That irritability or loss of focus you experience around 3pm doesn’t have to be a regular occurrence. By balancing your blood sugar levels you can avoid that afternoon slump and stay focused and creative right through till dinner.
Why you crash?
Your brain’s preferred source of fuel is glucose. So your body is constantly trying to balance it’s blood glucose or sugar levels to make sure your brain is adequately fuelled so you are alert and ready for a tiger, or to meet that work deadline. When our blood sugar level is dysregulated it impacts our energy levels. A drop in blood sugar will signal to our brain we are tired. Triggering the need to eat something sugary stat or have a quick nap.
Most often we grab a handful of lollies, a chocolate biscuit or another latte. However this only makes the cycle worse. It pumps the body with too much sugar and insulin works hard to take this sugar to our cells. This causes a drop in blood sugar levels leading to that eye closing crash.
So why in the afternoon do we get this drop? Our bodies natural cortisol production (Stress/wake hormone) starts to have a small dip around 3pm, so a little tired sensation is normal. But for a complete dive in energy we have to take a look at the meals we have eaten earlier in the day.
A diet high in refined carbohydrates, or not eating enough will result in a drop in blood sugar levels or hypoglycaemia. This then causes us to get the shakes, lose focus and experience hanger and sugar cravings.
How do we fix this?
Start with these four ways to beat the afternoon crash. If you find you are still having a drop in energy it is best to consult with a functional doctor or clinical nutritionists to see if anything underlying is occurring.
Give your breakfast a makeover
Starting your day with just a fruit-filled juice, a piece of toast or bowl of cereal will trigger the blood sugar roller coaster nightmare. Sugar levels will soar, but just as quickly will come crashing back down. By adding a source of healthy fats and clean protein to your breakfast will ensure sugar is slowly released into the bloodstream maintaining that constant energy. Try a Forme Superblend which utilises MCT oil to keep you feeling fuller for longer.
Go refined sugar free
Natural sugars such as fruit, raw honey, organic maple syrup and rice malt syrup aren’t to blame here and a little bit in the diet is not a bad thing. Refined sugar includes added sugar that is hidden in breads, cereals, sauces, deli meats and not so hidden in packaged foods. Too much added sugar in the diet just keeps you on the blood sugar roller coaster. If you're having a sweet craving, try a Forme Raw Cacao Superblend which creates a healthy hot chocolate, without the sugar.
Get a new 3pm routine.
The sleepiness in the afternoon and reaching for another coffee or sweet biscuit might have become a habitual act. Switch this up by changing what you do around 3pm. Try a meditation to refresh and reset the mind. If sitting still will only cause you to fall asleep, go for an afternoon walk outside with a big glass of water and fresh squeeze of lemon or make yourself a green tea.
Have a balanced lunch
Lunch is often skipped in the workplace or pushed back. Even then it’s a quick sandwich or wrap from the cafe across the road. Try having lunch at a regular time between 12-2pm. Balance your lunch by having plenty of leafy greens, a cup full of colourful vegetables, a source of healthy fats such as avocado or nuts and seeds or extra virgin olive oil and top with clean protein such as wild caught salmon, pasture raised chicken or sautéed tempeh.