We’ve all experienced the mid-afternoon slump. 3pm rolls around and you’re struggling to stay awake. You feel sleepy eyed and you might be tempted to just grab a handful of sugary treats. But wait! Before you reach for that can of soft drink, Red Bull, or cup of coffee, try these healthy alternatives to stimulate your senses and keep you alert throughout the day.
Matcha is 100% pure tea leaves that has been ground into a fine powder. It is a healthier alternative to coffee as it's rich in antioxidants. It aids in the protection against heart disease and cancer, reduces blood pressure and boosts metabolism. A cup of matcha provides about 34mg of caffeine, compared to about 60mg in coffee. However, the effect lasts longer due to a natural substance it contains called l-theanine, which induces relaxation without drowsiness.
Green tea only contains about 24mg to 40mg of caffeine, but it’s packed full of antioxidants and is a great pick-me-up without the jitters you get from drinking coffee.
In addition to antioxidants, vitamins and that hit of caffeine, black tea also has four other stimulants that help get the brain active and alive. It has also been linked to stress relief.
Mint tea is also another great option that helps wake you up. It works wonders for activating our brains and prevents fatigue and memory loss, amongst other health benefits.
Cocoa beans naturally contain caffeine, although not as much as coffee. And remember, the darker the chocolate, the more caffeine it has. They are rich in healthy antioxidants called flavonoids. Chocolate can lower the risk of stroke and heart attacks, aid the digestive system and help brain function and growth. Although chocoholics might rejoice at this news, it’s no excuse to overindulge – like with almost anything, it’s best consumed in moderation.
Although they don’t contain caffeine, they have an abundance of essential Omega-3 fatty acids, which have a similar effect on you as caffeine. It's a healthier alternative to coffee and helps you feel awake and healthy.
The apple really is an amazing piece of fruit! It contains a natural sugar called fructose, which can energize and wake you up naturally. Eating an apple is a healthy afternoon snack and is known to fight sleepiness. Best of all, there’s no crash either. This healthy snack doesn’t contain caffeine either, so feel free to replace the morning coffee with an apple! As if that wasn’t enough, apples contain carbohydrates, which the body needs to keep moving and stay moving.
Keep a bottle of water at your desk and make sure you drink lots of water throughout the day. According to a study by Tufts University, dehydration can cause fatigue and confusion and leaves you feeling sluggish. Drink up!
When you feel the 3pm crash coming, don’t be tempted to grab a packaged snack that’s full of sugar. There are many healthy options packed full of natural energy, such as nuts, crackers, carrot and celery sticks and fruit.
It’s true what they say about breakfast being the most important meal of the day. Eating a healthy breakfast keeps your energy levels up throughout the day, keeps you alert and improves your memory, concentration and focus.
Studies have shown that exposure to natural sources of light, like the sun, can improve alertness and performance. Studies have also shown that getting a few rays can help reduce heart disease, boosts your immune system and gives you more energy. Your body also produces vitamin D when exposed to the sun, which helps your body absorb calcium, which is essential for bone health. So if you’re starting to feel a little sluggish, take a short walk around the block to recharge. It will help your mood and your health.
A deep breath moves more oxygen to various parts of your body, which can boost your energy levels and help decrease stress and anxiety. Try this 6 second exercise from a former Google employee. A big breath released slowly really relaxes the body, so we recommend giving this a go.
Listening to music can help keep your mind active and on task. Listening to your favourite songs or some focus tunes can maintain high energy levels and releases dopamine in your brain, instantly pumping up your mood. Put on your headphones and blast the loud music to push you through the last few working hours.
Peanut butter has been touted as one of the best runner’s foods in the world! This is due to the high protein, fibre and healthy fat levels, which are a perfect trifecta when you need that boost of energy. Next time you’re feeling low-energy and peckish reach for the peanut butter.
Sometimes it’s more than just good nutrition you need. Studies have shown humour can give you a huge energy boost. Sharing a laugh with your colleagues can increase productivity and ideation all while fostering positive work relationships. Engaging in conversations with your workmates can be just the pump up you need.
And if you’re after another excuse to share that cute cat video around, it’s been proven videos of cute animals can boost productivity and increase someone’s attention span, so hit share! (Plus, it could help with any mood swings in the office and lighten the mood overall).
If you would like to find ways to keep your staff motivated and productive, speak to the amazing catering consultants at Order-In. We can provide healthy snacks for your office pantry, or fresh office fruit. Call 1300 851 900 for a free quote.