Data propagation in wireless sensor networks can be performed either by hop-by-hop single transmissions or by multi-path broadcast of data. Although several energy-aware MAC layer protocols exist that operate very well in the case of single point-to-point transmissions, none is especially designed and suitable for multiple broadcast transmissions. The key idea of our protocols is the passive monitoring of local network conditions and the adaptation of the protocol operation accordingly. The main contribution of our adaptive method is to proactively avoid collisions by implicitly and early enough sensing the need for collision avoidance. Using the above ideas, we design, implement and evaluate three different, new strategies for proactive adaptation. We show, through a detailed and extended simulation evaluation, that our parameter-based family of protocols for multi-path data propagation significantly reduce the number of collisions and thus increase the rate of successful message delivery (to above 90%) by achieving satisfactory trade-offs with the average propagation delay. At the same time, our protocols are shown to be very energy efficient, in terms of the average energy dissipation per delivered message.