You started off strong in the AM with a great breakfast and maybe a workout, but when the clock strikes 3, you want to crawl under your desk and sleep the rest of the work-day. Sounds familiar?
Our bodies produce the highest amount of cortisol in the morning. It is our body’s natural way of increasing alertness to jump start the day (6-8AM.) Throughout the day, it gradually drops, causing us to feel a decrease in energy levels around 3-4 PM, hence the “afternoon slump.”
So how do we banish this slump?
Limit coffee consumption to one cup a day.
Coffee is a stimulant that raises our cortisol levels, giving us a “false” sense of energy. As soon the stimulation wears off, we are going to feel the crash.
Maca is a root vegetable and superfood from South America that increases endurance and energy levels naturally. A small portion of it in the morning can give you steady energy throughout the day.
Eat Clean protein from plant sources
Clean protein is protein from plant sources, like nuts and lentils. They contain magnesium and B vitamins that help boost energy and brain function. We ALL need that at 3 PM.
Replace Caffeine with Vitamin B &C
Dark leafy greens are a must for natural energy. Having a green smoothie with your favorite greens and fruits/berries is an incredibly smart swap for a coffee. The B Vitamins from the veggies, along with Vitamin C from the fruits/berries will give you the gentle push you need to gracefully make it through end of the work day.
Go for a walk.
Fresh air and movement can do wonders for your mood and energy levels.
Finally, there is no other substitute for good quality sleep the night before. When you don’t get consistent sleep (7-8) hours, your body goes into survival mode, increasing you cortisol (stress hormone) level, causing imbalance in the blood sugar (cue the sugar cravings), and depletes you of clear brain function. That’s the last thing we want at 3PM!
Written By: Jalpa Dhaduk, MOTR/L, INHC
Jalpa is an Occupational Therapist and a Nutrition Health Coach. She specializes in digestive health and helps clients decipher and resolve their digestive issues via food and lifestyle modification. She believes in a positive attitude, movement that is enjoyable, delicious foods, and mindfulness.