You are experiencing a major 3pm afternoon slump. You cannot keep your eyes open for another second and you are sure you are going to get fired. It seems like every afternoon around this time you lose all steam. So, what gives? Can you change your energy levels during the day?
Here are a few ways to naturally improve your stamina, so you stay energetic all day long:
- Sleep. Yes, this is super obvious. But, you need at least 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep to feel rested. Start a nightly bedtime routine and stick with it. Drink a cup of warm tea, turn down the lights, and put your cell phone or other devices away so you can get a good night’s rest.
- Eat protein and a high fiber carbohydrate for breakfast. Protein can help stabilize your blood sugar, so you don’t experience as many energy slumps. A high fiber carbohydrate choice is digested slowly, so you have sustained energy. A few examples include:
- Eggs with whole grain toast
- Oatmeal with protein powder mixed in
- A sweet potato topped with almond butter and berries
- Eat a lighter lunch. If you eat a big fast food burger or a carb-heavy pasta dish for lunch, you will definitely be exhausted by 2pm. So, instead stick with a lighter lunch of protein and veggies to see how you feel in the afternoon. Consider a large salad or soup with chicken, fish, or beans. If a salad doesn’t hold you over, add a Greek yogurt and a piece of fruit to round out your meal.
- Drink water. Dehydration can make you feel tired, so be sure you are drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Men need about 15 cups, while women need 11, so drink up!
- Take a break. Sometimes when we are feeling tired sitting at our desks, what we really need is a break. Get up and stretch for a few seconds. Go talk to your coworkers for a few minutes. A short break will actually make you more productive once you return to work.
- Go for a walk. Similar to taking a break, stepping outside can also help boost your energy. Go for a quick 10 minute walk around the building to get your heart pumping.
- Exercise regularly. Physical activity doesn’t make you more tired, it gives you energy. It will also help you sleep better. Aim for at least 150 minutes a week or 30 minutes a day of some type of physical exercise.
- Avoid smoking and alcohol. Although nicotine is a stimulant and can help you stay awake, and alcohol is a depressant to help you sleep, neither works that well in the long-run. Tobacco can lead to insomnia by stimulating brain wave activity. Alcohol helps you fall asleep immediately, but you won’t get restful sleep and may wake up in the middle of the night.
- Take energy boosting supplements. Our All-Day Energy Greens and Go Ruby Go are ideal additions to your diet, especially during that afternoon slump. A scoop of either tastes delicious and can be a caffeine-free way to get you energy back up.
Do you struggle with low energy in the afternoon?
Yours in Health-
Ana Reisdorf, MS, RD
IVL’s Community Registered Dietitian