We all know that feeling, 3 p.m. rolls around and we get that midday crash. But we don’t need to reach for energy drinks or high calorie bars. Beat that midday slump without breaking the diet by using one of the tips below:

Sugar-free gum

That’s right. Research has found that chewing gum increases heart rate and improves blood flow to your brain, which can increase alertness. Further, opting for a fresh, mint flavored stick will wake up your senses even more. Easily accessible and hassle-free, chewing gum is a great quick fix.

Cardamom

This popular Asian spice improves your energy supply by promoting blood flow throughout your body. You can easily integrate this spice into your meals by sprinkling it over vegetables or adding it into your chicken or meat spice blend. Alternatively, opt for a mug of chai tea- another great source of this energy-boosting spice.

Spinach

Bulk up your salad with this iron-rich leafy green. Low iron levels in the body can correspond with low energy levels. Why? Iron is a key component in transporting oxygen in the body. A mere two cups of spinach provides 12mg of iron- more than half of your daily recommended intake! Added bonus: spinach is also high in fiber, which helps sustain our energy.

Pistachios

Pistachios are high in protein and fiber, which aid in stabilizing your blood sugar, providing you with long lasting energy. Pistachios are a great on-the-go snack for the calorie-conscious, as 25 pistachios weigh in at only 100 calories, while providing a whopping 6g of protein and 2g of fiber! 

Additional tip: Buy the pistachios with the shell on-- this will slow you down as you eat, giving your body time to sense that you’re getting full.

Water

It’s old school. Feeling tired is one of the first signs of dehydration. Before reaching for another cup of coffee, have another glass of water instead! Adding more water-rich foods, such as cucumbers or lettuce, to your meals is another way to increase your water intake, while boosting your fiber intake as well. Still struggling to stay hydrated? Make it fun and track your intake-- there’s an app for that!

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Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, is a Registered Dietitian in New York City and the author of two bestselling diet books: The F-Factor Diet and The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with Fiber.

Subscribe to Tanya’s FREE Weekly Newsletter and follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. To learn more about Tanya’s private nutrition counseling services visit www.ffactor.com.