When we think of a midday energy perk, food usually isn’t high on our list of must-haves. Instead, coffee is the choice of the hour, what with coffee breaks being the social activity du jour. But unless you’re planning to have your coffee black with no fixings at all (we’re looking at you, iced latte), a midday Frappuccino means a lot of extra sugars and trans fats you’re better off without.
So instead of the Starbucks mermaid, here are some scrummy snack alternatives that could pick you up from your 3pm slump.
1. Sweet potatoes
The lesser of two evils, sweet potatoes are the virtuous counterparts of your regular old potatoes. A great source of complex carbohydrates, sweet potatoes also contain plenty of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, iron, and magnesium.
And when we talk about carbohydrates, complex ones are the way to go as they provide a more lasting source of energy.
The breakfast favourite is also, predictably, a snack time champion too. Great for absorbing low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol aka ‘bad’ cholesterol with its high fiber content, oatmeal contains the same complex carbohydrates necessary for energy production.
It’s rich in Vitamin Bs too, which is used by the body to convert food into fuel.
No, we don’t mean eggs in a fast food breakfast muffin. We mean eggs eaten hard-boiled (preferably). Great as a rather filling snack on the go, eggs are rich in protein, B Vitamins, and even choline.
Containing more nutrients in each calorie than most foods, eggs are considered to be incredibly nutrient dense.
You shouldn’t be surprised to find chicken on this list, because there’s a reason why it’s everyone’s favourite white meat. When prepared without the skin (where most of the fat is), cooked chicken breast is a delicious source of energy that can last long after lunch.
Have it with a salad for extra nutritional points and to turn it into a full meal.
Whether it be almonds or walnuts, nuts are another fantastic snack to have if you’re low on energy. This is due to how most varieties of nuts contain a high amount of healthy fats, in addition to your usual host of vitamins and minerals.
And when we’re talking about nutrition, healthy fats like the ones found in nuts actually contain more energy than carbohydrates do.
If you’re on a pescatarian diet, don’t worry too much about feeling woozy or tired. As it turns out, the fish you consume in place of chicken is just as capable of providing you with energy to function.
Especially rich in healthy oils, fish like salmon also provide protein as well as Vitamins B and D.
Go bananas for bananas! In terms of having fruits for a snack, bananas just can’t be beat. Loaded with complex carbs (the ones we mentioned were good for you?), these mellow yellow wonders also contain potassium and Vitamin B6.
By combining those nutrients together, they make for a deliciously energising snack.
The sandwich spread beloved by fitness enthusiasts everywhere, emerald-green avocados are superbly dense in healthy fats. And as mentioned previously, healthy fats contain more energy than even complex carbohydrates do!
If you enjoy a hearty meal with rice, we recommend substituting it with quinoa instead. Quinoa contains a great amount of protein, more than any other grain in comparison.
And when you put that together with its natural carbohydrate content, quinoa makes sense as a great lunchtime companion.
Finally, if you’re feeling sluggish at work, you may want to consider downing a glass of water. Why? Well, the reason why you feel woozy may simply be the early onset of dehydration, which can lead to slower bodily functions.
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