When fatigue sets in many people reach for a “quick fix” in the form of coffee or soda. These beverages provide an initial burst of energy, but they lack the ability to provide long-lasting stamina. Additionally, these drinks often contain excess, non-nutritive calories in the form of sugar. To minimize consumption of excess sugars and fight afternoon fatigue for good, consider other options that provide more staying power.
First, include breakfast in your daily routine. Studies show that those who eat breakfast have better concentration, feel less fatigue, and are more productive throughout the morning. For an simple breakfast try Greek yogurt, eggs or a whole grain muffin topped with peanut butter. Nuts with fresh fruit are another easy, portable option.
Second, eat a small meal or snack every 3-4 hours and avoid skipping meals to fight fatigue. You will feel more focused when your body has continuous fuel on a regular basis. Be sure to balance your plate and try to include a protein source, healthy fat and/or fiber-rich food with each snack and meal to provide long lasting stamina and satiety.
Third, be mindful of internal hunger cues and avoid overeating as this forces your digestive system into overdrive, contributing to lethargy. Some strategies to prevent overindulgence include limiting distractions while eating, portioning meals in advance, and filling up on water throughout the day, especially before and after meals.
Finally, avoid energy-food pitfalls like refined carbohydrates (white breads, baked goods, etc.) sugary coffees, sodas and energy drinks. These items contribute to excess caloric consumption and lead to energy crashes later on in the day. Instead, opt for fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats to stay alert and energized.
Let us know if these tips help reduce your fatigue and improve energy levels throughout the day!