No matter how healthy, well-rested or well-intentioned you are, something happens to most of us at around 4:00pm. Yep, the mid-afternoon crash. Right about the time when you realize the day is far from over and there is still too much to do.
Ayurevedic doctor Dr. John Dulliar explains this crash happens for good reason: If you haven’t had a balanced lunch, your blood sugar levels drop and your brain tries to steal all the energy it can get to focus on getting through the late afternoon.
No doubt the late afternoon can be a time of great volatility, which prompts us to reach for a remedy to boost our energy. As Kathryn Templeton, Auryuvedic practitioner, says:
“The middle of the day—from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.—belongs to pitta; the hot, sharp, and fiery “king of digestion” dosha [energy]. And light, dry, airy vata rules the afternoon, from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m., after which the cycle begins again”.
Need to get out of the rut and regain afternoon clarity? Here are my picks to assist in transforming from afternoon couch potato to productive energizer bunny:
Being tired can often be mistaken for dehydration. Keep a bottle of water by your desk each day to avoid dehydration and the afternoon crash. Or try a refreshing coconut water for a hydration boost. In many studies, coconut water enhanced with sodium has been found to be as beneficial as a sports drink for whole body re-hydration post exercise-induced dehydration.
Nealy’s pick: Nood Coconut Water
Studies show that dark chocolate helps you pay attention. Choose a dark chocolate free from processed sugars and you’ll reap the benefits of all the antioxidants.
Nealy’s pick: Raiz the Bar Dark Chocolate
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3. Caffeine Boost
Caffeinate smart by downing a vitamin-enriched energy shot. Clarity is run by a good friend of mine who is passionate about health and makes no compromises when it comes to the integrity of his product. Compared to an espresso shot, clarity’s green tea based shot is fueled with goodies like a high concentrations of Vitamins B3, B6 and C plus fermented papaya that’s good for your gut. It’s easy to pop it in your day bag and if you have a fridge at work, keep the shots chilled for a refreshing energy lift.
Nealy’s pick: Clarity caffeine boost
We all know that we should be eating more vegetables; a green juice is a sure way to get them. Feeling sluggish? Add some more apples or even pineapple for additional natural sugar. I like my green juice spiced up with extra ginger. That kick will wake you up!
Nealy’s pick: Nothing beats making your own juice. Make it in the morning and keep refrigerated. Shake it up with some ice to also help wake you up!
A hot cup of invigorating herbal tea is another goodwill to kick-start your afternoon. Pick something with peppermint, well-known for its rejuvenating properties, gingko, which is good for your cognitive functions, or green tea which is packed full of antioxidants and a mild dose of caffeine.
Nealy’s pick: Revitalise blend from Pukka Teas, infused with cinnamon, ginger and cloves, the aromatic pop of cardamom and orange, and a flicker of spearmint and green tea.
If you’re able to catch some shut-eye, perfect, but the next best resfresher is Legs-Up-The-Wall pose (Viparita Karani). It boosts blood circulation towards the upper body and brain–perfect if you’ve been sitting or standing too long.
Nealy’s pick: Lie with your legs up the wall for 10-15 minutes.
Sometimes the best way to get moving is, well, to get moving. I sometimes feel like I want to nap or eat, but the better choice to shift my mood is to move. Pack a pair of sneakers to work so if you need to get out for a brisk walk or a quick afternoon workout you are geared up.
Nealy’s pick: A brisk 15-minute walk.