18 Snacks To Eat When You’re Losing Energy At Work
Everyday around 2:30 p.m., I grab a Sugar-Free Red Bull. It’s been a tradition of mine since I started my first job out of college. Of course, situations have arisen in which this habit was not feasible — like, when big bills forced me to put energy drinks into the “luxury” category, or when I was pregnant and had to limit my caffeine intake. When it comes to work snacks, I know Red Bull isn’t the healthiest choice.
Still, I once joked with a friend that if I were ever turned into an action figure, a Sugar-Free Red Bull would probably be my accessory.
Even though I’ll forever love the carbonated beverage, I’m at an age where I’ll never allow myself to drink more than one a day, lest my sleep cycles suffer as a result. That’s why I try to time it specifically to that 2:30 p.m. window. By that time, I’m losing my stamina and looking for a snack to help me push through the rest of the workday.
I’m not alone in feeling sluggish in the early afternoon. In fact, that’s usually the peak time when people seek out an energy drink to keep them going. Coffee is great, but when served hot it feels more like a morning drink than an afternoon pick-me-up. Sometimes all you need is a solid work snack to help get you through to quitting time.
Here are some great ideas for work snacks to try out next time you find yourself feeling sluggish, but would rather indulge in a much healthier option.
1. Greek Yogurt
I’ve always loved yogurt, but once I started eating Greek yogurt, there was no turning back.
Greek yogurt is just so much more satisfying than the standard variety I grew up with. It’s a good thing that it’s also really healthy for you. Healthline reports that Greek yogurt is a nutritional win, and it actually contains more protein than milk. One of the many benefits of protein is that it gives you lots of energy. Therefore an early afternoon Greek yogurt is a good call. Add some fruit or granola on top and you’ve got yourself a truly delicious treat!
Okay, this one isn’t the most work-friendly, but it’s nutritionally friendly. Just keep your cubicle neighbors in mind.
If you have your own office (and some air freshener) bring on the tuna! Organic Facts points out that tuna is pretty much a miracle fish. It helps with your immune system while also boosting your energy levels. It’s also an excellent choice if you’re trying to clear up your skin or lose a little weight.
You probably don’t want to be chomping down on bananas all day (since they’re pretty caloric in terms of fruit), but snacking on one in the afternoon is a great choice when you start dragging at work.
Fitness Magazine points out that eating a banana before a workout is a great way to boost your energy. Since you’re definitely exercising your brain at work, the same logic applies to the office. An added benefit? They’re super easy to eat in-between meetings.
4. Hard-Boiled Eggs
Eggs are a great breakfast, but they’re also a pretty good snack.
A quick hard-boiled egg in the office will perk you right up. Medical News Today explains that eggs are a wonderful source of protein, strength, and energy. Just make sure you refrigerate yours properly after preparing because they can be a bit much in an office with little air circulation.
Ever try a quinoa salad before?
It makes for an excellent lunch and gives you all the energy you need to handle the afternoon. In fact, the website Simply Quinoa has a bunch of suggestions about how to make perfect work snacks called, “Quinoa Energy Bites,” and some even include chocolate. You can’t go wrong.
6. Cottage Cheese
Grabbing a bowl of cottage cheese is a great idea if you want to stop the afternoon yawns.
Just pop it in your work fridge, and when you’re ready for a snack you’ll definitely notice the benefits. Healthline reports that cottage cheese is a wonderful source of protein and calcium. It’s also very versatile, so you can use it in all sorts of other dishes at home, too.
Sabra sells those pretzel dipping packs that you can grab for a quick energy boost. Or, you can bring your own hummus from home.
Men’s Journal reports that hummus consists of carbs, fat, and protein. The carbs are what’ll give you that energy boost, and the protein-fat combo is great for regulating your blood sugar levels. Also, it must be said — hummus is really, really delicious.
Edamame is often sold in a steam bag.
Consequently, you can easily heat some up at work for a delicious and nutritious mid-afternoon snack. What’s edamame, you may ask? They’re steamed soybean pods that usually come lightly salted. They’ll give you energy because they’re packed with protein, along with healthy fats.
They’ve been pegged as the miracle fruit, and there are plenty of reasons why.
One reason is that they’re a great source of energy. If you feel weird bringing a whole avocado into work, consider making your own fresh guacamole at home. Just know this in advance — you’re probably going to have to share with your coworkers.
As far as work snacks go, almonds are a top choice. Not only are they filling and satisfying, but they’ll give you an energy boost.
Healthfully reports that almonds have a high calorie count per serving, which helps give you the extra pep you need. But don’t let the calories turn you away from giving them a shot. A small handful of almonds is all you need to get those benefits. Plus, they’re also a great source of fiber.
11. Pumpkin Seeds
It’s a popular October snack, but a nutritional one worth enjoying year round as well.
Healthline reports that they’ve got plenty of fiber and carbs, and can even help fight cancer. They’ll also up your energy levels along with your mood. In fact, some athletes actually snack on pumpkin seeds before big events, just to give them a natural boost.
12. Green Tea
Green tea has often been touted as great for weight loss, but it’s also great for energy. Especially if you choose a caffeinated variety.
CupAndLeaf explains that it’s not necessarily the caffeine that is responsible for the alertness you get after enjoying a cup or two, as green tea doesn’t contain all that much. Instead, it’s due to an amino acid found in the tea called L-theanine, which helps the body process the caffeine at a more reasonable rate.
Almonds usually get all the credit when it comes to nutritionally wonderful nuts.
But cashews are also a great source of energy. Nuts.com states that cashews contain copper, which is excellent for energy production, as well as a ton of protein. By now, you’ve probably noticed that protein-heavy foods are great work snacks, sure to perk you up to take on the afternoon workload.
There are lots of good ways to add beets to your work lunch routine. Plus, they’ve become a pretty popular topping at salad bars, too.
Healthline reports that athletes often depend on beets and beet juice to help their performance. The site notes they’ve also been tied to increased brain health. When you’re feeling low on energy, usually your brain is quick to shut down and forget simple tasks, so eating some beets will put you ahead of the game.
We all know water is beneficial, but did you ever realize how beneficial?
Water helps literally everything in your body run properly. WebMD reports that by drinking water and re-hydrating your body, you’re able to give yourself a whole bunch of extra energy. Even better, it can come right from the water fountain — it doesn’t necessarily have to be enhanced with extra electrolytes to make a difference (though they can definitely help).
16. Goji Berries
Berries, in general, are pretty amazing for your health. But goji berries have a few extra advantages. They’re rich in antioxidants and they’re great at boosting your energy.
In fact, if you can’t find goji berries at the grocery store, drinking goji berry juice instead will help just as much. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that goji berries are responsible for “increased ratings for energy levels” as well as higher athletic performance and better quality of sleep. It sounds like another miracle fruit.
Already drinking some green tea for energy?
Might as well add a little honey to it for an added boost. Woman’s Day writes that natural honey is basically fuel for your muscles. And since you can add it onto so many foods that already give you extra energy (from tea to yogurt), it’s a great way to make the most of your afternoon snack.
If you want a snack that really has it all, you might want to treat yourself to a carton of fresh blueberries.
Just don’t feel guilty if you accidentally eat the whole thing. They are actually really great for your heart and have the highest antioxidant count of any fruit — plus blueberries are really great for helping balance your energy levels. And if you’re feeling adventurous, they’re also a delicious topping for yogurt.