We all have those days when we’re feeling sluggish and tired at work, and we’re desperately in need of a pick-me-up. These are the times when it’s easy to reach for the office chocolate jar. But what if we told you there are a few ways that you can prep yourself to push through the day without feeling the arvo slump? Read on to see our 5 tips for staying energised all day without the need for a sugar hit.
Hydration, Hydration, Hydration
Number one tip – Stay hydrated! One of the most common reasons for feeling fatigued is dehydration; it also leads to reduced concentration, headaches, and a lack of motivation. Not things we want to be dealing with when we’re trying to kill it at work!
The daily requirement of water intake varies from person to person and is affected by factors such as temperature and physical activity. The general recommendation from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) is 2.6 litres per day for men and 2.1 litres per day for women.
Check out our previous post on why hydration is so important and what contributes to your daily intake here.
Start the Day Right with a Sustaining Breakfast
It’s important to make sure you’re eating enough throughout the day in order to have the energy you need to live your best life, and this starts with the first meal of the day – breakfast! Whether you’re eating at home, during your commute, or (like many of us) at your desk when you get to work, there are plenty of filling and healthy options to keep you fuller for longer.
Make sure you’re including a balance of complex carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats, as well as adding any fruits or vegetables to get an extra dose of vitamins.
Some great options include:
- Bircher Muesli: Try our delicious Bircher Muesli with Berries or make your own
- Overnight Oats: Similar to Bircher Muesli, just mix up a combination the night before of rolled oats, your choice of dairy milk, non-dairy milk or water, yoghurt and chia seeds, then top with your favourite flavourings such as nuts, fruit, honey, and berries.
- Eggs: These little protein-packed powerhouses are a great nutritional package. And they go with everything! Have them scrambled, fried, boiled or poached with wholegrain/wholemeal toast and whatever vegetables you choose. An omelette is an awesome way to start your day & is also a great way to get one of your 5 serves of veggies in before you’ve even had lunch!
- Smoothies: These are the perfect on-the-go meal. Simply whizz up your choice of fruit (berries, banana, avocado, etc), vegetables (spinach, kale, etc), yoghurt, milk or water and something for protein such as nuts, nut butter or chia seeds. To make it even easier, why not try one of our pre-packed frozen smoothie mixes, and just add your own milk/water!
The benefits of regular physical activity and movement are endless – improving circulation, aiding digestion, reducing the risk of musculoskeletal injuries and pain, reducing eye strain, and lowering your risk of heart disease and diabetes, just to name a few.
Some great ways to make sure you keep moving throughout the day are:
- Use a sit/stand desk so that you’re not constantly sitting – if you don’t have one, it never hurts to ask!
- Make sure the photocopier/printer is far enough away that you have to get up to use it
- Stand during phone calls
- Walk over to your colleagues’ desks instead of calling or emailing them (also a great excuse to chat about the latest goss from The Bachelor)
- Have standing meetings instead of sitting around a table
- Take breaks throughout the day – go for a little walk around the office, get a drink of water (see point one!), and go for a lunch time walk to get some fresh air outside
- Eat lunch away from your desk – outside is even better!
Get Your Zzzzz’s
We all know that sleep is super important for energy and for our health, but why is that exactly?
Well, sleep is a vital requirement for lots of our bodies’ functions, such as strengthening our immune system, improving attention, memory and learning, improved concentration and mood, and enabling growth and healing – many of which are key to a productive work day. Sleep is also helpful for regulating our appetite and weight; if we’re sleep deprived, our levels of leptin decrease and levels of ghrelin increase. Leptin is the hormone responsible for making us feel full, whereas ghrelin makes us hungry. So, what happens if these hormones are thrown out of whack due to too little sleep? That’s right, we overeat! And not the good stuff; you’ll end up craving high fat, high carbohydrate foods because your body wants extra energy fast.
In addition to these annoying outcomes, lack of sleep also causes decreased safety and productivity in the workplace. And no one wants that – you or your boss!
Finally, make sure you’re choosing healthy snacks to keep you going throughout the day. The right combination of complex carbs, proteins and fats will give you the energy you need to keep going and going!
Some yummy (and portable) snack ideas are:
- Our delicious Power Balls in a range of flavours
- Avocado and cheese on multigrain corn thins (another Dineamic office go-to)
- Greek yoghurt with fruit
- Natural peanut butter or hummus, on multigrain crackers or vegetable sticks
So to sum up, the easiest ways to beat the 3pm slump on your workday are to hydrate, eat delicious and nutritious foods from all of the food groups, get your 8 hours of sleep, and keep moving throughout the day. Any that you don’t already do, try adding just one new one each week & before you know it you’ll have the energy to kick professional goals and impress your boss.