During a long grueling day on the job, particularly if you sit behind a desk, snacks become an integral part of how you eat and how you make it through the day. If you choose the right snacks, they can be energy-boosting and stave off hunger until it’s time for the next meal.
However, many people are unwittingly snacking on things that do the exact opposite. Instead of a boost of energy, snacks can trigger overall sleepiness.
Dr. Sue Decotiis, based in New York City, warns against any kinds of snacks that are overloaded with sugar and artificial sweeteners. “You want to avoid anything that will spike your insulin,” she noted. “If you’re drinking a Diet Coke that could spike your insulin, and when that spikes, you get hypoglycemia, making you tired which might affect your attention span.”
The problem with having certain snacks during work is that some, such as oatmeal, can trigger insulin production. Other snacks like almonds contain tryptophan and magnesium that will allow your muscles to relax and naturally make you feel ready for bed — the exact opposite of what you’re going for in the middle of the day. Tryptophan is also released when you eat turkey or hummus, if lunchmeat roll-ups or crackers with dip are on your snacking docket.
Not all power bars are created equal. Many are full of sugar and artificial sweeteners, explained Decotiis. While many advertise that they keep you energized for a long period of time, they actually do the exact opposite. The abundance of sugar will eventually spike your insulin. Unless you’re planning to run 10 miles after work, avoid the power bars during the day.
Bread/Toast (Whole Grain)
Bread lovers beware. If you’re popping a piece of whole wheat toast into the toaster for an afternoon work snack to pep you up, think again. It has the same affects as a bowl of oatmeal, ultimately triggering insulin production.