It’s that time period between about 1-3 – the time period where many people have a massive energy crash. Now, we all have a natural lull that happens mid-afternoon. Other cultures recognize this and allow work breaks and siestas, but what I am talking about is when your energy lull turns into a full blown energy crash.
A crash where you feel intense brain fog and that every single cell in your body is asleep. You can’t even force yourself to get up and moving. You crashed.
This sort of crash is pretty miserable and can definitely be helped with your nutrition and lifestyle.
It starts with food – what are you eating?
What did you eat for breakfast? If you started your day with cereal and toast, a bagel, a a sugary breakfast bar, or maybe just a mocha-locha-frappy-syrupy-ccino you are probably going to have an energy crash in the afternoon. In fact, I can basically guarantee it, especially if you are someone who has some metabolic damage and insulin resistance happening in your body.
The reality is those food choices are going to turn into a whole bunch of sugar in your blood stream. Too much sugar is inflammatory and incredibly stressful on your body.
Now if you continue that sort of eating pattern and have chips and a soda for lunch, or maybe just a few bites of the leftover mac n’ cheese and crackers from what the kids were having, you are eating processed foods that are lacking quality nutrients and turning into too much sugar in your blood stream. You can’t fuel your engine with processed foods and expect to run on all cylinders.
Catch your zzzzz’s
You need sleep. You need sleep. Research currently says the average adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep a night. If you are someone who is leading a lower stress lifestyle, aren’t suffering from a lot of inflammation, and are eating mostly real foods, you are the person that will likely do fine in the 7 hour range. Why? Sleep is our restoration. Meaning, if on the flip side you are highly stressed, eating lots of sugar and take-out foods, your body needs more time to rest, restore and repair at night.
If you are chronically sleep deprived, it’s going to be incredibly taxing on your body. This sleep deprivation will conjure up sugar cravings and adrenal fatigue. It can be stressful on your thyroid hormones as well as other crucial energy promoting hormones in your body. All of this will lead to that intense afternoon energy crash.
Interestingly enough, when we don’t get enough sleep our cells start to act insulin resistant. Lack of sleep seems to make our bodies act like they are pre-diabetics. Convinced you need sleep yet?
Already crashed and not sure what to do?
- Consider your water intake – hydration will energize your cells!
- Peppermint! Sometimes I will add mint leaves into my water or use some peppermint oils. Peppermint is very energizing
- Focus on some healthy fats – Try getting in something like avocados, olives, nuts, deviled eggs or maybe some good cheese. These foods have some healthy fats that will help to reset your blood sugars. I always think of fats in our food as blood sugar anchors. They really tie down your blood sugars and keep them even keeled.
If you are ready to see if “nutrition can help” your energy and help you get quality sleep, look into setting up an individualized nutrition consultation. All of my consults are 10% off through the month of March.
Nutrition Can Help,
Katie Vigesaa, RD