Conquering that Afternoon Energy Slump

Conquering that Afternoon Energy Slump

Having trouble maintaining your energy throughout the afternoon? Everyone has experienced that mid-afternoon lull, leaving you feeling drained of energy and motivation. Instead of looking for the nearest vending machine for caffeine, how about trying a snack packed with great nutrition that will provide you with energy and even help prevent over eating at dinner?

Our body’s run like clock work. As the day begins to wind down, so does our metabolism and energy. The best way to combat this afternoon slump is to give our bodies some more fuel in the form of a nutritious snack. This snack not only gives your body the energy it needs to finish out the day, but can bridge the gap from lunch to dinner helping avoid those sharp hunger pains we feel around dinner time that lead to over eating.

So what exactly can you eat to ward off the inevitable afternoon “brain drain”?

Too often we look to quick snacks with processed sugar such as sodas and candy. These items work fast, providing a quick charge by spiking your blood sugar. With such a quick dose of sugar, our bodies quickly retaliate with the hormone insulin, which drops our blood sugar back down resulting in fatigue and hunger. Your best bet it to power pack your snack with complex carbohydrates and a good source of protein. Here’s how to do it:

Complex carbohydrates such as whole wheat, whole grain cereals, breads, or crackers give you that quick energy source your body craves while sneaking in some fiber to help slow the digestion and increase satiety. Next you add the protein, which further sustains your energy by helping your fuel last longer while combating hunger for hours.

Totals: One ounce (3/4 cup) of whole-grain cereal and one cup of low-fat milk–210 calories, 35g carbs, 11g protein, 3.5g fat, 8-10g fiber.

Totals: Two tablespoons of peanut butter and one large rice cake or 2 slices of whole wheat bread–235 calories, 16g carbs, 8g protein, 16g fat, 2g fiber.

Totals: Two tablespoons of hummus and 10 baby carrots–105 calories, 14g carbs, 3g protein, 3.5g fat, 4g fiber.
–Amy Goodson

amy-goodson-quarterback-ranchAmy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD is a registered dietitian for Ben Hogan Sports Medicine and serves as the sports dietitian for the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers, FC Soccer Dallas, Jim McClean Golf School, Texas Christian University Athletics, and University of Texas at Arlington Athletics. In addition, she is an adjunct professor and dietetic intern preceptor for Texas Woman’s University, Texas Christian University and the University of Texas at Arlington and is a state media representative for the Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. . She received her Bachelor of Science degree in speech communications from Texas Christian University and Masters in Exercise and Sports Nutrition from Texas Woman’s University.