Hello SOTGC community,
There seems to be a regular phenomenon that occurs between the hours of 2-4pm – people experience a “low” or “slump,” or crash in energy. Because it happens to a lot of people, it is assumed that it is normal; let me assure you – just because something is common, does not mean that it is normal.
When working with my clients, I often discover that those people that experience the “afternoon fog” are making similar dietary choices, many of which can be linked to low energy. Here are the top three offenders:
Carbs – If you are eating a bagel/muffin/donut/waffle for breakfast, followed by a sandwich at lunch, you might be in trouble. The carbohydrates found in bread products, especially those made with white flour, send a rush of quick-acting sugar into your bloodstream. They will fuel you only in the short-term, and you will often feel drained later on.
Before I continue, let me say that I am a big fan of carbohydrates, however, I choose smaller servings of those that are most favorable to my energy, and my waistline (quinoa is a personal fave, and I only eat small portions at a time, e.g. ½ cup).
Caffeinated Drinks – If your basic liquid fuel consists of coffee, tea, Red Bull, or Coke, then you are most surely headed for a good crash, because like drugs, they will only keep you “high” so long as you continue to consume them. And coming down from a caffeine high can be rather unpleasant, even if you have become used to it.
One of the best things you can do for yourself is to limit those drinks altogether. Although I’ve never been a coffee drinker, I used to look forward to my morning cup of green tea. Since being pregnant and having a baby, I haven’t gone back to it, and I am no worse off…even though I will admit I have come close to wanting an IV drip full of tea (or jet fuel!) to help with my sleepless nights!
One thing that won’t cause you to pass out at your desk – WATER! Dehydration is another big reason why people feel fatigued, so be sure to drink up!
Sugar – A lot of folks reach for sugar to keep them fueled throughout the day…or the night. Back when I worked as an RN, sugar was often a part of my night-shift routine. A little bit of chocolate here, a few gummy bears there, what can that hurt? Well, like carbs (which are basically sugar when it comes down to it), you might get a temporary energy boost. However, what goes up, must come down, unfortunately.
The worst part of all of this is that it is very common for people to subsist on all three of the abovementioned energy zappers, so it’s no wonder we have an epidemic of people wishing for an afternoon siesta!
Do you notice that any other foods cause you to feel drained or tired? If so, let me know in the comments below! If you want to help your fellow pals beat the energy drain, be sure to share this post via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or Linkedin.