The Best Snacks For A Midday Pick-Me-Up

Snacking is a great way to boost sagging energy levels throughout the day. Instead of turning to that cup of coffee in the afternoon, consider eating something to provide the body and brain with fuel. That way, you won't feel the effects of late-in-the-day caffeine when you go to bed at night. Erin Macdonald, registered dietician and wellness coach, notes that it's difficult for most people to go 4 to 6 hours between meals without their energy plummeting. She advocates smart snacking between meals.

Try These Snacks for a Midday Pick-Me-Up

"Snacks should contain a source of carbohydrates, which raise your blood sugar level and give you energy," Macdonald advises. "But I also recommend that a protein-containing food be eaten along with that carb-rich food, as protein is slower to digest and keeps your blood sugar level steady for longer, leading to longer-lasting energy levels."

The main goal to keep in mind is to feed your body foods that create energy instead of draining it, according to registered holistic nutritionist Yuri Elkaim. Energy-boosting foods contribute to clearer thinking and a better functioning body overall. Maintaining hydration is the first line of defense against plummeting energy, followed by keeping blood sugars stable, and snacking between meals to avoid becoming ravenously hungry, advises René Ficek, a registered dietician and lead nutrition expert at Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating meal plans. A well-balanced diet that incorporates carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, and that limits processed foods, is key to staying healthy.

A good approach to snacking is to consider snacks as important as regular meals. Oftentimes, meals are planned in advance to balance a diet. Snacks should be included in this plan, as they provide an ideal opportunity to consume daily fruit and vegetable requirements. Snacking is essential for retaining energy throughout the day, as well as maintaining a healthy and balanced diet overall. The best course of action is to think ahead, pack healthful snacks, and take care to eat at regular intervals to keep your body and mind in tip-top shape. Here are some healthy recommendations from experts!

Banana with Almond Butter

Bananas pack a huge amount of health benefits. Naturally fat-free, one medium banana contains 30 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fiber, and 1 gram of protein. McDonald pairs the fruit with almond butter for additional protein intake, noting that because protein is slower to digest, the nut butter will keep you full longer.

Curry Sweet-Potato Hummus

Ficek cites spices as great energy boosters as they are filled with antioxidants and can normalize blood sugar. Sweet potatoes contain complex carbohydrates, and the combination of glucose and fiber will provide instant and sustained energy levels.


Originally published 2/25/15