I find that I get very restless working behind a screen all day, I also tend to snack a lot and drink copious amounts of coffee and tea to try and counteract how sleepy and sluggish I feel. At about 3pm I feel my worst. Sleepy after lunch and tired after looking at my screen. If someone asked me to go to the gym after work, during my 3pm slump, the answer would be 100% no.
Eating a high protein lunch will help kick the 3pm slump. Most people eat protein all the time now so this is probably not that new to anyone! Here are some facts about carbohydrates and why they make you feel sleepy after lunch:
- If you eat simple carbohydrates, it causes your blood-sugar to rise rapidly and then drop, causing that groggy feeling
- When you eat carbohydrates, your brain produces serotonin which makes you feel calm while making tryptophan, the chemical which makes you feel sleepiness, more available to your brain
If you really struggle with the 3pm slum and you eat a carbohydrate rich lunch, changing bread/pasta to beans/lentils could really help.
Personally, I did this but was still feeling a bit sleepy after lunch. Most of us sit at a desk all day and don’t even take a lunch break. Go on a ten-minute walk when you are starting to feel tired or restless and get the blood pumping round your body again. I always go on a little walk at lunch and it sets me up for the afternoon.
I try and go to a gym class most evenings after work, even if it is a 20-minute hiit class as it makes me feel so much better about my day. Obviously, this isn’t always feasible, sometimes you have plans and sometimes you must work late. Just do what you can and see how you feel.