06 JanAvoiding the Afternoon Slump

Do you begin to feel lethargic and slow mid-afternoon and find yourself reaching for something sugary then regretting it after? Although there are a number of reasons we experience the afternoon slump: such as our body’s natural circadian rhythm being disrupted due to shift work, lack of regular daily movement, or being sleep deprived, learning to boost our energy by refuelling with the right type of fuel can help us to keep going ALL day long.

Here are some tips to help you feel great ALL day…

Choose Low GI Foods
Slow acting carbohydrate foods help regulate our blood sugar levels and maintain our energy all day. Good sources of low GI foods include rolled oats, legumes (chickpeas and lentils), multigrain bread and sweet potato.

Eat Regularly
Eating every 2-3 hours helps us maintain our energy levels. Remember to include healthy morning and afternoon snacks such as fruit or nuts or include both along with rolled oats in a quick homemade muesli slice.

5 Serves of Vegetables and 2 Serves of Fruit
Remember to eat 5 serves of vegetables every day. Add a side salad to your lunch and vegetable sticks such as carrot and celery with hummus make a great afternoon snack. Fruit is also important as it too contains vitamins and minerals necessary for energy. Like vegetables, fruit also contains fibre that helps to slow digestion, making us feel fuller for longer and it’s a natural sugar too so a good choice if you’re craving something sweet.

More Water and Less Caffeine
Make water your drink of choice. Aim for 6-8 glasses a day. Sometimes when we think we’re hungry we may be dehydrated instead. Keep a water bottle beside you throughout the day. Caffeine gives us a quick burst of energy, but it will quickly leave us feeling even more tired. Remember caffeine is also found in black tea, soft drinks, chocolate and energy drinks, as well as in coffee.

Iron and Vitamin B
Iron helps our blood transport oxygen around our body when we need energy. Iron can be found in red meat, eggs and leafy green vegetables as well as nuts, dried fruit and tofu. The group of B vitamins help our body to release energy from the food we eat. Foods rich in B vitamins include red meat, eggs, wholegrains and fish.

 

Nadine Meggitt

Clinical Nutritionist