Have you ever come back from lunch feeling more tired than before? How can food, the very thing that is supposed to give us energy actually lead us to feel more exhausted?
This common occurrence appears as lack of focus, poor productivity, low energy and tiredness. Post-lunch slump lasts about 90 minutes, and most commonly occurs between about 3 and 5 PM.
As your body struggles to digest heavy foods, it uses your natural energy to the digestive process instead of saving it.
Using sugar or caffeine at lunch may give an initial burst of energy but by about 3:00 it has worn off, dragging you down energetically. That causes to use more sugar, caffeine or even energy drinks and again it gives only short-term energy.
However you can avoid afternoon tiredness using right nutrition, tricks and tools.
- Start your day right.
What you do and eat on morning have a big impact on your day.
Don’t eat bacon, eggs and other heavy meals for breakfast. If you eat heavy foods first, your body struggles to digest them and other foods get trapped behind.
Don’t use caffeine, sugar, or energy drinks first thing in the morning. They can set you up for a roller coaster of energy throughout the day. By mid-morning the effects of the morning caffeine and sugar rush will be worn off.
Start your day with oatmeal, whole grain toast, fresh fruit, smoothie, green salads or yoghurt. These foods are easily digested and provide you with amazing energy throughout the day,
Eat from light to heavy through the day. Your body won’t have to work as hard to digest the foods you eat, and it will be able to maximally absorb nutrients from foods so you have the energy you need.
- Skip animal products at lunch – they are very difficult to digest.
- Avoid caffeine and sugar – avoid energy roller-coaster.
Instead eat these products to get energized for productive day :
- Salmon – Rich of omega 3, niacin, vitamin B6 and riboflavin, all of which help your body convert eaten food into energy.
- Leafy Greens – Dark green leafy veggies provide energy, protein, and fiber and are loaded with antioxidants,
- Brown rice – It is rich in manganese, a mineral that helps your body produce energy from the carbs and protein that you consume, leaving you feeling energized for longer.
- Nuts – Nuts are rich in magnesium which is essential when it comes to converting sugars into energy, as well as protein for an extra boost.
- Avocado – “Avocado has healthy fats to help with satiety and energy, plus the fatty acids may help with inflammation which has been linked to fatigue,” says Marci Clow, MS, RDN, Senior Nutritionist at Rainbow Light.
- Bananas – Bananas are made up from three different types of sugar (fructose, glucose and sucrose) which get absorbed into your blood at different speeds, meaning that you will get a quick boost of energy and won’t suffer a slump, as the sucrose will keep your blood levels steady.
- Berries – Berries are a favorite for energy, as they supply a healthy dose of carbs to rev energy without adding too much sugar
- Yoghurt– The complex carbohydrates found in yoghurt will give you a quick boost, while the combination of lactose and protein will release energy slowly, leaving you feeling energized for longer.
- Water – Most important, drink a lot of water. Research from the Journal of Nutrition shows that even just mild dehydration can cause fatigue and moodiness
Overall you just need to remember one simple rule – Eat from light to heavy through the day.