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Escape the Afternoon Slump: 9 Things to Eat for an Easy Energy Boost

For many of us, it comes with the consistency of the sun rising. The brain fog. The lack of motivation. The overwhelming need to nap. Welcome to the Afternoon Slump. (Also known as the Midday Slump.)

 

If you’ve fallen victim to this energy robber, you may be tempted to have another cup of coffee and a sugary treat from the vending machine. But the caffeine will just tax your already-tired adrenal glands, and the sugar’s not doing your body any favors either. Plus, that choice could lead to a crash later, maybe even before the work day is over. So what are some good ways to increase energy? 

 

The Best Energy Boosters

 

Luckily, there are afternoon snack ideas that will satisfy your hunger and keep you energized to tackle the rest of your day. Natural energy boosters to stash in your desk or the office fridge include:

 

  1.  Hard-boiled egg
  2. Apple slices topped with peanut butter
  3. Plain full-fat Greek yogurt (with a little honey or stevia, topped with berries)
  4. A handful of nuts
  5. Guacamole or hummus (with cut veggies or whole grain crackers for dipping)
  6. Celery topped with almond butter
  7. Turkey roll-up: a slice of cheese rolled into a piece of turkey wrapped in a lettuce leaf
  8. Almond flour pancakes (make ahead of time and skip the syrup; they’re portable!)
  9. Cucumber and cream cheese pita pocket

 

Why do these snacks battle the midday slump? Two words: protein and fat.  

 

Protein and Fat: Your Energy Friends

 

Protein and fat work hand in hand to help you manage your hunger. During a meal, protein signals your brain to feel satisfied and stop eating. It sends the message: “I’ve had enough.” Fat keeps you feeling full between meals so you don’t want to eat again right away. It sends the message: “I’m not hungry yet.”[1]

 

Fructose, which is found in soda and other sweetened beverages as well as processed foods, has the opposite effect. It actually makes you hungrier and can lead to overeating.[2] The fructose in fruit is not really a concern because it occurs in small quantities and comes bundled with nutrients and fiber, which slows its absorption into the bloodstream.

 

Speaking of fiber, it’s a common recommendation to fill up on fiber-rich foods, but research suggests fiber may not actually help you feel or stay full.[3] It’s still important for digestion, colon health, and heart health, but don’t count on it to keep your tummy from growling.

 

Juice Plus+ has two more ideas for increasing energy in the afternoon.

 

 

Both French Vanilla and Dutch Chocolate drink mixes have 13 grams of protein. Mix them with milk or almond milk, and you’ll add more protein to satiate you and more fat to keep you feeling full longer. (A cup of whole milk provides nearly 8 grams of protein and nearly 8 grams of fat.) The Tart Cherry and Honey nutrition bar supplies 5 grams of protein and 6 grams of fat, while the Dark Chocolate and Fig has 10 grams of protein and 4.5 grams of fat. Plus, they’re portable and convenient — perfect for a quick snack.

 

What are your favorite ways to fight the Afternoon Slump?

 

 

 

References


 

[1] Whitney E, Rolfes SR. Understanding Nutrition. Fourteenth Edition. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning, 2016.

[2] Whitney E, Rolfes SR. Understanding Nutrition. Fourteenth Edition. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning, 2016.

[3] Clark MJ, Slavin JL. The effect of fiber on satiety and food intake: a systematic review. J Am Coll Nutr 2013;32(3):200-11.

 

 
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