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Need More Energy in the Afternoon?

By Randi Morse

I used to think that I was the only person who got exhausted in the early afternoon. A few hours after lunch I tend to get very sleepy and the idea of a nap sounds like heaven. I figured that there was just something wrong with me. The good news is that I'm completely normal. The "afternoon slump" is a well-known phenomenon. Some people turn to caffeine to help them get through their exhaustion, but there are things that you can do to help combat the afternoon slump without needing to resort to caffeine.

Protein

Getting through the afternoon with energy requires that you give your body the right fuel, and that means protein. Your body has to work fairly hard to break down carbohydrates, and having too many carbs can easily cause you to feel tired. Instead of having a tuna fish sandwich, have tuna salad. Don't eat pasta salad, try a green salad with ingredients like diced ham, turkey, or hard boiled egg in it. Things like low-fat cheese and chickpeas are great options for a healthy, energy-inducing lunch.

Moving

How much time do you spend sitting at your desk? Being sedentary is a surefire way to feel exhausted in the afternoon. If you start feeling tired, take a little break, get up, and move around! Take a walk up and down your office staircase or go outside for a few moments and breathe some fresh air. By getting your heart rate pumping, and your muscles moving, you'll be warmed up and will wake up.

Routine

Change up your routine! If you feel like you're having a difficult time focusing, change up what you're doing. If you're working on a business proposal, switch to sorting out and responding to emails for a bit. By changing up your routine you're helping your brain to wake up, which, in turn, makes you feel more awake. 

Contact

If you're feeling tired in the afternoon, take a few minutes and give a close friend or family member a call. Having a quick discussion with someone you care about is similar to changing up your routine. 

You don't need to deal with the afternoon slump, and you especially don't need to down large amounts of caffeine in order to get through it. If you fuel your body correctly, with a lot of protein, and change up your routine, getting up and moving when you can, you'll find that the afternoon slump can be minimized.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Monrovia, Calif.

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