The dreaded afternoon slump is a productivity killer. You’ve probably fallen victim to a nutritional energy crisis if you find yourself mentally checking out or staring into space during the workday. That might sound a bit dramatic, but it’s the truth. When your body doesn’t get the proper fuel, it can’t function correctly and begins to slow down, making you feel sleepier.
Does your one cup of morning joe turn into a second cup midmorning and an afternoon latte? Relying on caffeine might give you a small amount of quick energy but leads to a crash not long after. You become dependent on consuming more to keep the pep in your step. After a while, your body adjusts and you need even more caffeine to stay alert.
Break the cycle by relying on nutritious food choices to keep you energized at work instead. Meals and snacks with complex carbohydrates and lean proteins are powerhouses for office stamina. These options are packed with nutrients and will get you through the workday with energy to spare.
Snacks With Staying Power
When the urge to snack strikes, be sure to have plenty of healthy and filling options that will get you through that midmorning or midafternoon slump.
1 Greek Yogurt
Yogurt is a delicious and creamy source of protein to help you stabilize your energy. You’ll also benefit from a wealth of probiotics to support your gut health.
For the best protein boost, opt for plain Greek yogurt, which offers nearly twice the amount as regular yogurt for the same serving size. Plain is the best choice since it has no added sugar or artificial flavors. If you don’t like the taste, add honey and a fruit of your choice.
3 Apple Slices With Nut Butter
Pairing apples with nut butter provides each macronutrient you need for a balanced snack. Apples are full of fiber, and the nut butter blends protein and healthy fat.
For a fun spin on this treat, core an apple and slice it into rings to make your own healthy “doughnuts.” Spread your favorite nut butter and top with berries, dried fruit, nuts or granola.
4 Cottage Cheese and Fruit
Cottage cheese has a mild flavor profile and mixes well with fruit for a delicious filling midmorning treat. This snack provides around the same amount of protein as a serving of Greek yogurt. Choose a low-sodium variety if you eat it frequently.
Cottage cheese has a light taste, so you can combine it with various toppings. Try mixing it with honey or real maple syrup for added sweetness — or try dark chocolate, fruit chunks, nuts or coconut shavings.
5 Energy Balls
Energy balls come in many varieties but are typically nut butter-based, so they’re full of protein and healthy fat to keep you full and energized until your next meal. You only need one or two at a time for a great snack. Whip up a whole batch and enjoy them all week.
6 Hummus and Veggies
Vegans will love this snack option. Hummus, made with chickpeas and tahini, is an excellent source of plant-based protein. Pair it with pita chips or fresh-cut vegetables for extra fiber.
If you have the time, you can make your own to control the ingredient quality. However, there are plenty of great prepackaged options on the market, with different flavor options like roasted red pepper and spinach and artichoke.
Choosing a balanced lunch with all three types of macronutrients — protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats — will help you feel fuller and stay alert throughout the workday.
1 Stuffed Avocados
Avocados are such a versatile food. You can chop them up, add them to a salad or sandwich, pop them in a soup or eat them with a bit of salt and pepper straight out of the skin.
One of the most delicious ways to prepare an avocado is to stuff it with your favorite ingredients, like a baked potato but with fewer carbs and plenty of healthy fat. Try adding fish for essential fatty acids, which can increase energy and concentration among other health benefits.
2 Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich
Bring back this tasty grade-school favorite for a protein and nostalgia-packed lunch. Whole grain bread will offer complex carbs to keep you full. Peanut butter has protein and healthy fat, while bananas add more sweet flavor along with natural sugar for a quick energy boost.
3 Stir Fry With Brown Rice
Get the takeout taste without the cost and added preservatives. Make your own stir fry with meat or a vegan alternative of your choice for a boost of lunchtime protein and energy. Layer your stir fry over a complex carb like brown rice to help you feel full for longer.
With many different variations of sauce to try, you could enjoy this meal every week and not get bored.
4 Roasted Vegetables and Chicken Sausage
It’s incredibly easy to roast a batch of vegetables to last you a whole week of lunches. Toss your favorites — like sweet potato, carrot and broccoli — with olive oil, salt and pepper. Add chicken or vegan sausage to the same pan for a protein boost and bake them in the oven for 20 minutes at 350. The vegetables provide plenty of fiber, and the olive oil is a healthy fat for balance.
Start Your Day Off Right
Packing nutritious snacks and lunches will help your energy levels significantly throughout the day. However, they’ll only do so much if you aren’t fueling yourself with a good breakfast. Prepping your morning meal will speed up your routine and give you enough energy till your midmorning snack, so you can skip coffee altogether if you want.
9 Healthy Foods to Keep You Energized at Work All Day | WOMENONTOPP.COM | WOMEN ON TOPP |