The afternoon energy dip is very common, but it doesn’t have to be inevitable. Understand 3 common causes of the afternoon energy dip and ways to avoid it.
Let's talk about the afternoon energy dip, shall we? You've experienced it, yes? So, you know what I'm talking about.
What time does it happen for you? 2:00 PM? 3:30 PM? Maybe you get a bit closer to quitting time before it sets in?
I used to experience a serious drop in my energy around 3:00 every day. And when it happened, I had a terrible time concentrating; my brain felt foggy; and I was easily distracted. It made my afternoon drag on while also feeling really unproductive.Once I realized why my energy was dropping, I was able to put a few strategies in place to keep my energy consistent throughout the afternoon and end my day feeling ready to hang with my kiddo and enjoy the evening.
The afternoon energy dip
Energy dipping in the afternoon is very common, which makes it feel super normal, but it is avoidable.
Think about it- how would your day be different if you could breeze through the afternoon? If your focus and concentration in the afternoon was as high as your focus and concentration in the morning?
Good news - It’s not only possible, it's closer than you might think.
The top 3 reasons for the afternoon energy dip
Let's look at why energy tends to dip in the afternoon and what you can do to start seeing a difference right away.
1. Your lunch is causing your energy to dip: Oftentimes, your afternoon energy is significantly impacted by choices you made earlier in the day, not the least of which being: what you ate. Eating simple starches and sugars at lunch can cause your blood sugar to go up quickly.
When blood sugars go up quickly, they tend to come back down quickly and that can lead to an afternoon energy crash. This is also a likely cause of the afternoon snack attack where you find yourself poking around in the pantry or the break room for a little pick me up.
It could also be that your lunch was a bit too big to support optimal energy levels. Digestion takes work, ya'll, and it's great work to do, but if you ask your body to do too much of that work mid-day (especially if you’ve had some heavier foods), you may feel sluggish in the afternoon.
Solution: Plan meals and snacks that combine fiber, protein, and fat. Meals that combine these nutrients stabilize blood sugar, creating more even energy, appetite, and hormone stability throughout the day.
You may also want to see if you feel better breaking bigger meals down into smaller meals and snacks. Everybody has unique needs, so see what feels best for you!
2. You’re spending too much time on tasks that drain you. If you are spending too much of your day on tasks that don’t light you up or, worse, seem to suck the life out of you, it should come as no surprise that by the middle of the afternoon, you experience an energy drop.
We all have to do things that don’t leave us feeling inspired, but how you fit those tasks into your day can make a big difference in your energy levels.
Solution: Tune into which tasks energize and excite you and which ones leave you feeling drained. Plan some of the tasks that lift you up for right around when your energy typically drops!
Check out this post: The Key to Making Healthy Habits Stick: Focus on Energy for tips on how to tune into what lights you up and what wears you down.
3. You’re stressed. Last, but certainly not least, paying attention to stress levels is an important part of supporting your afternoon energy levels. If you are experiencing consistently high stress, your body is likely working overtime, causing you to feel like you run out of fuel mid-afternoon.
Solution: Tune into stress signals. Are you holding your breath? Tensing your shoulders? Clenching your jaw? These may be some good signs that your stress levels need some attention.
Say hello to more stable energy
Take some time to tune in to your body to see what feels most true for you - is it what you’re eating? How much? Or maybe it’s more closely related to the tasks at hand or your stress levels.
Then, pick one small shift to implement today and see how your energy responds.
Want more? Check out: 15 Ways to Boost Energy Fast for simple ways to boost energy in 5 minutes of less without food or caffeine!