It’s 4pm, and you’re already yawning and feeling exhausted. Put that double expresso and muffin down – they aren’t going to get you through!!
Who hasn’t experienced that drained feeling halfway through the afternoon, when making it through the day seems impossible? According to the National Sleep Foundation, nearly half of us report an afternoon slump where energy and concentration are challenged. So, what can we be doing to prevent and combat the crash? Try these four steps and before long your body will be thanking you:
Step 1: Fresh air. Get the heck outside more often. Small bursts of fresh air are extremely beneficial for your energy levels and clarity.
Step 2: Movement. Add a walk to your outdoor session or pull off some office burpees a few times a day. Get that blood flowing and your fatigue will be pushed out.
Step 3: Water. Put the third coffee down and get your damn water bottle. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
Step 3: SNACKS. And this is where I want to go into more detail! Why are they such an important part of your day? Snacks are those small bites of calories that will save you!! They bridge the gap between meals and stop that rumbling stomach when lunch and dinner are hours away. They keep your blood sugar stable and your hunger in check so that you are not grabbing a candy bar from the nearest vending machine or gorging everything in sight at your next meal. Snacks can and will fuel your workouts if there is no time for a proper meal and will replenish your glycogen stores after you have finished that run and strength session. Snacks are also a great way to get in extra whole foods to ensure that you are getting in the correct nutrients for the day.
It’s important to pick the right snack at the right time, to keep energy levels up and bridge the gap properly. A snack made up of a complex carb, a healthy fat, and clean protein will increase your energy levels for a longer period of time.
Below is a list of my top ten snacks to beat that slump, so arm yourself with the ingredients and knowledge that you have the power to keep your hunger and energy in check all day!
1. A handful of raw unsalted nuts/homemade trail mix – the protein, fiber, and fat is a perfect snack combination
2. Mixed raw veggie sticks with a small amount of your favorite dip – hummus, tahini, pesto, etc.
3. Hardboiled egg, ¼ avocado, and tomato on a piece of sprouted Ezekiel toast or ½ an Ezekiel muffin.
4. Coconut yogurt with 1 tbsp nut butter, cinnamon, and ½ apple,
5. Green juice – cucumber, kale, spinach, parsley, celery, lemon ginger, and coconut oil
6. Smoothie – unsweetened almond milk, ½ banana, 1 tbsp almond butter, protein powder, vanilla, cinnamon, hemp seeds, maca powder/cacao powder, and ice
7. Farmers market pepperoni sticks and apple chips
8. Air-popped popcorn with little sea salt and olive oil and nutritional yeast
9. Chopped fruit salad with fresh mint and some almonds
10. Smoked oysters and lentil crackers
I also love my homemade protein bars, veggie or egg muffins or power balls! So, if you are battling the 4pm slumps on a regular basis, I encourage you to implement and whip up some of the above strategies and snacks. You will also want to check out this coming weeks FB Live on the Move Eat Play Community (www.facebook.com/groups/moveeatplay) where I’ll be chatting about lunch ideas that can help keep you full of energy all day long!