Hands up who’s hit an afternoon slump and tried to get through the afternoon with coffee or sugary snacks? Too tired to even raise your hand? There’s a reason for that. Naturopath Stephen Eddy shares his tips on how to stay energised and motivated all day long without that coffee.
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Every day our body fluctuates between highs and lows. For some people, they may feel at their best in the mornings, others only fully wake up once the sun sets. Whether you’re an early bird or a night owl, many of us will also experience energy bursts and slumps throughout the day. According to the Sleep Health Foundation, our bodies feel most sleepy at night as well as between 2pm-3pm.[i] There are ways to take control of our body’s natural rhythms, with a few simple tweaks to our daily routine.
1. Get some sun
Whether it’s walking to work, or taking your lunchbreak outside to get some vitamin D and fresh air, natural light can help give you a much-needed boost, to help you through the afternoon hours.[ii] Even better? Go for a brisk walk and get your heart-rate pumping.
Dehydration is the number one cause of tiredness. Since our body is made up of 60 per cent water, and is involved in a wide range of basic functions, including transporting oxygen and improving focus, it’s imperative you keep sipping water throughout the day. Try the 8 x 8 rule: eight times a day, drink an eight-ounce glass of water (about a standard glass).[iii] You’ll notice the difference in your energy levels almost immediately.
3. Move to the music
Need to speak to your colleague on another floor? Rather than send yet another email, climb those stairs and speak to them face-to-face. Small amounts of movement may help to boost those energy levels, and better yet, regular movement away from your desk can also help support your overall posture and physical health.[iv] And pop your earphones on to lift your energy levels, and your productivity.[v]
4. Swap your caffeine for supplements
Supplementing your energy levels may be a good idea, especially if your day leaves you unable to do any of the above. A supplement called Ubiquinol, the reduced form of Coenzyme Q10, is the ultimate energy booster. It helps to convert energy from the carbohydrates and fats we eat into energy which your body can utilise. One study found that athletes who took Ubiquinol greatly increased their performance. Even if you’re not a trained athlete, it’s the perfect swap with your afternoon caffeine boost.[vi]