Q: "I often feel sleepy around 3pm, and find it hard to concentrate. I usually end up having coffee and biscuits as a pick-me-up. Is there a way to prevent this energy slump?"
Alison Phillis, via email
A: Exercise and nutrition scientist Kathleen Alleaume replies:
“These strategies will help prevent your ‘3pm slump’:
Eat a nutritious breakfast and lunch to ensure your metabolism is ticking over. Combine low-GI carbs, such as oats, wholegrain bread, brown rice, fruit and veg, with good sources of protein, like tuna, chicken, legumes and dairy.
Avoid snacks composed of sweet (refined) carbohydrates. They give you an immediate boost, but half an hour later your energy flags again. Instead, make sustainable energy choices, such as a handful of raw nuts, trail mix, fresh fruit and yoghurt or a fruit smoothie.
Stay hydrated. Keep a bottle of water on your desk and sip on it throughout the day.
Take a brisk walk after lunch. Exercise, natural light and fresh air all increase alertness.”