19 Dec Five Tricks to Avoid a ‘Food Coma’
That extra piece of lasagna seemed like such a good idea at lunchtime. “Sooooo good,” you told your colleagues with a mouthful of pasta and cheese. “I wish we had a catered lunch every day!” They’d agreed wholeheartedly, each refilling their own paper plates and eyeing the dessert tray.
Now it’s 2:30 p.m., and the jovial office environment has vanished. Your teammates are all slumped in various positions over their desks, looking exactly how you feel — full and sleepy. All of the happy enthusiasm from lunchtime has been replaced by a heavy-lidded, foggy feeling.
Nope, not on our watch. Helping people feel alert and energized, y’know, kind of our thing. That mission means fighting the good fight against of all kinds of energy killers, like late nights and food comas. So, we came up with a foolproof plan to squelching the post-meal sleepiness once and for all.
Time to listen up, lunch lovers. Follow these tricks and you can kiss your next food coma adieu.
1. Eat a smaller amount at lunch
The idea of a food coma is completely counterintuitive for some. After all, eating is supposed to give us energy; not zap it. It’s easy to forget how much energy is required to digest your meal. That’s doubly true when faced with a drool-worthy plate of food just begging to be photographed for social media and then devoured.
A few tips for eating a smaller lunch without getting food FOMO:
- Use a smaller plate. A practical way to avoid the nasty feeling of a food coma? Give yourself the opportunity to eat less in the moment. Remember that your body is much hungrier now than it will be halfway through your meal. It makes sense to start small and remember that you can always go back for seconds. By using a salad or dessert plate instead of a large one, you’re more likely to view what you have as a satisfying and large meal. We swear this really works.
- Grab a doggie bag. Ask for a to-go container. Taking leftovers home with you is a double win, if you ask us. Now you get to experience an excellent meal again tomorrow, and you avoid a food coma.
- Eat slowly. Sometimes your appetite doesn’t catch up to your mouth right away. You might be getting full halfway through your meal, but you’re eating too fast to notice. Be sure to eat slowly and with purpose — never go for another bite until you’ve finished chewing your first. This might sound obvious, but you’d be surprised.
- Take a break between servings. If you do decide to go back for seconds, try waiting five minutes between plates. It might turn out that you’ve begun to digest your food, and no longer want that other serving. That’s precisely when you grab the carry-out container.
2. Pay attention to ingredients
Look, we don’t want to sound all pious, but it’s the truth: Healthier foods are less likely to send you into a food coma. Eating five slices of pizza can knock you out a lot easier than an enormous green smoothie bowl. Sugary and fatty foods are usually the culprits of a post-lunch sleep attack.
A food coma is awfully similar to a sugar crash, and it’s often for a pretty legit reason — your blood sugar levels. Plenty of non-dessert foods are still high in sucrose, especially sauces and condiments. You don’t need to avoid these items altogether, but when you have a busy day, less is definitely more.
A couple easy swaps?
- For hummus and dips, ditch the packaged crackers and chips. Instead, go for veggie sticks.
- If you’re peckish, don’t grab a vending machine granola bar — they’re loaded with sugar. Instead, go for protein and nutrient-packed nuts.
3. Get your blood flowing
It might not sound like fun, but getting your body moving after a meal will help get your blood flowing. Obviously we don’t want you to swim laps or run a marathon while you’re digesting, but a small amount of movement can be very helpful.
Of course, this isn’t always easy in a work or classroom environment. We have a few easy fixes:
- Take a breather. If it’s possible, try to finish your lunch a little early, so you have time for a short stroll. Not only will the fresh air feel great, but you’ll get a bit of “you” time to digest your meal before heading back to work.
- Stretch it out. Ignore your coworkers’ strange looks as you perform a few simple yoga stretches at your desk, but you’ll get the last laugh. Soon enough, they’ll be asking you how you’re so chirpy despite the 2:30 feeling® that’s descended on the rest of your team. Be kind and share your stretching secrets with them.
- Your chair is lava. It’s tempting to sit down and chill after a heavy meal, but it’ll burn you every time. If food comas and general work grogginess are an ongoing problem for you, it might be a good idea to invest in a standing desk or a yoga ball to use in lieu of a chair. It’ll keep you on your toes — literally.
4. Stay hydrated
When it comes to digestion, hydration is pretty darn important. It helps keep your system flowing properly.
It can be pretty easy to forget to drink water. A few tips?
- Set alarms. You set reminders on your phone to keep track of appointments and deadlines, so why not use them to improve your health? An hourly alarm reminding you to drink up will make a bigger difference than you might expect.
- Add some flavor. Not everyone likes the taste of water. Luckily, there are a ton of simple solutions. Start with giving your water some natural flavor. Try cutting up your favorite fruits or herbs and leaving them in a jug of water overnight. Strain it into your water bottle the next day for delicately flavored water that you’ll actually be excited to drink.
- Keep it visible. It’s amazing how much water you drink when it’s at your disposal. Buy a water bottle you like. Make a point to keep it filled and by your side at all times.
5. Give yourself an extra boost
Sometimes, the food coma just can’t be stopped. Unfortunately, your responsibilities aren’t going away, so you’ll need something to get you through. That’s when 5-hour ENERGY® shots come in. They’re designed to be taken in one easy shot. You feel it fast, and it lasts for hours. These positives make them the ideal solution to successfully fight a food coma on a busy day. They’re also available in over a dozen flavors, which, for a foodie like yourself, makes for a fun adventure. Which is your favorite flavor?
Banish the food coma and the 2:30 feeling® with the help of 5-hour ENERGY® shots. Give us a try today!