How to Stay Energized in the Afternoon

How to Combat That Afternoon Slump

Sometimes, you just can't beat that afternoon slump. Sitting at a desk all day can leave you feeling the opposite of energetic, especially around those postlunch hours when our bodies expend more energy digesting or we crash from the effects of our morning cup of coffee — and when that happens, don't think you can always rely on energy drinks. Besides their long list of unpronounceable ingredients, a new study has found that energy drinks contain high levels of citric acid, which can cause major tooth enamel erosion.

Luckily, even without the energy drinks you don't have to spend your nine-to-five dreading the inevitable urge to nap. Here are some ways for combating that afternoon slump.

  • Exercise in the morning. A good day begins with a good start. Exercising in the morning is beneficial for many reasons: you don't have to worry about scheduling a time later, and it's nice to be able to check something off your list before the day really begins. A morning sweat session is also good for keeping your energy levels up throughout the day, so if you find yourself hitting a wall in the afternoon, try moving your workout session to before work and see how you feel.
  • Take an afternoon walk. If you find yourself spending more time dozing and daydreaming than working in the afternoon, take a 10-minute break to rev up your body. Just walking around the office, chatting with co-workers, or taking a break to enjoy the sunshine outside can be all you need to give your body a recharge.

Still tired? Read on for more tips that'll keep you from taking a nap at your desk!

  • Eat light. Not only will a greasy lunch spell bad news for a diet, but choosing to go for heavy food while you're at work can also put you in that postlunch slump in no time. Instead of opting for Chinese or a burger and fries, try to eat a lighter but filling meal instead. A healthy lunch that includes a good mix of protein, veggies, and complex carbs will keep you feeling full without giving you that lethargic feeling.
  • Drink green tea. Sometimes nothing works better to keep you awake than a dose of caffeine. But don't go overboard or you may find yourself having trouble sleeping later that night. If having a cup of coffee in the afternoon is too much, try drinking a cup of green tea instead. The caffeine levels are low but may still offer you a little pick-me-up, along with a host of other disease-fighting benefits.
  • Stretch at your desk. A few desk-bound yoga moves or spinal twists can get your blood moving and instantly make you feel more energized. In fact, sitting is so bad for us that it can reduce our lifespan by 20 percent, so get in the habit of moving around in your chair regularly to combat the detrimental effects of sitting while awakening your senses.
  • Get smelling. Aromatherapy is a proven mood changer and can take you from sleepy to alert. Citrus oils are perfect for combating a slump, so try keeping some orange-scented oils (or even just oranges and lemons) in your desk for the next time you need a pick-me-up.
Source: Thinkstock
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