Fighting Off the Afternoon Slump
We’ve all suffered the same slump — that point in the afternoon where our energy levels nosedive and we’re struggling to stay awake and alert. It’s common, but it is avoidable if you understand what’s really happening inside your body.
People often call it ‘the afternoon dip’. This is when blood glucose levels may be low, and it’s the body’s way of telling you it needs some energy. While going to quickly boost glucose levels in the form of a soft drink or a chocolate bar may be temporarily satisfying, it won’t help to maintain your glucose levels and you may end up having another dip again! You need to get smarter about energy nutrition.
There are three types of nutrition, each with a particular solution to the afternoon dip.
Of all the products marketed as safe stimulants to get you over tired moments, caffeine is the most reliable is scientifically proven to help increase alertness. Sources include coffee, tea, green tea, guarana and even chocolate. But if you’re watching what you eat, you should beware of simply ordering that take-out coffee: the extra calories hidden in stuff like syrups and sprinkles can send your goals into freefall. If you are thinking about your weight too, you can always try a supplement with fewer ingredients to get your caffeine boost.
Find out more here.
There are quite a few nutrients out there that our body needs to support energy metabolism. These nutrients include the B-vitamins: Vitamin B1 (thiamin), Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (niacin), Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12 and Biotin – these are found in foods such as eggs, meat, whole grains and fruits and vegetables. The B-Vitamins are important for the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
You gain most of your energy from the calories in your food, but foods can release their energy in different ways. Some people prefer to consume low Glycaemic Index (GI) foods, like pulses and whole grains that release energy slowly. Find out more about GI here.
Others may prefer to take more rapid action to overcome fatigue by consuming foods that release energy more quickly. Some foods, like special endurance drinks, bars, gels and tablets, are designed to deliver extra energy in the form of carbohydrates and caffeine when you need it. If this sounds like you, then it can really help your goals to know exactly what you’re consuming so you can balance your calories through the day.