Avoiding the Mid-day Crash

We’ve all been there; it’s 3:00 pm and you’re struggling to keep your eyes open. You’ve been productive all morning, but now your eyelids are getting heavy, you’re having trouble concentrating, and all you want to do is surf through Instagram on your phone. Although the solution for many is to grab an afternoon coffee or sugary treat, there are some very simple things you can do to prevent the mid-day crashing from happening in the first place.

Eat a Protein-Packed Lunch

Protein is the most satiating macronutrient. Ensuring that your lunch is rich in protein will help to keep your blood sugar balanced throughout the afternoon. Pack a lunch that has a good source of plant-based protein, lots of healthy fats, tons of veggies, and whole food carbohydrates. For example, a lentil pasta with tofu bolognese or a wrap filled with hummus and pesto!

Get Outside

Office lighting and your computer screen are doing you no favours when it comes to avoiding the afternoon crash. Taking the time to get outside, feel the fresh air, and get some sunlight will reduce the amount of melatonin (sleep hormone) your body produces while boosting serotonin production (feel-good hormone). Even a short 15-minute walk on your lunch break will make a big difference in preventing the mid-afternoon crash.

Stay Hydrated

I know, I know, you are probably sick of being told to drink more water, but it’s true. Your brain needs to be well hydrated in order to function optimally. Studies show that even mild dehydration can impair many aspects of brain function. For example, A study for the Journal of Nutrition found that fluid loss of 1.4% impaired mood and concentration and increased the frequency of headaches [1]. Keeping a reusable water bottle at your desk will serve as a visual reminder to drink more water. Plus, it’s better for the environment than relying on single-use plastic water bottles.

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