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It’s midafternoon, it’s been a few hours since lunch but there’s still a while until dinner.  Your tummy is rumbling, you could use a quick nap and the two tasks you have left for the day suddenly seem impossible. 

We all know the feeling, and we all know that when we check the clock it’s probably going to be somewhere around 3pm.

The 3pm slump is that spot in the afternoon where we’re most likely to be reaching for some caffeine and whatever sugary treat is close by for an energy hit.  Although we’re proud to offer up our Gluten Free Fudgy Chocolate Brownies as a lower-sugar and healthier alternative to the office bikkie jar, we’d also like to help you avoid the slump in the first place!

Two of the most common causes of the 3pm slump are what you’ve eaten (or not eaten) in the first half of the day and how rested you are.

If a breakfast including protein and wholegrains (think eggs on toast, or oats with nuts, fruit and plain yoghurt) and a balanced lunch (low GI carbohydrates, protein and vegetables – perhaps some tuna with a brown rice cup and some chopped vegetables) is a part of your day, you’re much more likely to have steady blood sugar levels and feel fuller for longer, avoiding the need for a quick-energy-fix come 3pm.  Skipping breakfast and having a small or less-than-nutritious lunch is much more likely to have you searching for extra energy come 3pm.

A good night’s sleep isn’t only important for avoiding feeling tired, but it’s likely to mean less sugar and caffeine cravings not only when you wake, but for the rest of the day.  That means a good rest not only means more energy, but also fewer cravings for food that’s likely to induce a 3pm slump.  Win win!

If you’re having trouble sleeping, establishing a good bed time routine might help.  We recommended aiming to avoid screens for at least an hour before bed each night and avoiding sugar and caffeine after 4pm (if small changes don’t help please see your doctor). 

If you’re not getting a good night sleep due to unavoidable circumstances (parents of young children, we’re looking at you!), or you just enjoy afternoon tea, here are our favourite grab-and-go snacks -

- Trail mix (easy to make yourself with your favourite nuts, seeds and dried fruits but also readily available in stores.  We like to chop up our brownies as a part of ours).

- Plain or high-protein yoghurt with a sprinkle of muesli or granola.
- Fresh berries with ricotta and honey (use frozen berries if you need it to stay cold on the run).
- Nut butter and apple or banana. 
- We might be biased, but we also know some great snack bars, perfect for your work bag.

We’ve also been swapping our coffee for a mint and chocolate tea we found and highly recommend a thorough browse of the tea aisle on your next grocery shop – there are so many delicious ones available you’re sure to find something you’ll love almost as much as that mid-afternoon coffee….

Happy 3pm-ing!