In their search for a quick way to get out of the midday slump, many people reach for a sweet snack to refuel. While the sugar rush may make you feel like you’ve gained a burst of energy, everyone knows it’s not the healthiest solution — but, as registered dietitian Lauren Schmitt explains, that’s not its only downside.
Speaking with the web series #OWNSHOW, Schmitt says that sugar also has the impact of clouding your mind so that you feel “foggy” and less focused. While this fogginess could be due to lactose intolerance or gluten intolerance in some people, Schmitt points out that the alternative explanation comes down to sugar.
“It is probably sugar that is leaving you in that slump — and we are talking about added sugars, not natural sugars that you would find in fruit or yogurt,” she says.
The most obvious culprits are candy and soda, which happen to be two favorites among midday snackers. However, there are also some foods whose sugar content isn’t as obvious.
“Things like barbecue sauce, Chinese food, granola bars and even certain types of yogurt can have quite a bit of added sugar,” Schmitt says. “Those would be a few things to watch out for.”
So what should you be eating instead? “[Eat] something that is more well-balanced and has a complex carbohydrate, because if it does have fiber, it’s a slower release of energy, so it’s a little bit more consistent throughout the day,” she explains.
Bonus tip: Don’t make another cup of coffee for your afternoon pick-me-up — a glass of water is actually a better way to get a boost.**
**THE HUFFINGTON POST