Don’t you just dread that time between 3pm and 5pm, when you simply can’t stop yawning? No matter how much work you have, suddenly, struggling to stay awake seems to be the bigger challenge at hand.
Experts believe that these mid-afternoon blues are a result of our body’s natural circadian rhythms which regulate our sleeping and waking patterns. Dietary habits play a major role in keeping our bodily functions in tune with this circadian clock.
So if you’ve been having these afternoon energy slumps, watch out for these eating habits that may be causing it.
1. Skipping Breakfast
Breakfast is the first meal of the day, which provides you with the right amount of nutrients to get started. Skipping breakfast will lower your blood sugar levels and cause an energy slump. It will also cause you to overeat during lunch which will again cause a fluctuation in your blood sugar levels, thus leading you towards feeling fatigued.
2. Eating (A Lot Of) Carbs
A large portion of carbs at lunch could be another reason why you’re feeling drowsy. Although these foods can provide you with energy, they also cause an immediate surge, followed by a drop in blood sugar. Limit your serving to about a fist size of healthy carbs like brown rice, whole-wheat pasta or bread.
3. Skimping On Protein
Proteins also boost your energy but, unlike carbs, they don’t affect your blood sugar levels. Ensure that your lunch contains a palm-sized serving of proteins such as chicken, turkey or fish as they are easy to digest.
4. Not Drinking Enough Water
Your body needs water to carry out its functions. When you don’t drink enough water, these functions slow down, making you feel tired and sleepy. Drink about half a gallon of water though the day. Also include water-based veggies and fruits like cucumber, celery, watermelon and tomatoes to your diet to keep yourself well-hydrated.
5. Too Much Caffeine
Caffeine is a stimulant and can give you an instant surge of energy but, alas, the effect is temporary. Once it wears off, you will experience an energy slump again. Instead, cut back on caffeinated drinks and try other energy-boosting foods.
6. Starving Yourself
It’s natural to feel hungry an hour after lunch. Starving till your next break will only cause you to feel drained and sleepy. Munch on healthy snacks like nuts, an energy bar or even a fruit to revive your energy levels.
Apart from checking your diet, make sure you get about six to eight hours of sleep each night for a fresher start in the morning. And if you don’t, remember these tips to keep you up and going all day.