12 Energy-Boosting Hacks to Help You Avoid Midday Fatigue

Think bigger than just an afternoon cup of coffee
Eat an Apple

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An apple a day may keep midday drowsiness away.

We’ve all experienced that overwhelming exhaustion that rolls in around 2 or 3 p.m., and while midday fatigue may be attributed to low blood sugar or missing your morning coffee, it is most likely due to a disruption in your sleep cycle. We often wake up despite still being tired and by midday our core temperatures begin to drop, which is a signal for the brain to release melatonin — the exact process that our body goes through before bed. Many Mediterranean and tropical cultures structure their days around this by incorporating a midday siesta into their daily schedules; in the United States, we’re not quite there yet. [related]

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But your afternoon fatigue is related to more than just a disrupted sleep cycle. What we eat for breakfast and lunch also contributes to our daily energy levels. Refined carbohydrates such as white bread, bagels, and other breakfast pastries have a high glycemic index and are quickly broken down by the body into sugar. They give a quick spike of sugar — then a crash — rather than a steady stream of energy throughout the day.

Though it may seem like that 2 p.m. drowsiness is inevitable, you don’t have to suffer. There are plenty of ways to fortify your body with a steady stream of energy that will enable you to power through the day. Eating a breakfast full of fiber rich fruits and complex carbohydrates, drinking water, and chewing gum are all ways to stay clearheaded, alert, and energized.

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The next time you feel those eyelids get heavy while sitting at your desk, try these 12 energy-boosting hacks to help you avoid midday fatigue.