Feeling an afternoon of low energy? Here’s how to beat it

Has anyone else ever felt that it was time to call a day only to look at the clock and find out it was 3pm? Like the hands of a clock, everything is going well until, suddenly, you experience the dreaded afternoon drop. You know what I mean — it’s the inevitable drop in energy that makes it inoperable. Well, it’s a daily occurrence for me. And I have to admit it – I’m feeling very tired.

I treat my morning coffee routine like a ritual. And while the caffeine boost is for the best, I’m still wary of drinking it past noon (I’ll do anything in the name of a good night’s sleep.) So what a girl has to do — get one ready bucket of ice to pour over my head every time my energy wanes?

On the day I started researching afternoon slumps, the whirlpool of eating to fuel you popped up in my feed. I immediately reached out to Integrative Nutrition Health Coach Georgia Perkins for her advice. After all, it was her account that encouraged me to set a coffee curfew in the first place. From understanding our hormones and the impact of our diet to energy-boosting snack recommendations, we’re breaking down how to boost your energy and beat your morning slump. afternoon once and for all. Tips, tricks and treatments await.

PS If you’re not following Goodness with G on Instagram, you’re missing out on useful health information presented in a humorous and holistic way. I’m always looking for accounts that inspire me to drink more water, stay active, and take care of myself.

Featured image of Teal Thomsen.

What causes the dreaded afternoon drop in energy?

Although there are many factors that contribute to the crash, according to Perkins, cortisol is the main factor. A stress hormone, cortisol increases blood glucose levels and the brain’s use of glucose, which can affect your mood. It is naturally highest in the morning and slowly begins to decrease as the day goes on, causing your energy to drop. Aside from the hormonal changes, Perkins notes that everything from a lack of balanced meals and regular exercise to increased stress and disruption to your sleep cycle can contribute to low energy. afternoon.

How do we beat the afternoon slump and boost our energy?

Of course, the key to feeling more alert during the day starts with getting the best sleep possible at night. Perkins explains that “improving sleep hygiene by going to bed and waking up at the same time each day and limiting electronic device use an hour before bed can make a huge difference” in your energy.

After you’ve had a good night’s sleep, Perkins recommends “purposefully fueling your body with real, whole foods, including quality protein and healthy fats.” It makes sense that balanced meals help balance your blood sugar, and thus provide steady and lasting energy throughout your day. For more on natural ways to boost your energy, Perkins dives into the topic here.

What should we avoid eating/drinking during boredom in the afternoon?

Although it may seem counterintuitive, coffee and sugar are not the answer. It’s natural to want a second or third cup of coffee when you feel your energy starting to run low, but Perkins cautions that “this habit can leave us dependent on substances that don’t work.” this. and more difficult to sleep later. Similarly, “sweet, energy-dense snacks like muffins or cookies can be a good idea mid-afternoon (and that makes sense – we digest them quickly, and they help boost weight loss). fast), but they just lead to another dip in blood sugar.” Blood sugar spikes caused by foods high in refined carbohydrates and sugar can certainly provide a short burst of energy, “but they definitely lead to a drop in blood sugar that makes us tired and even more sluggish. hungrier,” notes Perkins.

What tips and tricks can help boost your energy throughout the day??

  • Physically, get out of your space and move around. This is especially important if you’ve been sitting at your desk all day, Perkins notes. While a brisk walk around the block is ideal, even a lap or two around the office can help. “Exercise not only helps stabilize your blood sugar, but being active also increases the production of serotonin and dopamine, feel-good neurotransmitters made in your brain and gut.”
  • Keep enough water. When your body is dehydrated, one of the first symptoms is fatigue. It’s a simple reminder, but staying hydrated is one of the simplest ways Perkins recommends to help you feel more energized.
  • Choose the right foods. Whether it’s a snack or a main meal, it’s important to be aware of the quality of energy the foods you choose will give you. Perkins recommends choosing foods with a lower glycemic index. This means they are digested more slowly, resulting in lower blood sugar and more lasting energy. See below for snack-piration.

Snacks that naturally boost/maintain energy

What’s your secret to boosting your energy during a boring afternoon?

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