A productive day can make you feel on top of the world. Once you’ve hit your stride and checked off a few items on your to-do list, you’re unstoppable.
That is, until the midday slump.
The drop in energy that comes an hour or two after lunch really takes its toll. Your to-do list looks less and less important with every minute that passes, and by the end of the day, you’re left to wonder: what happened?
There are a few reasons why we commonly feel so sluggish between 1 and 4 pm. You may not be getting enough quality sleep, or you may need to drink more water. One of the most common culprits is also one of the easiest to address-- unbalanced nutrition.
Fortunately, some of the best foods for increasing your daily energy are already in your kitchen or local grocery store. Incorporate these items into your meals (or enjoy them as a snack!) to see your afternoon energy levels totally transform.
1. Brown rice is less processed than white rice and has an abundance of manganese, a mineral used by enzymes to convert carbs and protein into energy.
2. Avocados are abundant with “good” fats and B vitamins-- plus, they’re high in fiber, which helps your energy last longer.
3. Beans contain a variety of nutrients (like iron and magnesium) that produce energy and deliver it straight to your cells.
4. Eggs are not only full of protein, they also contain enzymes and amino acids that help your body break down fat to produce energy.
5. Bananas are full of potassium, vitamin B6, and complex carbohydrates. They also help restore your body’s electrolytes.
6. Spinach contains tyrosine that allows your mind to be more alert. It’s also a great source of iron, increasing your endurance and combatting fatigue.
7. Greek yogurt is rich in protein, while also containing simple sugars that your body can easily break down into energy.
8. Hummus is made with chickpeas and tahini, ingredients that create steady energy levels and mitigate spikes in blood sugar.
9. Shrimp is a low-calorie snack or meal that has plenty of omega-3 fat, which is known to boost mood and energy.
10. Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C, and they provide your body with energy over time, helping you avoid that dreaded slump.
Every body is unique; some of these foods may improve your energy levels more than others. To keep track of what works for you, we recommend keeping a wellness journal! We love this wellness planner from Life & Apples, which includes space for positive affirmations and self-care trackers along with more traditional health journal features (exercise, food, and weight).
The journey toward physical health can come with a lot of highs and lows for our mental and emotional health, too. It’s important to hold space for every part of your experience, and note which foods are truly helping you show up as the best version of yourself every day.