This post was sponsored by Garden of Flavor. Thanks for supporting brands I love that make this blog possible!
My clients frequently ask for strategies to get past the afternoon slump. It’s a time when a lot of them struggle with mindlessly eating sweets or other snack foods as a way to boost energy and make it to the end of the workday. Of course, there is nothing wrong with grabbing a specialty coffee drink or a bag of vending machine chips – but just like with emotional eating, we’ve got to have other tools too. And let’s be real, usually a stale donut from the break room doesn’t satisfy or energize all that well either.
Feeling tired in the afternoon is really normal, and it doesn’t always have to do with food. We naturally experience a dip energy in the early afternoon due to our circadian rhythm. Pair that with poor sleep, high stress, and an inadequate lunch, and you might find your eyes drooping and brain going fuzzy before the end of the workday.
Just like hunger is a sign to tend to our body by eating, fatigue is a sign to tend to our body too, by either giving it some rest, or an energy boost. Here’s five ways to get past the afternoon slump:
Take a walk outside
A little bit of sunlight can do wonders for your circadian rhythm. Sunlight will help reduce levels of melatonin, the sleep hormone, and getting some gentle movement will get your heart rate up a bit and refresh your body. When I work from home, I use my midday slump as an excuse to take the pups for a walk around the block, which helps with stress relief too.
Take a power nap
Of course, this option might not be available for everyone – I don’t think your boss would appreciate it if you curled up in the middle of your open workspace! But if you do have your own office or work from home, taking a power nap can be really refreshing. Fatigue is a sign you need rest, so listen to your body and give it a nap! Just try to keep it to 10-15 minutes, because more than that can make you sleepier.
Plan an active/group activity
Knowing that my middays are a little more challenging, I like to plan activities for the afternoon that either get me up and moving, or something where I’m working with other people. Moving around in the kitchen doing recipe development, or working one-on-one with clients, gets me moving or interacting with other people, so I don’t get drowsy.
Eat a balanced snack
Fatigue can be a sign of hunger, and since our body generally does best eating something every 3-4ish hours, it makes sense that you might start to notice feeling tired midday. Most people will need a snack sometime in the afternoon, so be prepared with a balanced snack. I generally recommend a food that contains carbohydrate paired with another food that has fat and/or protein, like nuts and dried fruit, cheese and crackers or even some leftovers from lunch if you’ve got them.
Drink a Garden of Flavor Cold Pressed Energy Elixir
Sometimes I can’t get away from the desk and just need some caffeine to push through, but I find drinking coffee midday leaves me wired at night, and just doesn’t sound very good on these 90 degree summer days! That’s why I was thrilled to discover Garden of Flavor Cold Pressed Energy Elixirs. It’s a blend of organic cold-pressed juice with guayusa, the leaf of a sustainably grown Ecuadorian tree. It packs a punch of caffeine, but doesn’t leave me feeling jittery, give me a stomach-ache, or keep me up at night (which makes me more tired the next day!). Plus, it’s a lot more refreshing than a cup of hot coffee on a hot summer day!
They have four different flavors, wheatgrass pineapple, which is sweet-tart and not overly “green” tasting, spicy turmeric and ginger, smooth pear reishi, and my personal favorite, aronia berry blackberry. I had never heard of aronia berry until trying this drink, so I did some research and found out that similar to blueberries, it’s rich in the same flavonoids that are thought to help delay cognitive aging. Aronia berries are actually a better source, with 406% more anthocyanins, 429% more proanthocyanidins, and 344% more total antioxidants than blueberries, according to the USDA database. And even though you've probably never heard of aronia berries before, they're not from some far off place - they're grown on an organic farm in Wisconsin.
And because I’m always looking for new ways to get some health boosting probiotics in, Garden of Flavor’s Cold Pressed Energy Elixirs all contain probiotics from bacillus coagulans, which has been studied for digestive and immune support.
If you'd like to try their Cold Pressed Energy Elixirs yourself, head to instagram where I'm hosting a giveaway for four people to win a sampler back. Or, search them out at a store near you using their store locator. You can also follow them on instagram and facebook.
Try these pick-me-up snacks: