Caffeine Free Ways to Beat the Slump: Finding Your Natural Energy and Flow

energy; productivity, focus
2 min read

Ever feel that energy dip (or crash for some people) in the midafternoon?

Reduced energy levels during this time can be frustrating and lead to decreased productivity. It’s important to understand that some dip in energy levels is entirely normal due to the body’s circadian rhythm.  We have a natural rise and fall of cortisol throughout the day that effects our energy.

Even so, there are strategies we can incorporate to minimize the midafternoon slump. 

  1. Cut the coffee and energy drinks: Caffeine is often the go-to for an energy bump, but it is only a temporary boost.  Caffeine has a half-life of 4 - 6 hours, meaning you are guaranteed to crash at some point later in the day. In fact, excessive caffeine intake in the morning often contributes to a bigger crash in the afternoon.  
  2. Get more daily movement: Exercise is a great way to energize the body and get the blood flowing. Sitting all day long can make you feel sluggish and make it difficult to do anything after the workday, such as going to the gym. Try getting up every hour for at least 5 minutes to walk around and get more movement. Set reminders throughout your day to get up and move your body. You will feel rejuvenated afterwards.  
  3. Get some ZZZZZ’s: Not getting enough rest at night is a huge contributor to daytime sleepiness, which will accentuate that afternoon crash. Additionally, lack of rest can make you hungrier during the day and may lead to poor food choices.  
  4. Watch the carbohydrates: It’s very important to consume balanced meals that do not cause drastic swings in blood sugar levels. Ensure you are eating complex carbohydrate sources with meals such as fruits, whole grains, and starchy vegetables, in addition to lean protein sources. This will give you steady energy throughout the day, without the dreaded crash.  
  5. Stay hydrated: Even just a 2% fluid loss of the body can cause low energy and mental fatigue. Ensuring you are drinking plenty of fluids, ideally water, can help keep your energy levels up during the day.  
Having a slight energy dip in the day around 2 PM can be normal, but you have control through your diet and lifestyle. Continuing bad habits will only compound the problem and make the slump tougher in the long run to overcome. These small changes can be the difference between having a dip or a major crash. Reconnect with your natural energy and flow by making small changes to your daily routine.

Special thanks to SB Wellness Registered Dietitian, Babette Myers, for sharing her professional knowledge and insight for this article.

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