We all know it. That sluggish feeling you get mid-afternoon, when your eyes will NOT stay open and you lose concentration. You feel like there is an eternity until you can ‘knock off’ for the day and there is still a mountain of work to get through. Whether you are at work or at home with the kids, the 3pm slump can be beaten with a few simple, energy boosting steps.
Eat a balanced lunch
Regardless of how hungry you feel, avoid a heavy lunch, especially a high fat one. Instead, opt for a balance of healthy fats, slow release carbs and lean protein. This combination, added to a salad will give you the energy you need to get you through the afternoon.
It can’t get easier than that. But how does drinking water which has zero nutritional value, help with energy levels? Put simply, dehydration leads to fatigue as the body has to work harder to push oxygen and nutrients to the bodies organs, brain and muscles. Keep an insulated jug of water beside you during the day and sip on it constantly. Iff you get to mid-afternoon and find yourself feeling tired, have an extra glass of water or herbal tea.
Don’t fall into the sugar trap
You might get an instant energy hit from chocolate or a sweet biscuit but it will be a temporary boost and the sugar low afterwards will leave you feeling worse than before. Instead, reach for chia seeds which promote energy and are rich in B vitamins, omega 3 and protein. Mix them in with some low fat yoghurt and a handful of nuts and you’ll feel better in no time.
Breathe and Move
Take a few minutes to get some fresh air and sunshine. Take a few deeps breaths, making sure you take air right down into your lungs and stomach and exhale fully. This oxygen injection will help energise your body and the sunshine certainly can’t hurt (you’ll be getting a bit of vitamin D for a start). Walking around a bit will also help wake up your system and get that new found oxygen moving to your brain.
If you have to cheat
Try dark chocolate. The higher the cocoa content, the better it is for you. Cocoa is high in anti-oxidants and minerals such as magnesium and iron.