The afternoon slump is a legit phenomenon—your circadian rhythm1 naturally slows you down around mid-afternoon. Granted, taking a lunch break won’t alter your internal sleep-wake cycle, but Kulp says it could keep energy levels steadier in the latter half of the day.
“Taking time in the middle of a busy day to eat a relaxing meal can improve the communication between the gut and the brain,” she says. “During digestion, the gut releases neurotransmitters that talk to the brain, and can affect mood. Having a more relaxing lunch can lead to feeling happier and more energized.”
For a lasting dose of afternoon oomph, Kulp recommends a meal that combines fiber-rich carbohydrates with protein. Try a salad with chicken, a sandwich with meat and veggies, or a bean wrap.