Stuck in a midday slump? Change these habits right now for an instant energy boost.
If you constantly feel like you’re dragging, it may be time to take a closer look at your routine. If you don’t have a related health condition and are getting enough sleep each night, you may be to blame for the constant fatigue.
Here are 7 energy-zapping habits that you can change today.
You may be eating too much sugar. While the candy jar is an obvious culprit, refined carbohydrates like white bread and rice, chips, and cereal are a major source of sugar, too. This type of simple sugar is digested quickly by the body, leading to a dip in blood sugar levels that leaves you feeling fatigued. Be sure to replace refined carbs with whole grain varieties for a lasting energy boost.
You may not be exercising enough. It may seem counter-intuitive that exerting energy will actually increase it, but adding a workout to your daily routine will give you a short-term energy boost. Plus, regular exercise improves sleep quality, which will ultimately leave you feeling more well rested.
You may be skipping breakfast. "Skipping breakfast can definitely contribute to low energy in the morning," says Johannah Sakimura, MS and Everyday Health blogger. "It's important to give your body good fuel to start the day after an extended period of fasting." Without this fuel, your body is running on empty – leaving you famished by lunchtime and more likely to make unhealthy choices that will cause that midafternoon dip in blood sugar.
You may be sitting too much. Standing up and moving for even a few minutes helps get your blood circulating through your body and increases the oxygen in your blood, ultimately sending more oxygen to your brain which increases alertness.
You may be drinking too much caffeine. Whether it’s a can of soda or constant refills of your coffee mug, many of the beverages we reach for when we feel tired are packed with caffeine – a stimulant that will give you a quick jolt, but can also leave you crashing soon after if you ingest too much. Plus, if you’re drinking caffeinated beverages into the afternoon, they may start to have an effect on your sleep quality.
You may be dehydrated. We all know the importance of drinking enough water – and even mild dehydration can have adverse effects on your energy level, mood, and concentration. Aim for at least one glass of water per hour while sitting at your desk, and be sure to fill your bottle up even more if you’re doing strenuous activity or are outdoors in high temperatures.
You may not be snacking wisely. If you’re running to the vending machine for a quick afternoon snack, your selection – most likely high in simple carbs and sugar – will take your energy levels in the wrong direction. Instead choose a snack that has a combo of protein and complex carbs for an energy boost that will last throughout the afternoon. Think trail mix, veggies and hummus, or peanut butter on whole wheat toast.
Retrieved and Adapted From Brianna Steinhilber (, March 3) 8 Reasons You Have No Energy