Friday, May 24, 2024

3 expert tips to fight the 3 p.m. slump

Posted

(BPT) - Do you struggle to stay focused and alert in the afternoon? The 3 p.m. slump is very real and hard to avoid! Many people feel their energy and productivity tank during this time, but fortunately, you don't have to give in to the 3 p.m. slump. Registered dietitian and Quest partner Kristin Kirkpatrick, M.S., offers her top three tips to help power through this challenging time of day.

1. Choose your afternoon beverage wisely

What you drink in the afternoon can help or hinder your fight against the afternoon slump. Choose your drinks wisely by avoiding sugary beverages. Consuming too much sugar throughout the morning is a sure way to fast-track a midday crash.

When your body has more sugar than it's used to, it produces an influx of insulin to keep your blood glucose (sugar levels) consistent. This blood sugar spike is quickly followed by a crash caused by a rush of insulin and decreased blood glucose, leaving you tired and unfocused.

Avoid a sugar crash and boost your energy by reaching for a beverage high in protein and minimize sugar. Kirkpatrick recommends keeping Quest Iced Coffees on hand to help you power through your day. Just one serving offers 10 grams of protein, 1 gram of sugar and a whopping 200 milligrams of caffeine, so you can stay alert throughout the day while hitting your nutrition goals.

2. Get moving

A simple yet powerful way to combat the 3 p.m. slump is to get moving! Moving increases blood flow and oxygen to your brain, making you feel more alert and energetic.

When you're feeling lethargic and unfocused, practice some light stretches, do a few jumping jacks or pushups, or take a walk. With the weather warming up, it's the perfect excuse to leave your desk and take a stroll around the block or even the office.

In addition to improving your energy and focus, physical activity stimulates brain chemicals that can make you feel happier, relaxed, and less anxious so you can breeze through your day and feel your best.

3. Work on your sleep

Do you regularly feel tired throughout the day? You may not be sleeping enough. If you are getting solid, restful sleep, you're more likely to stay energized and focused the following day.

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute recommends that adults sleep between seven to nine hours each night. Once you have a consistent sleep schedule, staying awake — even during the afternoon — will become easier.

Consider making time for a nap on days you haven't slept enough. Surprisingly, even short naps have been found to enhance energy and alertness. Studies show that short naps can potentially reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes!

Don't let the 3 p.m. slump beat you! With these three tips, you can power through even your sleepiest afternoons and finish your day strong.