The Google campus in Mountain View, California, has the perfect solution to that well known energy slump which many of us experience in the afternoon, usually right around 2:30pm. It’s called a nap pod! When the innovation gets too much, employees are encouraged to take themselves off for a five to 15 minute power nap, to help recharge their batteries.
Regretfully this solution isn’t available to all of us, and so we fall foul to our circadian rhythms; our natural sleep signals, which peak at night, but also around mid-afternoon. This is why it’s very normal to feel sleepy and lacking in concentration as the afternoon rolls on. Other factors such as what we’ve had for lunch, our hydration levels, and the amount of time we’ve spent staring at a screen, can all be contributing factors.
Our circadian rhythms can also be responsible for creating the munchies. That’s why just as the afternoon slump hits, we go to make ourselves a cup of tea, and reach for the chocolate digestives!
We all know that eating fuels our brains, but we so often crave a quick sugar fix in the full knowledge that we will crash and burn from it half an hour later. The smarter strategy is to plan your snacks ahead of time, and pop a variety of healthy options into your desk drawer or bag, so that when the munchies hit, you can opt for something natural which is low in sugar and saturated fat, and will help you to stay productive.
If you’re looking for some healthy snacks at work inspiration, Citrix GoToMeeting has put together a useful infographic of 15 great ideas, which will help you to remain productive at work. While you may be familiar with some, hopefully there are at least one or two ideas which you may have never tried. Kale chips, for example, are extremely tasty and very easy to make yourself for minimal cost.
I’m a self-confessed chocoholic, but over the years I’ve trained my palate to appreciate the healthier benefits of dark chocolate. Nowadays it’s pretty easy to find a bar with up to 85% cocoa solids, which is sweetened with vanilla rather than sugar, making it a much better choice over your standard milk chocolate. If you want to go one step healthier, the infographic suggests trying raw chocolate, or cacao, which is minimally processed and is sun dried instead of being heat treated. Generally only minimal additional ingredients are added, so it is guilt free!
Hummus is a go-to healthy snack in our household, to the point where we should maybe buy shares in it. As the infographic explains, hummus is high in protein, iron, and antioxidants. Adding some wholegrain crackers, or raw vegetable crudités, as dips, will not only satisfy a rumbling tummy, but also provide a slow release of energy throughout the remainder of the afternoon.
Nut butters are another personal favourite, and can offer a nice alternative to a handful of nuts. A simple snack idea is to cut a banana in half, lengthways, as if you were making a banana split. Then thinly spread a nut butter of your choice, such as peanut or almond, on each half. It’s a great pick-me-up and will keep the hunger at bay.
So instead of reaching for a biscuit when you next feel that energy slump, why not try some of the ideas suggested below, and let us know how you get on.
If you like the infographic, please feel free to embed it within your own blog, or share socially.
If you have any healthy snack ideas to share, we would love to hear them.