You start your morning motivated to take on the day, and you’re powering through your to-do list feeling like nothing can bring your energy down. But once 2 pm rolls around, your focus starts to fade, and you’re fighting the urge to yawn. Sound familiar?
If you’ve experienced the “afternoon slump”, then you know just how much it can interfere with your day. Why does this happen and how can you support consistent energy throughout the day? We have the answers.
Why do I feel tired mid-afternoon?
You’re not getting enough sleep
Healthy, consistent, restorative sleep promotes alertness, memory, and concentration, among other benefits.1 When your sleep is inconsistent or insufficient (under seven hours), you’ll likely feel more tired and unfocused in the afternoon because the body’s sleep-wake cycle (circadian rhythm) has been disrupted. Our circadian rhythm generally makes the urge to sleep strongest at night and mid-afternoon (2-3 pm), so if you’re not getting enough sleep at night, you’ll feel even more tired in the afternoon.2
Get support from a sleep supplement
If sleeping is a struggle for you, we have various sleep supplements that can help. Here are a few of our favourites:
You’re eating high sugar foods
Reaching for a sugary treat or having a big lunch may feel satiating at first, until you feel a sudden energy crash or “food coma” later on. These daytime eating habits often lead to an afternoon dip in energy levels because foods high in sugar or carbohydrates can increase your blood sugar levels and cause fatigue.3 Eating a balance of healthy carbs, fats and proteins throughout the day is better for maintaining consistent energy levels.
You’re drinking too much caffeine
One or two cups of coffee in the morning is fine, but if you reach for three or more cups in the afternoon—it’s time to rethink your caffeine consumption. Drinking too much caffeine blocks a brain chemical (adenosine) that controls your sleep-wake cycle and stops us from feeling tired. But once caffeine wears off, you feel more tired because your body has a buildup of adenosine.4
You’re not getting adequate nutrients
If your diet lacks sufficient fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy proteins, that could explain your drop in energy. Getting enough vitamins and minerals from food is essential to our energy levels and overall health. Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of the following nutrient deficiencies:5 6
- Riboflavin (vitamin B2)
- Niacin (vitamin B3)
- Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5)
- Pyridoxine (vitamin B6)
- Folate (vitamin B9)
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin C
You’re not moving enough
Do you spend the majority of your day seated and desk-bound? This could be the reason behind your afternoon energy slump. Exercise promotes circulation and energy production. It also increases “feel-good” endorphins in the body which help you feel more energized.7
Sometimes our to-do lists, responsibilities, and worries can overload the body’s stress response, leading you to feel more tired as the day goes on. Fatigue is a symptom of chronic stress and emotional exhaustion. Some stress is inevitable now and then, but excessive stress can generate mental fatigue and lethargy.8
How to beat the afternoon energy slump
1. Move around
Moving your body is a great way to boost your energy in the afternoon, especially if you’ve been sitting for a while. It doesn’t have to be a long, challenging workout. Even just a quick stretch, jog, or 15-minute yoga flow can help you feel more alert because the body is delivering oxygen and nutrients to your organs and muscles.9 And don’t forget about that post-workout serotonin energy boost!10
2. Stay hydrated
Just keep sipping—water that is! Being dehydrated has a significant impact on energy levels, mood, and concentration.11 That’s why it’s important to make sure you’re drinking enough water every day. On average, men need to reach for 12 cups of water a day and women need 9 cups a day.12
Go from blah to boost with Sisu Energy Boost™ with Ester-C®
Our vitamin drink mix is an easy and delicious way to stay energized. Just add water to benefit from B-vitamins for energy metabolism and 1000 mg of Ester-C® to help maintain immune function. Available in lemon-lime, wildberry, orange, and piña colada flavours!
3. Take your vitamins
Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and protein contain many of the essential nutrients you need. But if you feel like your diet may have some nutritional gaps, the following supplements can help to complement your day:
4. Eat smaller more frequent nutritious meals
Timing and portions are everything if you want to maintain consistent energy levels during the day. To avoid a blood sugar crash and stay energized throughout the afternoon, avoid sugary drinks and snacks or a heavy lunch. Instead, opt for smaller and more frequent meals every few hours. Ensure that your snacks and meals include a balance of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains.
Looking for the perfect afternoon slump snack? Try this very berry smoothie recipe.
– 1 Packet Energy Boost™ with Ester-C® Wildberry
– 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
– ½ cup frozen berries
– 1 frozen banana
– 1 tablespoon almond butter
5. Take a break
We all need and deserve downtime to rest and recharge. In fact, research shows the brain needs breaks to feel less stressed and more optimized.13 Try taking periodic breaks to focus on yourself and what you need, whether that’s dancing to some upbeat music, meditating or stepping outside for a walk. Just spending 20 minutes in nature is proven to boost energy and vitality.14
6. Get enough sleep
The key to feeling more awake during the day starts with getting the best zzz’s at night. The sweet spot is between seven and nine hours of sleep every night. But the consistency matters just as much as the quantity. It’s important to go to bed and wake up at the same time to optimize your circadian rhythm. And if napping is your jam, then you’ll be happy to know that small catnaps are a good remedy for beating the afternoon slump! Taking regular 10 minute power naps after lunch can benefit memory, cognitive function, and creativity.15
7. Redirect your focus
Working on the same project for hours and starting to feel your energy fade? It might be time to switch gears to keep things fresh. Be mindful not to multitask as doing this can increase stress, slow you down, and make you about 40% less productive.16
Energize your day the healthy way
An afternoon energy slump can get the best of us but it shouldn’t get the best of your everyday routine. By following these healthy tips, you’ll be on your way to feeling like your best energetic self!
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