Healthy Snacks to Beat an Afternoon Energy Slump

Spiced Chickpea "Nuts" Guacamole-Stuffed EggsBanana-Cocoa Soy SmoothieFeta & Herb Dip with Crudites

To keep you satisfied in the afternoon, try these protein-rich snack ideas.

As the afternoon rolls along (or drags on, depending on your take), the office candy bowl sees an uptick in traffic. But a new study shows that it’s not sugar, but protein that you should reach for to beat an afternoon slump.

The study, from the University of Cambridge in England and published in the November 2011 issue of Neuron, found that while glucose (sugar) blocks certain neurons that help you feel awake, the amino acids in protein prevent that from happening. So, if you eat some carbs at lunch, a protein-rich afternoon snack may keep you from feeling sleepy. And since protein helps keep you feeling full longer, that snack might tide you over better than a sugary one and keep you from snacking too much throughout the afternoon.

—Kerri-Ann Jennings, M.S., R.D.

Pictured Recipes: | | |

Watch us make 3 low-calorie snacks


Smoothie

Pictured: Banana-Cocoa Soy Smoothie

1. Smoothie

Try a smoothie made with silken tofu or yogurt or this Banana-Cocoa Soy Smoothie.


Edamame

Pictured: Edamame Nibbles

2. Edamame

Try eating steamed edamame with coarse salt or this recipe for Edamame Nibbles.


Spiced Chickpea

3. Spiced Chickpea "Nuts"

Try this flavorful, crunchy recipe for Spiced Chickpea "Nuts"


A Hard-Boiled Egg

Pictured: Guacamole-Stuffed Eggs

4. A Hard-Boiled Egg

Try eating a hard-boiled egg—eat it plain or gussy it up: Guacamole-Stuffed Eggs.


Trail Mix & Dried Fruit

Pictured: Gorp

5. Trail Mix & Dried Fruit

Try trail mix and dried fruit, or our healthy Gorp recipe.


Veggies & Hummus

Pictured: Feta & Herb Dip with Crudites

6. Veggies & Hummus

Try veggies and hummus or Feta & Herb Dip with Crudites


Turkey Rollups

Pictured: Turkey Rollups

7. Turkey Rollups

Try these Turkey Rollups—Spread 2 slices of deli turkey breast with 2 teaspoons mustard (or mango chutney) each and season with pepper. Wrap each prepared turkey slice around 2 sesame breadsticks.


Nonfat Yogurt

8. Nonfat Yogurt

Nonfat yogurt snack makes a great snack. Try Greek yogurt, which delivers more protein than regular yogurt.


Banana & Peanut Butter

Banana & Peanut Butter

Banana and peanut butter together make a filling snack with lots of protein.


Open-Faced Tuna Sandwich

Open-Faced Tuna Sandwich

Skip the two slices of bread and have an open-face tuna sandwich.


Nonfat Latte

11. Nonfat Latte

Sip on a nonfat latte (decaf or regular) to help you power through your afternoon slump.