Here is an everyday scenario: You slept well last night but for some reason, the afternoon energy slump hits you. You reach for your chosen go-to drink or snack, only for it to make you crash later or keep you up when you hit the hay.
Countless studies have shown that it's not your sleeping habits. It is what you eat throughout the day that affects your energy levels. These food items are quite the culprit because they are common in every other person's diet.
If you need a steady energy flow, learn to avoid eating these during a busy work day and integrate the food items you can eat instead in your work diet.
White bread is made from simple carbohydrates. It is great as it will give a quick sugar boost but this will soon drop. That sandwich at brunch will have you wanting a nap in a few hours. Watch out also for croissants and other treats made of flour.
Alternative: Choose whole grain alternatives that are made of complex carbohydrates. Think whole wheat bread and brown rice.
When taken on its own, bananas can make you sleepy because of their magnesium content which is known as a relaxation mineral. It is a natural element that is better taken before bread.
Alternative: Apples are a better fruit option for a healthy energy snack. Apples are high in fibre which helps better digestion, giving your body the ability to create energy better.
Caffeine from coffee is an old reliable for an instant boost. However, you have to be mindful when you will be taking your coffee. The caffeine in it will stay in your system for 10 to 12 hours. This will affect your sleeping cycle, make you reach for a coffee again mid-afternoon the next day and the cycle becomes vicious. Be also aware that the milk and sugar you put in your coffee contributes to your inconsistent energy levels.
Alternative: Tea offers a better caffeine source which keeps you focused and does not give you a crazy spike of energy.
You may have to hold off on the salad for your lunch break. Lettuce contains lactucarium and Reader's Digest says it has "sedative properties and affects the brain similarly to opium." So maybe you want to offset it with other ingredients to help you stay up, especially if you still want that green smoothie.
Alternative: Spinach can be your saviour if you cannot go without a salad. It has iron and a lot of nutrients such as fibre, Vitamin K, and lutein to charge you up.
There is a reason steak is often reserved for dinner. The iron content in red meat is good for energy but the high fat content requires for your digestive system to work double time. Since your energy is spent on digesting the meat, you will find your body in need to recharge via sleep.
Alternative: Salmon is tagged as brain food for its omega-3 content. This helps you not only physically but also picks up your mood. Keep this in mind if you need to get your groove back during work.