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 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.
A nice steaming bowl of oatmeal might be delicious in the morning, but if you’re reaching for it mid-day, be aware that it will trigger insulin production which could theoretically spike and make you quite tired. Other grains can also be in this category given they contain a high amount of carbohydrates which can cause fatigue by raising a person’s serotonin levels.
If you’re cutting carbs and want to get a protein fix in the middle of the day, many people turn to rolled-up turkey slices. While it might be healthy and low-carb, turkey does contain a very high amount of tryptophan which could send you into a Thanksgiving-like food coma faster than you would think.
While many doctors will suggest a hand full of nuts as a healthy midday snack, almonds contain tryptophan and magnesium. Instead of pepping you up, they will actually reduce muscle and nerve function while also steadying your heart rhythm, lulling you into a food coma.
If they’re in season, there’s nothing tastier than a handful of cherries as a snack during a long work day. But it might be helpful to know that cherries are a natural source of melatonin. Melatonin is the chemical that actually helps regulate your sleep cycle, certainly not providing you with extra energy.
Dark chocolate is another midday go-to favorite. Many offices have secret stashes of individual-sized dark chocolate pieces for afternoon snacking. While it sounds like a good idea as it’s full of antioxidants, it actually contains serotonin that will undoubtedly make you sleepy. Perhaps wait until the end of the day to indulge.
Hummus and crackers or hummus and carrots seem like a great go-to lunch snack to pair with a nice salad or sandwich. But it just so happens that hummus is an excellent source of tryptophan, an amino acid that produces serotonin. It’s the actual chickpeas itself within the hummus that provides such a heavy dosage of sleepiness.
Bananas have a high dose of both magnesium and potassium which are quite healthy, but they also aid in muscle and nerve relaxation. Bananas are a great snack for the evening time to prepare your body for a restful sleep, but not for an active person who has to get to a lengthy to-do list.
It’s a popular kids’ snack, and often times you’ll see adults munching on this tasty treat. But if you think it’ll give you that boost to get through the rest of the day, you’re mistaken. Peanut butter is another food that is rich in tryptophan and will have the same effects as turkey and whole grains.