Most of us have been there, that 2pm afternoon energy slump. The struggle to stifle yawns and stay awake when all you want to do is close your eyes.
More often than not, we tend to reach for a coffee or a bar of chocolate for a quick fix. This energy boost is only temporary and in half an hour you will be back to square one.
THERE ARE 6 SIMPLE STEPS TO PREVENT ENERGY SLUMPS AND MAKE AFTERNOONS A BREEZE:
1. GET OFF THE BLOOD ROLLER COASTER
A blood sugar high always results in a blood sugar crash. This crash is the number one cause of the afternoon energy slump and can stimulate cravings for another sugary 'quick fix'.
Protein is the hero to keep blood sugar levels stable. Eat more lean meats, fish, eggs, yoghurt, nuts, seeds, tofu, tempeh, beans and pulses.
2. AVOID THE FOOD COMA
Sometimes afternoon drowsiness can simply be down to eating too much at lunchtime. Try to have a smaller but satisfying lunch.
3. BEFRIEND GREEN TEA
Green tea contains a special substance called L-Theanine, which has shown to stimulate a feeling of relaxed alertness and clarity. This is a great way to give you an afternoon energy boost without the worry of staying up all night.
4. DITCH THE WHITE CARBS AND OPT FOR WHOLE GRAINS
It’s the additional fibre in whole grains that keeps blood sugar levels stable and prevents energy crashes.Photo: Izzy Boscawen
Instead, try whole grain
bread or pasta, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, amaranth, brown rice, wild rice or oats.
5. BOOST YOUR ENERGY WITH B VITAMINS
If you are lacking in energy you may also be lacking in B vitamins.
Eat more protein such as fish, poultry, meat, eggs, and dairy products and leafy green vegetables, beans, and peas.
6. TRY THIS SUPER FOOD FOR AN AFTERNOON PICK-ME-UP
is an ancient root vegetable grown high up in the Andes Mountains.
This has long been used for energy, stamina and endurance.
With a mild caramel taste, you can add to smoothies, porridge, energy balls, or experiment with maca in your cooking.
Lily Soutter, Nutritionist and Nutritional Therapist
Photo Credit: Hernan Sanchez
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