The dreaded 2 p.m. slump just hits differently as a parent, doesn’t it? You don’t want more coffee. You can’t take a nap. And somehow the kids are running in circles. Although we’re pros at powering through, it would be so much better to avoid that energy pitfall in the first place. 

If you want to get off the energy roller coaster, look beyond caffeine and more sleep.  So, what’s the alternative?  If you want to keep your energy consistent from early morning wake-ups to bedtime stories, some simple lifestyle changes can help. 

Here are five habits that will help you sustain energy throughout the day…

Eat foods that fuel

Choose foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals, complex carbs and protein. Protein not only helps repair muscles, aid recovery and support immune health, but it also fuels your metabolism to help sustain energy—so you can keep up with your busy day.

The good news is you don’t need to search high and low for options that fit your busy lifestyle: the powders, drinks and bars in a number of delicious flavors from Orgain are a convenient way to pack more protein into your day.

From organic grass-fed to clean plant-based protein, Orgain has a range of options to satisfy:

  • Blend up a smoothie with fresh fruit, spinach and a scoop of protein powder for a delicious afternoon snack.
  • Throw a protein bar in your gym bag to re-fuel post workout.

Incorporate exercise

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If sleeping well through the night is a problem for you, try to be more active throughout the day. And, remember, exercise can take many forms: From cardio to hitting the gym to enjoying a walk around the block, the best exercise is whatever method works for you

To make occasional workouts a real habit, it can help to create a ritual around it: 

  • Pick days that are optimal for exercise and pencil your workout into your calendar.
  • Set out your clothes and shoes the night before.
  • Make a pre-exercise shake packed with protein and complex carbs that will help you power through and get the most out of your workout. Orgain protein powder is smooth, creamy and delicious when mixed with water or any milk of your choice—something to look forward to!

Hydrate consistently

One of the first signs of dehydration is fatigue—and mild dehydration can sneak up on you pretty quickly. Especially if you’re busy keeping up with the kids, it can be easy to lose more fluid from your body than you drink during the same period. 

Although the solution is as simple as drinking more water throughout the day, the problem for many of us is actually making a habit of it. To start, try keeping a water bottle with you—at your desk, in your diaper bag, in the car cup holder and so on. A little experimentation can also help. Some people prefer ice-cold water while others don’t mind temperature variations. Some people like drinking from a straw while others like a spout. Some like a little flavor addition while others are good with straight H2O. By playing around with variations to find your preferences, you’ll be more likely to reach for that water.

Practice self-care

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Emotional exhaustion is a real thing and is a familiar experience for most parents. That’s why self-care is the opposite of selfishness. It’s a way to improve your health, model positive practices for your family and boost your energy. Even “little” self-care rituals can go a long way toward improving your energy. 

From a brief guided meditation to a phone call with a friend, self-care can look different for everyone. If finding time is an obstacle, look for opportunities to increase your efficiency in other tasks throughout the day—like having a stash of bars or ready-to-drink shakes easily accessible for both you and your kids. Less time preparing food equals more time for self-care.

Spend time outside

Have 20 minutes to spare? Try spending it outside. Research shows that even a little bit of sunlight and nature can increase your mood and energy levels, even after you return inside. That’s due in part to the fact that being outside can lower cortisol levels, a hormone that’s associated with stress. 

The positive effects spill over to the evening, too. That’s because the great outdoors are also great at regulating your body’s internal clock, which comes in handy when you’re truly ready to fall asleep.

Learn more about fueling your day with Orgain, available on Amazon and retailers nationwide.