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I need a boost in the late afternoon!

Lately I find I'm getting sleepy at my desk in the afternoon. I get 8 hours of sleep each night, eat breakfast and tend to have a healthy, not too heavy lunch. My job is plenty stimulating and I have a window that opens in my office, so it's not due to stale air. Any recommendations for a snack or drink that will keep my forehead from hitting the desk? Note: I have a low tolerance for caffeine and am not a huge fan of chocolate (actually, I don't have much of a sweet tooth.) Thanks!!

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  1. Any sort of nut would be good. I prefer pistachios and almonds, but they all pack pretty good protein and healthy fats.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ArikaDawn

      At Fresh Market (and I'm sure other places have it also) they have several types of mixed nuts in bulk that are good. I get the mixture of almonds, pistachios, pecans and macadamia nuts and have a small handful as a snack late afternoon.

    2. I find that exercising in the morning and cutting carbs helps - even with 5 hr sleep, I'm pretty awake in the pm. Make sure you take vitamin B complex as well.

      2 Replies
      1. re: welle

        I second the vitamin B complex! It made a world of difference for me. I take mine with breakfast, and that droopy-head lull in the afternoon all but disappeared. On the rare occasion that it does hit me, any of the protein snacks mentioned already are helpful, as well as making sure I'm well-hydrated.

        1. re: welle

          Second the exercise. Walking up the stairs to my desk after lunch keeps me fresh for the afternoon. 10 flights equals a nice boost!

          For liquids, I like Sobe Lean diet mango melon. No sugar, only about 45 calories in a 20 oz bottle, and I'll usually add in water as I drink it to thin it out and prolong the flavor. Sometimes, just the act of buying a drink and drinking it helps keep me up, regardless of what it is.

        2. Korean ginseng tea (comes granulated in little foil packets) + korean ginger tea (like a goopy ginger jam in a jar) perks me right up in the afternoon.

          Or, a couple of grapefruit with a little sugar on top.

          1. I would suggest a healthy protein of some kind like almonds as suggested above or even some good-quality yogurt or perhaps cottage cheese. If not a protein then maybe fresh fruit...an apple does me wonders at 3:30 p.m. Do stay away from trashy carbs.

            1. I find the best combination is a snack with some protein and some carbs. I have things like an apple with almond or peanut butter, ricotta cheese on wheat crackers, hummus and crackers - you get the idea. Generally I shoot for something in the 200 or so calorie range which is satisfying enough but not a huge portion.

              The other thing that seemed to help me stay awake is eating smaller meals throughout the day. I never really gave it much thought before but I think it works really well.

              1 Reply
              1. re: pellegrino31

                The hummus is an excellent suggestion, too! I've been eating it on celery lately, very nice. Recently discovered Tribe hummus with horseradish--very spicey and different.

              2. Try drinking either green tea all day long. If that's not your cup, then you might try Earl Grey in the afternoon (both are low in caffeine).

                3 Replies
                1. re: OCAnn

                  Earl Grey isn't any lower in caffeine than any other black tea, as far as I know.

                  I'm going to agree with the people who are suggesting a snack with a mix of protein and "good" carbs (cheese or peanut butter with crackers or fruit) and/or a handful of nuts.

                  On a non-dietary note, I find having one of those mini-fountains on my desk helps me feel refreshed. I don't know if it's the negative ions, or if it's just psychological, but if it works, I don't care why!

                  I have one similar to this: http://www.homedics.com/prod/detail.a...

                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                    Ah. I thought black tea had less caffeine than coffee. I like the kick Earl Grey has (oil of bergamot); which is my "pick up" for the afternoon.

                    And if black teas are still too much caffeine, there's always decaf tea.

                    1. re: OCAnn

                      Black tea does have less caffeine than coffee, true. But it's still got a non-negligible amount.

                      Actually, a nice glass of decaf iced tea can be refreshing.

                2. Yogurt and a banana usually does the trick for me.

                  1. it may not work for the OP due to caffeine intolerance, but if there are Brazilian products available guarana soda is a nice pick-me up. It contains guaranine a stimulant similar to caffeine. I believe most energy drinks contain some traces of it, but it's much cheaper to buy just guarana soda. Also, you can find it in most healtfood stores, also from Brazil, frozen acai extracts. You can make smoothies or just eat as it is as some delicious sorbet. Most though contain guarana, so read labels if caffeine intolerant.

                    1. Be wary of tea, even green tea if you are not tolerant of caffiene. The only tea (other than some herbal teas, but even then, scrutinize the label carefully) that does not have caffiene in it is rhoobis root tea (some times called Red Bush or Red Tea).

                      I find that a five minute walk downstairs and out onto the sidewalk is enough to perk me up when I get the afternoon droopsies. Also good is a small container (snack size) sugar free yogart, cottage cheese with diced peaches, or if you would rather not eat something sweet, nuts are great. If you like soybeans, they are a great afternoon snack in small doses.

                      In general, stay away from anything with sugar or high gluten flour. Drinking lots of water helps as well, especially if you have just a small cup and get up every half hour or so to refill it.

                      1. Barney Fife once said "A slender, high-spirited person needs a sugar pick-me-up in the afternoon."

                        1. Try eating a smaller lunch and then a snack around 3. You may be spiking your insulin at lunch and then crashing.

                          1. An apple, some yogurt, a little bit of cheese, or a handful of almonds usually works for me.

                            1. Emergen-C is my afternoon lift. Bonus: I haven't gotten sick in 2 years because I've been getting tons of vitamin C. (now that I've typed that I'm going to get the flu tomorrow.)

                              1. A few suggestions...

                                Total yogurt (0%) w/ a little high fiber cereal mixed in.
                                Cottage cheese w/ a few berries and almonds.
                                Apple w/ Laughing cow cheese wedge.
                                Zen Bakery fiber cake w/ a little ff cottage cheese or fat free ricotta or quark
                                Hardboiled egg whites or a full one w/ a few Ak-mak crackers
                                Whole wheat tortilla w/ a little melted cheese or beans and avocado
                                Mini WW pita w/ a little low fat tuna salad or ricotta cheese and honey and pistachios
                                Unsweetened applesauce mixed w/ cinnamon on top of splenda sweetened total or plain yogurt