The afternoon energy slump is a common problem. By 3 or 4 o’clock in the afternoon, you feel like you need a nap, but you still have several hours in the day that require you to be at your best. Learn how to make short-term and long-term changes that can boost your energy at the end of the day.
1. Eat energy-boosting foods
Avoid candy bars and other sugary snacks when you’re feeling tired. That sugar rush might give you a mini energy boost, but it’s usually followed by a hard crash that leaves you lethargic (and hungry). Instead, reach for a snack that combines lean proteins and complex carbohydrates. These snacks are more slowly digested and will boost your energy levels in a way that lasts.
2. Eat plenty of fiber for breakfast.
Combining complex carbohydrates with lots of fiber at breakfast has been proven to improve alertness between breakfast and lunch. And whatever you do, never skip breakfast! People who skip breakfast are more likely to be tired and hungry later in the day.
3. Take short breaks
Performance studies show that taking a short break and doing absolutely nothing for a few minutes can help you overcome fatigue and actually get more done in the course of a day. One study showed that workers who took four breaks per hour, usually just 30 seconds each, followed by a 14-minute break after two hours of sitting at the computer, reported higher performance and worked faster and more accurately than their coworkers. Making a habit of taking regular breaks can keep your energy levels consistently higher throughout the day.