There’s no need to rely on litres of coffee and caffeine-loaded energy drinks to get you past the 3pm slump. Here are 8 scientifically-proven (and natural) ways to boost your energy levels and keep your mind and body firing throughout the day.
Go for a walk or jog during your lunch break
Not only has moderate cardio exercise been shown to boost creativity immediately afterwards, studies also suggest midday exercise improves worker productivity and relationships between employees. Of course, the benefits of exercise also include reduced stress, improved mood and increased confidence and self-esteem. So take your runners to work and plan to go for a walk or a jog during your lunch break.
Think about your partner
Simply thinking about your loved one can give you an instant hit of energy. A recent study found people who reflected on their romantic partner experienced a boost in happiness as well as a surge in glucose (blood sugar). Next time you’re feeling sluggish, pull up a pic of your significant other and wait for your energy levels to spike!
Work from a café in the afternoon
Shake up your workday routine and work from your local café after lunch. The ambient sound of a typical café environment has been shown to be the best for nurturing creativity. Plus, the change in focus can cut through the tedium of working in the same old office environment day in, day out.
Take a nanna nap
Not only does napping improve energy levels afterwards, a 2009 study found naps taken between 2-3pm improve alertness and cognitive performance. In fact, naps as short as six minutes have been shown to improve declarative memory (a kind of long-term memory that allows us to recall facts), while hour-long kips boost cognitive memory. If that doesn’t win you over, know this: naps of the ideal duration more effectively improve alertness than caffeine!
Leave the desk and head out
Give your brain a break and hit ‘reset’ by spending a little time in the greens. Research has shown that visiting green spaces or tree-filled plazas “is likely to have a restorative effect and help with attention fatigue and stress recovery.” Ducking out for a quick walk in the local park or even taking five minutes to sit downstairs in the leafy courtyard is not slacking off, it’s recharging your mind.
Watch something funny on YouTube
Caught catching cat videos at work? Explain to your boss that not only is laughing a proven stress-buster, it is also a great, natural way to boost energy levels. One study found men and women who watched a funny comedy routine reported significant increases in feelings of energy, but not of tension. Who said social media was a waste of time?
Sit next to a window at work
Studies have shown a lack of natural light can leave people feeling drowsy, lethargic and unfocused, while getting plenty of natural light improves alertness and cognitive function, and reduces illness and absenteeism in the workplace. Rather than working from a dark or artificially lit cubicle, try and position your desk next to a window. It’s a sure-fire way to boost energy levels throughout the day.
Swap your sugary afternoon snack for a protein-packed treat
It can be tempting to deal with the 3pm slump with a sugary biscuit or handful of lollies, but it’s best to avoid the inevitable blood sugar crash and opt for a protein-packed snack instead. Protein takes longer than carbohydrate for the body to digest, meaning you’ll get a longer-lasting boost of energy. Still craving something sweet? Try Aussie Bodies Lo Carb Mini Protein Bars which give you all the benefits of protein, minus the guilt.