It happens every afternoon like clockwork – 3 p.m. strikes, and all of your productivity goes out the window. Maybe your stomach starts to growl, and all you can think about is that bowl of candy in your office kitchen. Maybe you feel so tired that you could curl up under your desk and sleep the day away. One thing’s for sure: You could use an energy boost.
Thankfully, with the right snack in hand, you can combat the afternoon slump and possibly even crank out a few more hours of high-quality work. Boasting a healthy mix of protein, fiber, and complex carbs – not to mention they’re super tasty – these five energy-sustaining snacks check all the boxes.
1. Banana + Peanut Butter
Despite what you’ve been told, there’s no need to shy away from a jar of peanut butter – it’s full of healthy fats, protein, and vitamins and minerals. We recommend finding a brand that contains minimal ingredients (ideally just peanuts, but some salt is fine). Paired with a banana, you’ll have a filling snack that will hold you over until dinnertime. And really, any combo of fruit and nut butter will do, so try mixing it up from week to week. Apples and almond butter or dates and cashew butter are other winning combinations!
2. Baby Carrots + Hummus
If you could use a few more servings of vegetables in your day, carrots and hummus are a great – and easy – way to meet the quota. Hummus is an excellent source of plant-based protein, and scooping it up with some baby carrots will get you even more nutritional benefits. While store-bought hummus is a convenient option, you can also make your own with just a few pantry staples (think: chickpeas, garlic, tahini, and olive oil). Not a fan of carrots? Swap them out for bell pepper slices, cucumber slices, or whole-grain crackers.
3. Dried Fruit + Nuts
This DIY snack can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. For those looking for minimal effort, a handful of almonds and dried apricots is packed with energy-boosting nutrients such as magnesium, vitamin E, and calcium. Or, build a healthy trail mix featuring everything from pecans and cashews to raisins and some chopped dark chocolate (70% or higher if possible). Not only is this combo versatile, but it’s also portable and compact, making it a go-to for on-the-go snacking!
4. Berries + Yogurt
Craving something sweet? A bowl of yogurt topped with berries (blue, straw, rasp – your pick!) may just hit the spot. Berries bring fiber to the table, while the yogurt delivers a punch of protein. When choosing yogurt, look for a plain, unflavored variety with not a lot of sugar. If the natural sweetness of the berries isn’t enough to satisfy your sweet tooth, you can add a dash of cinnamon or vanilla, or even a swirl of honey, to further flavor your snack.
5. Raw Veggies + Hard-Boiled Egg
A hard-boiled egg contains all of the nutrients your body needs to produce energy in a small, very convenient package. Just be sure not to skip out on the yolk – while the whites provide protein, egg yolks are rich in iron, vitamin D, and folate, among other nutrients. For a more balanced snack, pair your egg (or two) with some raw vegetables such as spinach, tomatoes, celery, or radishes. Sprinkle your plate with some “Everything but the Bagel” sesame seasoning, and you have a midday munch that’s as delicious as it is satiating.