Mid-day Pick Me Ups: Good-For-You Afternoon Snacks
You're probably familiar with the mid-afternoon energy slump - that time of day after lunch when many of us experience a dip in energy. If you're feeling a bit groggy or sleepy, and a nap is just not on the agenda, check out these ideas for energy-boosting snacks that can help you feel more refreshed.
If you ate a big portion of carbohydrates for lunch, it's likely that your blood sugar levels spiked and then came down, resulting in sleepiness well before it's time to call it a day. Fresh fruit, such as apples or grapes, can raise sugar levels enough to make you feel more awake. Fruits also provide fiber, which will help prevent your sugar levels from plummeting again in an hour or two.
Nuts or Cheese
A handful of nuts or a couple of cubes of cheese are full of protein. Protein can increase two hormones, dopamine and norepinephrine, which can make you feel more alert. If you're caught without a snack, many office vending machines carry high-protein options like nuts or protein bars.
While not exactly a filling snack, green tea is a good pick-me-up for the afternoon slump. Another added benefit is that green tea will help keep you hydrated. Mild dehydration can cause sleepiness, and if you haven't been consciously drinking water throughout the day, that could be the problem. Enjoy green tea hot or iced -- whichever makes you feel more refreshed.
If you don't have time for a snack, pop a piece of minty gum in your mouth. Studies have shown chewing gum can combat sleepiness,.
Other measures you can try to combat sleepiness include going for a brisk walk, sitting outside in the sun for a few minutes (but don’t forget the sunscreen), or even taking a 20-minute catnap. Eating a nutritious lunch and getting enough sleep the night before are good ideas, but if you do feel an afternoon slump coming on, one of the snack ideas listed above might be enough to get you through the rest of the day.