The Afternoon Slump Myth
Something I’ve written about at length (e.g. in my e-book! Plug plug plug), is when you eat your carbohydrates.
Firstly, that assumes you know what a carbohydrate is, and what foods contain them.
Rice, potatoes, pasta, bread, fruit, etc.
Secondly, I make clear that carbs are not ‘bad’ – they don’t make you fat on their own, they don’t damage your health, and you shouldn’t cut them out without a very good reason.
The bit I want to talk about today is the Afternoon Slump Myth.
You know the one.
‘If you eat carbs at lunch time, you will feel tired in the afternoon’.
It’s another one that is passed around offices up and down the country.
Sue in accounts reckons she cut out carbs from lunch and has never felt better.
Barry in the post room is convinced he should probably cut out carbs, but just can’t bring himself to do it.
The truth is, carbs have nothing to do with that tired feeling after eating.
It’s not your blood sugar crashing, it’s not your insulin.
The effect is called ‘post-prandial somnolence’, and it’s everything to do with the total calories of the meal that you’ve just eaten.
The more calories there were in a meal, the more energy is required to digest that meal.
Hence you feel more tired.
Now, let’s be clear.
It might be a good idea to reduce carbs in your lunch, for the simple reason that doing so reduces the amount of calories in that meal.
Any meal that you do have must also be in the context of your overall energy intake (total calories), and the micronutrients that you are taking in from food (deficiency in things like B12, Vitamin D and Iron can also result in feelings of fatigue).
But there is no need to cut carbs for the sake of it.
This one is a case of working out what works for you.
If you currently feel like you are performing brilliantly in the office, carry on with what you’re doing. If not, maybe change something.
This sounds ridiculously simple, but realising that nutrition plays a role in how you feel each day can actually be quite enlightening for many people!