Afternoon fatigue, also known as the afternoon crisis, is a common concern and complaint. Drowsiness can affect job performance and road safety and can be frustrating to cope with. Many people go for caffeinated soda, which is not a natural energy booster, for a temporary solution when there are better ways to resolve fatigue. Choosing alternatives early in the day, then making some lifestyle and meal changes, is often enough to beat the afternoon crisis.
1. Sleep well at night before work. The jump of a few hours of sleep affects your ability to function properly the next day and increase the likelihood of fatigue in the afternoon.
2. Eat a good healthy breakfast. If you do not get the proper nutrients in the morning, you are more likely to have a lower energy later. Jumping breakfast will also increase your cravings for fatty foods and overeating at lunch, both of which will cause fatigue later. Good breakfast choices are whole wheat toast, whole grain cereal, juice, fruit, cheese, and coffee with skim milk.
3. Exercise in the early afternoon. It does not matter if you are at home, at work or at school, give some time for a brief exercise. It can be as simple as taking a walk around the office complex, school grounds, or yard. Getting outside in the crisp air is tonic, but if you have to stay indoors, moving in the office or stretching are good choices.
4. Eat a low fat, high protein lunch. Stay away from fatty or fried foods and simple carbohydrates such as plain bread, noodles and chips. It is particularly important to reduce sugar and, therefore, avoid soft drinks, sweets or cakes at lunchtime. All of these foods will give you an initial boost of energy, but cause a “sugar crash” later, resulting in fatigue. Eat whole grain carbohydrates mixed with protein for an optimal lunch, such as chicken with either whole grain pasta or green salad, or in a whole wheat sandwich.
5. Bring healthy home-work or school snacks. Often, when hunger strikes, people head to the nearest distributor loaded with sweets and salty chips. These foods are not going to help with afternoon fatigue, so it’s best to plan ahead by bringing home-made snacks. Pack fruit, cheese, nuts, yogurt, and vegetables to eat during the day which is the source of best natural energy.