7 ways to overcome the mid-afternoon slump Nutrition If you regularly feel ‘hangry’ or suffer from energy slumps when the clock strikes 4pm, here are our top tips for staying fuelled for the afternoon: 1. Limit caffeine to the morning Caffeine has a half-life of around six hours, so whilst that 4pm coffee may seem like a good idea at the time, half of it will still be in your system by the time you go to bed, potentially affecting energy levels the next day. 2. Limit processed and sugary foods These cause sharp, rapid increases in blood sugar, followed by subsequent ‘crashes’ soon after, and accompanying mood swings, hunger and sleepiness. What is ultra-processed food and why is it bad for our health? 3. Eat meals that contain good quality protein and fat Good sources of protein include lean meat, fish, tofu, lentils and nuts. For fat, opt for oily fish, avocados, nuts, olives and olive oil. Try this easy bubble and squeak with poached eggs 4. Eat plenty of vegetables and some fruit These are a great source of fibre, which helps to support healthy digestion. 5. Choose wholemeal and wholegrains over refined carbs These help to keep blood sugars more stable throughout the day, rather than causing sharp spikes and crashes. 6. Make time to sit down, eat and enjoy meals Stress can impact digestion, so make sure you are taking a proper lunch break away from your desk if possible. 7. Keep a good quality snack with you for emergencies If you do need something to get you through until dinner, keep a snack on you so that you don’t turn to vending machines or convenience stores. Good options include a handful of nuts, whole fruit and vegetable sticks with hummus. Snack attack: how to stop boredom snacking Enjoyed this article? Subscribe to our free digital version of Optimum Nutrition magazine for more research updates, features and recipes!