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How to Get a Boost of Energy in the Afternoon

Eliminate after lunch fatigue and learn how to get a boost of energy in the afternoon. To effectively increase energy levels naturally, without relying on caffeine, it’s important to incorporate healthy routines. One of the best ways to increase energy is by integrating nitrate-rich foods that boost nitric oxide throughout the body.

What does nitric oxide do? In short, nitric oxide is a gas produced in blood vessels that provides energy by pumping oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Here is how it works: Dietary nitrate from foods like beets and red spinach converts to nitrite on the tongue. The nitrite converts to nitric oxide throughout the body providing increased and lasting energy.

 

Top Nitric Oxide Natural Sources    

Beet Juice Top Nitric Oxide Natural Sources | NutriGardens

A beetroot supplement is one of the most recommended nitric oxide natural sources due to its high nitrate levels. It has been extensively studied for its positive effect on endurance and has become a popular nitric oxide booster for endurance-seeking athletes. The nitrate in beetroot can support mitochondrial function (energy producers of our cells), providing lasting energy during athletic training. Studies show that the peak nitric oxide boost occurs about 2-3 hours after consumption of a beetroot supplement. For those desperate to know how to get a boost of energy in the afternoon, beetroot can be a highly beneficial option. Ingesting beets or beet juice around lunchtime may help regulate natural energy through the remaining afternoon hours, especially when many people lose steam.  

Eat Light to Avoid an Energy Crash

A 2017 study from the University of Surrey revealed that meal times regulate the human circadian rhythm, and those who eat a heavy lunch may experience a quicker decline in energy levels. Instead, it is ideal to eat leafy green, protein-dense meals that induce satiety and snacks such as nuts, seeds, and fruit. Having a cup of green tea may also support antioxidant uptake that assists nitric oxide longevity and act as a natural pick-me-up in the afternoon.

Another study from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, analyzed the link between fiber and energy balance, suggesting that fiber-rich foods may help the body maintain energy for longer periods. Focusing on protein, nitrate-rich foods, fiber, and healthy fats from fruits like avocados at lunch to support the body throughout the afternoon hours.

 

How to Get a Boost Of Energy in the Afternoon with Nitrate-Rich Whole Foods

A study published by the Brown Institute of Molecular Medicine suggested that nitrate and nitrite provide significant health benefits, and the main source is from nitrate-rich vegetables. It is important to eat fruits and vegetables often to provide the body with key nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that support nitric oxide production. In addition to beetroot, there are other vegetables high in nitrates such as red spinach, arugula, broccoli, and celery. Pomegranate and citrus fruits may help increase the bioavailability of nitric oxide, which aids in nitric oxide absorption and prolongs its lifetime. Incorporating high antioxidant fruits and nitrate-rich vegetables into meals can help increase nitric oxide production.

 

Stay Hydrated Throughout The Day

 stay hydrated | NutriGardens

A study published by Cambridge University revealed that hydration has an influence on cognitive performance, energy levels, and mood throughout the day. Dehydration symptoms can become exacerbated for individuals that frequently indulge in caffeine or alcoholic beverages, as excessive amounts can severely dehydrate the body. While it may seem obvious, many people forget to stay hydrated through the day when work and life keep us preoccupied. Being mindful to drink water upon waking, and consistently every few hours is a simple solution to boost energy in the afternoon.

 

Take a Blue Light Break From Laptops and Phones

For people that work predominantly in front of laptops or electronic screens, it is common to experience eye strain followed by fatigue. Blue light wavelengths have been shown to interrupt healthy sleep physiology.

Spending the last few hours before bed device-free can be helpful in adjusting the eyes and brain toward sleep. When determining how to get a boost of energy in the afternoon taking a break from electronics for even just ten minutes may help mitigate digital eye strain that could cause headaches, sleepiness, irritation, and lower energy levels.  

 

Boost Nitric Oxide With A Brisk Walk and Nose Breathing

A sedentary work environment can decrease energy levels in the afternoon. Exercising for up to thirty minutes has been shown to increase nitric oxide levels in the body - getting oxygen and nutrients pumping throughout the body. When considering how to get a boost of energy in the afternoon, a brief walk during a break may help. Movement increases blood flow and helps reduce drowsiness. Additionally, breathing in through the nostrils creates inhaled nitric oxide that can also assist the body in regaining lost energy. Nitric oxide is a natural way to support better energy, especially when looking for alternatives to quick-fix energy drinks.

 

Minimize Multitasking

According to neuroscientist, Dan Levitan, multitasking reduces productivity and increases stress hormones like cortisol which can lead to fatigue. The act of multitasking is popular in the modern age, although it has the potential to be harmful to our health. When someone multitasks they are switching gears in their brain quickly, which can cause cognitive stress and focus problems.

It is recommended to allocate time to a specific task, and switch entirely to a new task if needed. A University of London study revealed that multitasking participants saw a significant drop in their IQ, with a decrease of up to fifteen points. For people that rely on multitasking every day, breaking the habit could impact energy, focus, and increase productivity.

 

There are Many Ways to Boost Energy in the Afternoon

Overall, there are many ways to support better energy, not only in the afternoon but throughout the entire day. Drinking an adequate amount of water and reducing heavy meals may also be helpful in keeping energy levels high. Adapting a short workout routine during lunch and other breaks to fight off afternoon fatigue, and recharge energy levels naturally. A great strategy is to live a nitric oxide lifestyle by keeping nitric oxide levels high with nitrate-rich and antioxidant-rich foods, a beetroot supplement or red spinach supplement, and regular exercise. 

 

Resources

Kapur, S., Picard, F., Perreault, M. et al. Nitric oxide: a new player in the modulation of energy metabolism. Int J Obes 24, S36–S40 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.ijo.0801502

Muggeridge DJ, Howe CC, Spendiff O, Pedlar C, James PE, Easton C. A single dose of beetroot juice enhances cycling performance in simulated altitude. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2014 Jan;46(1):143-50. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3182a1dc51. PMID: 23846159.

Masento, N., Golightly, M., Field, D., Butler, L., & Van Reekum, C. (2014). Effects of hydration status on cognitive performance and mood. British Journal of Nutrition, 111(10), 1841-1852. doi:10.1017/S0007114513004455

Action Spectrum for Melatonin Regulation in Humans: Evidence for a Novel Circadian Photoreceptor. George C. Brainard, John P. Hanifin, Jeffrey M. Greeson, Brenda Byrne, Gena Glickman, Edward Gerner, Mark D. Rollag Journal of Neuroscience 15 August 2001, 21 (16) 6405-6412; DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.21-16-06405.2001

Janssen, CP; Gould, SJJ; Li, SYW; Brumby, DR; Cox, AL; (2015) Integrating knowledge of multitasking and interruptions across different perspectives and research methods. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 79 pp. 1-5. 10.1016/j.ijhcs.2015.03.002.

Tsukiyama Y, Ito T, Nagaoka K, Eguchi E, Ogino K. Effects of exercise training on nitric oxide, blood pressure and antioxidant enzymes. J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2017;60(3):180-186. doi:10.3164/jcbn.16-108

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