. They are also high in vitamin C, so they give your immune system a boost and stop you from getting sick. And we all know that sickness is the biggest energy killer.
Apples: Also promising to keep the doctor away, apples are a good choice because they take longer than most foods to digest, giving you energy long after you throw away the core.
Eggs are packed with protein, amino acids to strengthen muscles, and vitamins. In other words, eggs are a great food choice. Enjoy eggs for breakfast to start your day off right, or make them for lunch for a midday pick-me-up. Whether you have them in an omelet, scrambled, over-easy, or any other way, they provide the same great benefits.
Of course, what you eat isn’t the only thing that affects your energy level. Your mood can actually increase or decrease your energy. How much you exercise also affects your energy level. Rather than eating rather than eating two or three big meals, opt for small, nutritious meals or healthy snacks throughout the day to give you more energy.
Next time you’re thinking about sneaking into the conference room for a nap, choose a healthy and energy-inducing snack instead. Skip the vending machine and the coffee maker — and choose wholesome foods that will provide you with a healthy pick-me-up.
About the Author: Adrienne Erin is the healthy living writer behind the blog Foodie Fitness. When she’s not writing, she loves gardening, cooking, coloring, and taking long walks.