It’s the middle of a long day, you’ve got a few more hours until work is over, and you’re starting to feel extremely tired, sluggish, and mentally drained. Sound familiar? Maybe you pour the third or fourth cup of coffee, maybe you push through until the end of the day, or maybe you take a quick power nap.
Whether this is an everyday occurrence for you, or it happens from time to time, the best way to combat afternoon slumps is to include SNACKS throughout the day. Before I give you an expansive list of energy-boosting snacks, allow me to fill you in on WHY snacks are typically the solution to this midday dilemma.
Your brain works hard every minute of every day. It uses a lot of energy to keep your body going, and because it has a big job to do, it also requires plenty of fuel. Nutrient-rich snacks that are high in fiber, lower in sugars can ensure that our brain has what it needs to keep us going - Meaning more energy for us.
The TYPE of snack really matters here. The goal is more energy (and a satisfied stomach), right? In that case, in order for that to be accomplished, we must choose our food wisely. Foods that contain complex carbohydrates will give us lasting energy, and throwing in protein or fats will help slow the digestion. What this means for you is you’ll be fuller longer, and your body won’t quickly crash. Oh, and you’ll have a nice little mood booster! Because did you know that 95% of your serotonin is produced in your gastrointestinal tract? Simply put, if you eat good food, you’re scientifically happier.
So what actually constitutes a mood-stabilizing, energy-boosting snack?
Well, we’ve already established that it should include complex carbs + protein / fat. Here’s what that can look like:
Trail mix (mixed nuts + dried fruit)
Fruit + nut butter (i.e. banana and pb)
Vegetables + hummus
Turkey + cheese + whole wheat crackers
Fruit smoothie (add nut butter or protein for an extra boost)
Corn chips + veggies + guacamole
Peanut butter + whole wheat toast
Greek yogurt + fruit
Oatmeal + nut butter
Cheese stick + fruit
*some granola bars (ingredients matter here)
Energy balls (I have a stellar recipe on my site / social)
Whole grain cereal + milk
Celery + peanut butter OR cream cheese
PRO TIP - Keep a stash of well-rounded snacks in your car, your office, your purse, etc. so that you can ALWAYS combat a midday slump or bout of low energy!