Do you feel yourself getting low on energy in the afternoon? Most of us do. Decreased afternoon energy is a normal part of our circadian rhythm, but it can certainly take a toll on our mood and productivity.
That’s why we’ve uncovered 6 natural ways to boost energy so that you can tackle your end of day workload.
#1. Eat often.
Skipping breakfast and making up for it with a big lunch will leave you dozing off at your desk in the afternoon. Instead, opt for a lighter lunch and healthy snacks before and after it. Doing so will keep your blood sugar levels from spiking high or dipping low, which keep your mood and energy level even.
If you currently skip breakfast, consider grabbing something healthy and portable like a banana so that you can get a few calories in on your commute.
#2. Don’t skip out on carbohydrates.
While low-carb diets go in and out of style, complex carbohydrates remain a main source of energy for your body. Having a diet high in healthy carbohydrates such as vegetables, whole grains, and fresh fruit will make you feel much more energetic throughout the day.
If you have an affinity for sugary snacks, an easy way to get some extra complex carbs is to switch out whatever you like to munch on for whole-grain, low sugar snack bars. You will still satisfy your sweet tooth, while also satisfying your body’s need for energy-boosting nutrition.
#3. Cut the sugar out of caffeine.
Caffeine is one of the better known natural ways to boost energy, but loading up on sugary drinks can have the opposite effect. For years, many experts recommended cutting caffeine out completely out of our diets; however, the energizing effect and mood boost that caffeine offers are both very real, and studies show that consuming small amounts of caffeine has health benefits ranging from maintaining a healthy weight and memory to alleviating depression.
Many of us consume too many coffees drinks, or choose varieties that are very high in sugar, which puts us at a disadvantage when it comes to feeling awake in the afternoon.
Instead of sugary sodas and frothy coffee shop drinks, choose caffeinated beverages that are low in sugar. Unsweetened or lightly sweetened coffee or tea and low sugar energy drinks are good choices. An easy way to start is by trading your dense, heavily sweetened coffee creamer for a shot of milk.
#4. Stay active.
Maintaining a healthy diet and exercising adequately is important for physical health, but the effects of eating poorly and being sedentary affect us outside the doctor’s office as well. You might feel immediately tired after exercising, but do it regularly and you will feel more energetic throughout your day.
Maintaining the health of our physical bodies is one of the most natural ways to boost energy, but it doesn’t need to be the hardest. Try out different kinds of exercise until you find something you enjoy doing to stay active. Pressed for time? Try going for a fifteen minute walk or doing calisthenic exercises on your lunch break.
#5. Get some sleep!
But not in the afternoon. If you tend to take afternoon naps regularly, especially if you have trouble sleeping at night, stop. You will sleep better at night and feel more energetic through your day without them. Try to go to bed at a reasonable hour every night, and if you can, make sure it’s at the same time.
#6. Let in some natural light.
Our brains are designed to have more energy when we are surrounded by natural light. Leave your blinds open while you’re at work. If you do not have natural light in your place of employment, or if you work at night, this can get a little trickier. Try to spend your breaks outside or near a window as much as possible.
If you let the sun hit your skin outside when you’re on break, you’ll also give yourself a healthy helping of energy-boosting vitamin D.