5 Healthy Ways to Beat the Mid-Afternoon Slump


It’s late afternoon. You’re feeling sleepy, fatigued, de-energized. In a zombie-like state, you rise from your desk. Your body moves stiffly and lifelessly. Ever felt that way?

Your brain tells you your only hope for survival is down the hall or at the nearest quickie-mart. Minutes later, you’re gulping down a caffeinated beverage and munching on a candy bar.

If you’ve ever hit a mid-afternoon slump, you can probably relate. But caffeine and sugar aren’t exactly the best ways to deal with it. Here are 5 healthy ways to give your energy levels a boost and prevent the mid-afternoon slump.

1. Start with a healthy breakfast

No, a donut and soda doesn’t count. Eating a healthy breakfast is good for your health, your body, and your brain. It’s fuel for energy you need throughout the day. Have some fresh fruit, Greek yogurt, or whole-grain toast with peanut butter, or try:

Choose the right snacks

A candy bar and soda might seem like a quick-fix to fading energy. But it won’t last. High-calorie, sugary foods like this are digested rapidly. You’ll get an energy boost, followed by another slump, and cravings for more. Plan ahead for the mid-afternoon slump and choose healthier snacks like fresh fruit, vegetables with hummus, a protein shake, or even a mini meal.

Get your Zzzs

The next time you’re hit by the mid-afternoon slump, do a self-check. How many hours of sleep did you get the night before? If it’s less than 7, it’s time to rethink your bedtime and sleep habits. On less than 7 hours of sleep, you’re bound to feel tired and groggy at some point during the day.

Drink more water

Here’s a simple way to improve brain function...drink more water. The old-school 8-glasses-a-day rule works for most people. Although you might need more if you’re highly active or in a hot environment. Next time you’re tired, fill up a glass or bottle with ice and water to make it extra cold, and drink up. It’s a great pick-me-up drink with zero calories.

Go for a walk

When the mid-afternoon slump hits, train yourself to get up and go for a walk. Outside if possible. Walk briskly. Breathe deeply. It’s a great way to reduce stress, improve your mood, and give your brain a wake-up call.