We’ve all experienced the afternoon slump. It tends to roll around sometime after lunch, leaving you sluggish and often unproductive. Stress, lack of sleep and your blood sugar balance (or lack thereof) all contribute to this feeling of fatigue. Thankfully, there are several simple ways you can avoid this crash altogether.
You might be thinking that coffee is the most obvious solution. As a coffee lover myself, I’ve certainly turned to coffee for a quick energy boost more than a time or two. The problem with coffee, however, is that it can actually contribute to your daily fatigue fest because it’s not blood-sugar balancing. Coffee also contributes to poor sleep, causes food cravings and can be addictive (1). Some of you might be more inclined to reach for a soda instead, but the same rules apply: The high sugar content spikes your blood sugar causing you to crash later and feel worse than you did in the first place. Bottom line? You’ve got better options.
Like I hinted at before, the trick to fighting afternoon fatigue comes down to your blood sugar balance. This means it’s crucial to have snacks nearby that consist of a protein, quality fat and complex carb. Don’t worry, this is simpler than it sounds. To get you started, I’ve listed five delicious snacks that are not only blood sugar balancing but that also require little to no prep (score!).
Five Foods That Fight Fatigue
Fresh veggies and hummus. This snack is super easy to grab on-the-go. If you’re not a hummus fan, try a black bean dip instead!
Trail mix with raw nuts and seeds. Supercharge your trail mix with goodies like pumpkin seeds, raw almonds, coconut flakes and cacao nibs. So many possibilities!
Apple slices with almond butter. Don’t be afraid to slather on the almond butter generously. Bonus points for adding a sprinkle of cinnamon which is extremely blood-sugar balancing.
Avocado toast. My personal favorite, topped with a pinch of sea salt and pepper. Even better if you opt for a wholesome sprouted-grain bread.
Smoothie. This one HAD to be one the list! For a well-balanced smoothie, combine your favorite fruits or veggies, a protein (chia seeds, almond butter, protein powder, etc.) and a high-quality fat (coconut oil, avocado, etc.)
More Tips for Extra Energy
In addition to having healthy snacks nearby, there are other easy ways you can fight afternoon fatigue and feel your best all day long. I’ve listed my top three energy-boosting tips below.
Eat a nourishing lunch. Just like with snacks, your lunch should include a complex carb, lean protein and quality fat. Some good sources of protein include superfoods like hemp hearts, chia seeds and black beans. For a high quality fat, use ingredients like coconut oil, olive oil or avocados, to name a few. Just be sure to mix up what you eat every day. Variety isn’t just more fun, it’s also essential for a healthy body.
Drink (lots of) water. I really can’t stress the importance of drinking water enough. Dehydration leads to lower energy levels and about a billion other nasty side effects. Drinking water also detoxifies your body and speeds up your metabolism. Thirsty yet?
Go on a quick power walk. Because sunlight stimulates your brain, a little walk after lunch can help you stay focused and energized. Walking also prevents melatonin (a sleep hormone) from being released, plus it reduces stress. That’s a win-win-win, if you ask me.
- Make sure that you’re getting the nutrition you need. The majority of people are deficient in magnesium. M3 has both magnesium and vitamin B6 which help reduce tiredness and fatigue.
In this fast-paced world, finding enough energy to make it through your day might sometimes feel impossible. I am confident that you can eliminate your afternoon crash, and I hope that these tips help you fight fatigue like a champ.
- “Caffeine and Sleep.” National Sleep Foundation. 2016.