It’s three o’clock…that time of the day where all of a sudden you know you need to eat something or else you won’t make it home for dinner without ripping someone’s head off. Well, snacking is all fine and good, but it’s important to choose wisely what you’re going to put in your body or else you may wind up making it even tougher to get through your day.
Doctors agree, it’s important to find a snack that will boost your energy, but too many things we reach for these days do the exact opposite. Snacks with a lot of sugar and artificial sweeteners can cause a spike in insulin, which could cause you to get drowsy. Also a bad choice are foods with tryptophan and magnesium, which will relax your muscles and make you think it’s time for bed.
Here are a few FOODS YOU SHOULD AVOID:
1. Power Bars – While many say they give you energy, most actually contain a lot of sugar, which will do the exact opposite. While they’re good for extreme athletes, they’ll cause a regular Joe to crash, and nobody wants to do that at their desk. Well, at least not when anybody's watching.
2. Bread/Oatmeal – Both forms of grains will trigger insulin production, causing you to need a nap.
3. Turkey – Although protein is certainly better to snack on than carbs, you know the old Thanksgiving joke about being tired after eating all that turkey because of the tryptophan, well it’s true.
4. Almonds/Hummus/Peanut Butter – While all are certainly healthy options at snack time, just like turkey they all contain tryptophan. And if you eat the hummus or peanut butter with crackers, the insulin spike you get could also make you drowsy. So that’s a double whammy of tired.
5. Cherries –Cherries may be delicious, especially this time of year, but they're a natural source of Melatonin, a chemical that helps you regulate sleep.
6. Dark Chocolate – Yes, it contains antioxidants that make it the healthier type of chocolate to indulge in, but dark chocolate also contains serotonin, which can cause drowsiness.
7. Bananas – The magnesium and potassium in bananas aid in muscle and nerve relaxation. It’s actually a good snack to have before you are about to go to sleep.