Energize Your Day: Food’s Secret Impact


After a good night’s sleep, you wake up in the morning, all set for an exciting day. As the day goes on, you have a nice lunch. But suddenly, you start feeling really sleepy, almost like a magic sleepiness spell has hit you. This is what people call the ‘After-Lunch Slump’ or ‘Post-Lunch Sleepiness.’ It’s not a big deal on a lazy day, but it can be a pain on a busy one. So, why does this happen? If you think of your body like a machine, sleep is its rest time, and food is its fuel. So logically, you should feel energized after eating, right? But sometimes, you feel the opposite. Why is that?

According to the yogic sciences, any food we consume is known to have one of the three basic qualities – sattvic, rajasic, or tamasic. So even though food is like fuel to the body, how it affects your body and mind largely depends on which quality among these three dominates in the food we consume.

Sattvic foods are considered pure, clean, and full of life energy. So, if the food you consume is dominant with the Sattvic quality, then you will feel rejuvenated, active, and even joyful. On the other hand, if your meal is dominated by Rajasic qualities, you may experience heightened energy immediately after eating, followed by a crash. Rajasic foods are spicy, stimulating, and often processed. While they may provide a temporary energy boost, they can lead to fatigue and restlessness in the long run. Similarly, if you indulge in Tamasic foods, which are heavy, dull, and devoid of life energy, you are likely to feel sluggish and sleepy after eating. 

To maintain high energy levels throughout the day and eliminate post-meal sleepiness, you can incorporate these recommendations that are feasible for you:

  1. Choose Sattvic Foods: Opt for foods that are fresh and filled with natural energy, like fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, nuts, sprouts and seeds. 
  1. Avoid or Limit Rajasic and Tamasic Foods: Foods containing Onion, Garlic and Chillies. Food from animal sources such as meat, eggs and poultry except Ghee (clarified butter). Stimulants like Coffee, Tea and Alcohol. 
  1. Be Mindful While Eating: Take your time to enjoy your meals fully. It is important to eat with awareness to support effective digestion and absorption of nutrients from food.
  1. Time Your Meals Wisely: Follow Ayurvedic wisdom by making lunch your main meal, coinciding with peak digestive fire (agni). Lighter evening meals can ward off the drowsiness that sometimes follows a heavy dinner. Maintain a gap of at least 3-4 hours between dinner and bedtime to ensure thorough digestion before sleep.
  1. Harness the Power of Healing Herbs: Explore herbs like ginger, cardamom, and fennel in your meals or teas, for better digestion and alertness.
  1. Hydrate with Water-Rich Foods: Incorporate water-rich foods into your diet, such as cucumbers, watermelon, and citrus fruits. According to yogic wisdom, such foods not only quench your thirst but also provide sustained hydration, contributing to overall vitality and energy.
  1. Eat in Moderation: Listen to your body’s signals and avoid overeating. Moderation in meals supports balanced energy levels.
  1. Activate Your Body through Movement: Engage in regular yoga or exercise routines. Physical activity enhances blood circulation, aids digestion, and revitalizes your body.
  1. Prioritize Restful Sleep: Embrace the value of quality sleep at night to keep your body alert and active during the day.

Understanding the qualities of food and their impact on your energy levels is a key principle in the yogic and Ayurvedic sciences. By following these guidelines and making conscious choices in your diet and lifestyle, you can bid farewell to the post-meal sleepiness and experience sustained energy and vitality throughout the day.

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