You may be familiar with the afternoon slump, the after-lunch drowsiness that leaves you with an irresistible urge to take a nap. Such drowsiness is not normal, and it is your body’s reaction to a lack of sleep, a lack of physical exercise, or a nutritional deficiency (a lack of vitamin A in particular) or certain conditions. So how can you avoid this afternoon fatigue?
Recommendations to stay in top form throughout the afternoon
Here are a few recommendations for if you become fatigued after your midday meal:
- sleep for at least 7 to 9 hours a night
- eat a balanced diet, including vitamins A, C and E
- avoid overly salty, fatty or sugary foods
- take regular physical exercise
If, despite implementing all of these recommendations, you still feel fatigued after your midday meal, this fatigue could be due to hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia. Consult your doctor to find out the exact cause, as fatigue is a common symptom of numerous illnesses or conditions (particularly related to the thyroid).
What to do in the case of hypoglycemia?
In the case of hypoglycemia, blood sugar levels are lower than normal.
If you have fasting hypoglycemia, characterised by low blood sugar levels because the stomach is empty, you simply need to get into the habit of eating a healthy and full breakfast in the mornings, before 10 or 10:30 am. The fatigue should disappear within a few days.
But when we have eaten too much, it could be a question of hyperglycemia, a problem which is manifested by an abnormal elevation in blood sugar. The body finds this blood sugar peak difficult to cope with. In this case, try to eat meals that are lower in carbohydrates, by reducing your consumption of bread, pasta, potatoes, cakes and sugary drinks.
If you continue to eat too many carbs, the blood sugar levels could lead to the body producing too much insulin. An excess of insulin can lead to sudden drops in blood sugar, which then leads to an attack of hypoglycemia. This is what is called reactive hypoglycemia.
Why physical exercise is important for the health
Getting regular physical exercise helps stay in optimal health for longer, by reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, increasing muscle mass, strengthening the joints and helping lose fat mass.
The more fat you burn during exercise, the more glycogen (sugar) you save, which allows your body to access it when it needs it.
Which foods to eat?
Consume organic foods as much as possible, in order to avoid pesticides and other chemicals present in mass produced foods. Here are a few natural foods to add to your diet to prevent fatigue:
- olives and extra virgin olive oil
- walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, pecan nuts, plain peanuts, etc.
- cold peanut oil
- pasture-raised meats
You can also find omega 6 in chocolate – ideally dark chocolate.