So you are sitting at your desk at 2 o’ clock in the afternoon and your eyelids are starting to get heavy, it takes all your will power, and two cups of coffee, to prevent you from slipping into a deep slumber. It is strange because you had plenty sleep the night before, how irritating! Learn how to avoid this kind energy low by changing a few habits and achieving day-long great energy!
- Have Low-GL foods and drinks. Having fluctuating blood sugar levels is the greatest cause of energy slumps. Low Glycaemic Load foods help to balance your blood sugar levels which means balanced energy levels. Eating 5 balanced Low-GL meals a day will help to keep your energy levels stable throughout the day and allow you to wake-up refreshed and ready for action.
- Eat breakfast. After and 8+ hour sleep your body needs food to help break its energy-conserving, food fasting-state. Give your body the wake up it needs with a healthy Low-GL breakfast like oats, raisin-free muesli or scrambled eggs on rye bread.
- Graze don’t gorge at lunch. The after-lunch-slump is normally the worst energy dip of the day. This is because when we eat a big meal your body puts all its energy into digestion. Make sure that you eat a health snack between your breakfast and lunch so you are not ravenous by lunchtime. Healthy snacks include a boiled egg, a small fruit with a few nuts, a low fat yoghurt, G.I. Lean Firm & Lean Chocolate, Strawberry or Vanilla shakes and some lean biltong. Great lunch options should include protein with a Low-GL carbohydrate to sustain you for longer.
- Cut-out the Caffeine. Caffeine gives you a short term energy boost followed by an energy slump greater than before, which results in some people having many cups of coffee a day. Stop the energy high and low repetitive cycle by switching to de-caffeinated coffee and herbal or caffeine-free teas.
- Drink water. A glass of cold water can revive you and give your energy levels a reboot. Often when we are hungry or tired what we actually need is water. Make sure you are drinking enough water a day, +- 8 glasses is sufficient. A handy tip is to keep a water jug or bottle at your desk or within eye-view.
- Take a quick walk. If you are feeling sleepy, instead of emailing or phoning someone in your office get up and walk to them. Walking will revive your mental focus and promote your body’s blood flow.
- Avoid sugar. Sugar shoots your sugar levels to the sky like a rocket and then sends it plummeting to earth. Skip out on chocolates, sweets, sugary beverages and beware hidden sugars like those in iced-tea, yoghurt, rusks, diet biscuits, low fat dressings, breakfast bars or fruit rolls. Replace the sugar you have in your tea or coffee with xylitol, which promotes healthy blood sugar levels and has 40% less calories than sugar. Try G.I. Lean’s Xylitol which is suitable for diabetics when used as part of a balanced eating plan.
- Stretch. Firstly make sure you have the correct posture at your desk or work station, then make time throughout the day to take deep breaths, as well as flex and stretch your muscles to promote circulation.
- Have a power nap. This is not possible for most desk-bound office employees but if you are in a situation where you can catch a few winks, set your alarm so you can get a 25-minute power nap. Try and simulate your normal sleep environment. Look for a dark, comfortable place, eye masks and a soft pillow can assist with this.