Beating the Four O’Clock Slump

May 10, 2010

Have you ever noticed that at three or four o’clock your energy level is low and you’re feeling tired and hungry? You’re not alone! Many people suffer from what I call the “Four O’Clock Slump.” You may think that having more coffee or something sweet will increase your energy, but caffeine and sugar are not the answer. In fact, they will make you feel worse in the end. So what will help you beat the slump? Here are 5 ways to boost energy!

  1. Eat breakfast! Breakfast jump starts your metabolism, giving you the energy you need for the morning.  Make sure to have a combination of complex carbohydrates and lean protein.
  2. Eat balanced mini-meals throughout the day. You need to refuel your body every 3 to 4 hours (which is how long it takes for your blood sugar to drop if you’re eating nutritious meals). Meals and snacks should be a mix of lean protein, complex carbs, and a little healthy fat.
  3. Drink more water. Dehydration can leave you feeling tired and lethargic, and the body often confuses dehydration for hunger. Make sure to get enough non-caffeinated, no- or low-sugar beverages throughout the day.
  4. Take a walk. Fresh air, daylight, and exercise will increase oxygen to your brain, heart, muscles, and lungs, which will boost energy and alertness.
  5. Avoid high-fat meals. Fat takes longer to digest than protein and carbs, leaving little blood flow to the brain and the rest of the body. You need enough fat in your meals to prevent sugar highs and lows, but not too much that you’ll feel weighed down and sluggish as a result. Choose healthy fats like olive oil, nuts, and avocados, and remember – a little fat goes a long way!

Stay tuned for 5 more tips to boost energy tomorrow!

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  1. Ah yes… the dreaded 4 o’clock slump. My favorite way to combat this is a short walk. Does the trick almost every time and when it doesn’t I just go home!!!