3 Snacks to Reach for When You're Dragging Mid-Afternoon
Why it's energizing: A slight dip in our hydration levels can bring on fatigue, research shows. But blue tea, made from the butterfly pea flower, doesn't just hydrate; the antioxidant compounds that give the drink its beautiful hue may help protect against the harmful effects of free radicals. In Ayurvedic medicine, the flower is considered a memory and intelligence booster.
How to drink it: BlueChai and Tea Forté offer a variety of blue teas. Try it hot or iced, and complement the mild, earthy taste by adding ginger or lemongrass (or lemon, which will turn the liquid purple). Photo: iStockPhoto
Why it's energizing: A white root vegetable in season now, jicama has everything you want in a snack. It's crunchy, both filling and hydrating (because of its high water content), low in calories (fewer than 50 per cup), portable, and easy to eat with one hand. Plus, it's a convenient way to get more vegetables into your diet, which is good news for your energy levels. Young adults who increased their produce consumption by two servings per day (from three or less) got a multifaceted mood boost, according to a 2017 study in the journal PLOS One: They felt more creative and motivated and reported greater "vitality" compared with those who didn't up their intake.
How to eat it: Peel, cut into sticks, and store in the fridge. Then dip into hummus or guacamole to get fiber and healthy fat that will help keep your mind on work until dinnertime.
Photo: Ben Goldstein/Studio D.
Bread + almond butter
Why it's energizing: The carbohydrates in bread provide fuel for your muscles as well as your brain, says Bonnie Taub-Dix, author of Read It Before You Eat It. "That means more energy and better focus." And the protein and fat from the nut butter break down slowly in the body, giving you an even release of energy, Taub-Dix says.
How to eat it: Top with sliced bananas or sprinkle chia seeds over almond butter for extra texture (and protein). Because a tablespoon of almond butter is dense with not only flavor but also fat (nine grams) and calories (98), Taub-Dix recommends sticking to just one per serving.