It wouldn't be far from the truth to say that we're all looking for that secret sauce to keep energy up throughout the day. As with everything, what we put into our body matters. Energy can absolutely be supported by keeping blood sugar stable through creating balanced meals & snacks (& incorporating unsweetened drinks of course!).
Let's get specific.
When you eat a carb of any kind - bread, rice, a sugary drink, fruit even - it turns into sugar in the body. The blood sugar rises sharply, the body uses whatever sugar that it needs in that short time frame and often, the unneeded is stored as fat. To avoid those big energy dips throughout the day, blood sugar balance is key. Protein and fiber are two key nutrients for making that happen. So let's say you have a slice of toast on it's own; even whole wheat is going to spike the blood sugar and when it drops, you are likely left feeling lethargic and craving more carbs. Instead, if you had eggs or chicken salad on that bread (aka protein) + a handful of greens or sliced tomato (aka fiber), the blood sugar rise is going to happen much more gradually. This supports more stable energy and also, less energy ruts.
Upgrade your snack
No human I've ever met has escaped the 3PM slump. It's when we go for that second (or fourth) caffeine hit. It's when that 'snacky' phase of the day begins. So when the sleepiness inevitably begins to settle in - check in with your hydration first. The first sign of dehydration is fatigue, so see if you get that much-needed energy boost after some water (not feeling water? We hear caffeine-free tea like this can do the trick too).
Here's a few ideas to maximize your energy during snack time (& you don't even have to buy "energy bars"!):
- Same concept for fruit! Instead of an apple on its own, add PB or cheese to it. Try berries in a Greek yogurt or with cottage cheese instead of on their own. See if you notice feeling satisfied for longer!
- Is there a better pair than chocolate and peanut butter?! ...
Maybe Blueberry and Cinnamon with Hibiscus tea? No, but really. PB + Chocolate are perfect together. The nut butter is a great protein (keeping mindful of serving size) + get a quality dark chocolate so just a couple pieces satisfies. We like Hu & Evolved.
- Smoothie Snack Break. Smoothies can be loaded with fruit & added sugars (ie honey, agave), so this is where it's important to be mindful when it comes to portion size. Our girl, Kelly LeVeque, is the go to on all things blood sugar & smoothies. We love her protein powder & this smoothie is heavenly.