6 Strategies to Slash Afternoon Energy Crash
27 January 2021
You just can’t concentrate, stringing a sentence together feels like learning a new language and literally all you can think about is where to slip off to for a much-needed siesta. What has happened? Everything was going so well until an hour or two after lunch
We’ve all been there. In fact, this feeling like being tranquilised after lunch is so well known it even has its own name; ‘postprandial slump’.
Whilst it seems a natural rhythm leads to an energy lull at around 2 – 4pm, thankfully there are some simple dietary and lifestyle strategies that can help increase your energy and prevent you from experiencing such uncontrollable fatigue.
1. Get Some Protein at Breakfast & Lunch
Coffee and juice may give the quick surge of energy you need to get going in the morning but unfortunately this ‘false’ high is likely to be short lived and soon followed by an unwelcome crash. If you are in the habit of firing up each day on caffeine or your breakfast leans heavily towards cereals or grains, you may not be providing yourself with the balance of nutrients needed to help maintain steady blood glucose and energy levels throughout the day. Reducing your intake of caffeine and including some protein foods at both breakfast and lunch such as eggs, chicken, fish, tofu, nuts and seeds can help to regulate your blood glucose and energy levels.
2. Eat Smaller Meals Every 3-4 Hours
Eating too much at one sitting has the potential to increase blood glucose levels way beyond what is needed for your body’s immediate energy requirements. As glucose is the required fuel source for the brain and body you might think this would give you even greater energy. Unfortunately however, this is much more likely to lead to an energy slump. To help regulate blood glucose and energy levels, try eating smaller meals every 3-4 hours and don’t forget to add a bit of protein.
3. Stay Hydrated
Even mild dehydration can negatively impact your energy, mood, memory and ability to think clearly. Drinking 1.5 – 2 litres of hydrating fluids each day is recommended to avoid energy slumps brought on by lack of hydration.
4. Go for a Walk
Going for a walk after lunch is a good way to increase delivery of oxygen and nutrients throughout the body, helping you feel stronger and energised. What’s more physical activity is likely to promote better sleep.
5. Take a 5 Minute Meditation Break
Even brief sessions of 5-10 minutes of meditation have been shown to improve brain function and energy levels. When needed, find somewhere quiet and try it out; if you need support, you can find free access to guided meditation videos online.
6. Avoid Sugary Snacks
They may give you a quick rush but as seen with caffeine, this energy boost is likely to be very short lived and soon followed by a sugar crash which could leave you feeling even less alert.
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