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16th Nov 2023

Expert reveals how to beat the afternoon slump

Jack Peat

One of these 10 hacks is guaranteed to work

An expert has revealed how to beat the afternoon slump, including chewing gum, having a ginger shot – and watching cute cat videos.

Nutritionist and mental health advocate Rosie Millen has revealed the top 10 hacks to get yourself out of the energy lull, which also includes grabbing a colouring in book, making a ‘slump’ playlist and spraying your favourite perfume.

According to Rosie, watching heart-warming videos of cats can have a huge impact on your mood and energy levels, and also decreases stress.

While studies show that simply chewing gum increases blood flow to the brain, which then makes you more alert.

And drinking a shot of ginger – which is a natural energy booster – can also help you out of a slump.

It comes after a study of 2,000 adults found they suffer an average of three energy slumps a day, with 2.36pm the most common time to hit the wall.

But 49 per cent admitted they have no idea how to avoid the energy loss.

Rosie, who is working with Vitabiotics Feroglobin in a bid to help people cope with the dreaded afternoon slump, said: “We’ve all been there. Some of us more than others. And when it hits, it hits hard.

“We all know the obvious solutions on hand – exercise, have a cup coffee or take a nap.

“But what are some of the more unconventional hacks at our fingertips that can also help bring you out of your energy lull and allow you to get on with your day.”


Following the findings, a quiz has also been created to allow you to test how at risk of a slump you are, and whether you need to work to boost your energy levels.

A lack of sleep was found to be the top cause of an energy slump for 45 per cent, followed by not drinking enough water (25 per cent), not exercising (22 per cent) and not having the right foods (21 per cent).

But 19 per cent blamed it on having to complete a boring activity while 12 per cent suffer a slump when they are in a meeting that goes on for too long.

Worryingly, 34 per cent have even had an energy slump while driving.

As the result of the lull in their energy levels, 21 per cent have cried and 19 per cent have argued with their partner.

Others admitted to cancelling a social engagement (19 per cent), forgetting they were meant to be somewhere (16 per cent) or shouting at their children (15 per cent).

Falling to sleep during a meeting

While 12 per cent have even fallen asleep in a meeting and 10 per cent have made a mistake at work.

But in a bid to beat the slump, 37 per cent have turned to coffee while the same percentage has tried going for a walk outside.

Three in 10 consume sugary snacks, 26 per cent splash their face with water and 12 per cent put some loud music on.

It also emerged the average adult complains of feeling tired three times a day, with 39 per cent admitting their lack of energy is often a topic of conversation with friends.

However, a quarter of those who suffer with energy slumps, polled via OnePoll, have been so concerned, they have visited a doctor or medical professional.

To try and boost their energy levels and avoid a slump, 38 per cent have attempted to improve their sleeping pattern while 36 per cent have done more exercise.

Others have changed their diet (30 per cent), taken supplements (30 per cent) or taken more breaks throughout the day (26 per cent).

A spokesperson for Vitabiotics Feroglobin said: “We’ve all experienced an energy slump – and when it hits, it can be really hard to get out of it.

“But as well as learning how to beat it, it’s important to learn how to avoid the slump in the first place.

“Your diet and nutrition can have a huge impact on your energy levels, so making sure you are eating the right foods and getting the vitamins and minerals you need can go a long way to beating the slump.”

Rosie Millen’s top tips to beat the slump

1) Watch cute cat videos

Believe it or not, watching cat videos can have a profound effect on your mood and energy levels. A study from the Indiana University Media School of 7,000 people found that watching cat videos not only improves your mood but also decreases stress and re-energises you for when you return to your work.

2) Eat an iron rich snack

You need iron to carry oxygen to the muscles and organs in the body. When iron levels are low, this can contribute to fatigue. So make sure you get some iron rich snacks every day to keep your levels up. Good recommendations include dried fruit and pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate and houmous with chopped veg.

3) Chew gum

This semi-strange tip actually has science to back it up. A study from the journal of physiology and behaviour found that chewing gum increases blood flow to the brain which in turn improves alertness.

4) Grab a colouring in book

Not only does colouring in alleviate stress and reduce anxiety it is like a full brain workout for your neurologic system. While colouring, you use the parts of your brain (the frontal lobe) that enhances focus and concentration. Certain colours, such as yellow and orange, are also thought to increase energy.

5) Jump into an ice bath or have a very cold shower

Experts say that cold showers boost the immune system and increase energy levels. Scientists believe it improves circulation and blood flow to and from the muscles. It is also thought to improve your mood. A 2008 study found that the use of cold showers on a daily basis decreases depressive symptoms.

6) Make a playlist

Music has an incredible impact on our mood and can absolutely transform your energy levels even in a short space of time. Just popping in your earphones and blasting your favourite song alters brainwaves and improves cognitive performance. New research from the British Academy of Sound Therapy found that after listening to music for just nine minutes, 65 per cent of test subjects reported they were happier and laughed more, 89 per cent had improved energy levels and 82 per cent felt more in control of their lives. So, get a playlist ready before you start to crash.

7) Turn up the lights

If you’re feeling slumped turn up the lights in your house. The high colour temperature of bright and cool lights triggers the release of serotonin, which makes us more alert and energetic. Results of a study with 52 test subjects showed that people felt more alert and energized after having been exposed to bright light. Stepping out into the sunshine is also a gamechanger. The effects of vitamin D and energy are well documented. Fatigue is one of the main symptoms of vitamin D deficiency.

8) Spray your favourite perfume

A lot of clinical research supports claims that certain essential oils increase energy and relieve fatigue. Peppermint oil, for example, is effective for preventing fatigue and improving exercise performance. And eucalyptus is thought to awaken the mind and increase mental clarity. You can either inhale essential oils directly, spray a perfume with them in, add a few drops to your shampoo or opt for an energising massage (time and finances permitting).

9) Call a friend

Unsurprisingly, socialising with friends can be really lifting. Dopamine and oxytocin are released when you socialize which in turn boosts your mood, reduces cortisol levels and lowers stress. In fact, social isolation has more far-reaching negative effects. New research suggests that being alone for too long is comparable to smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day.

10) Have a ginger shot

Ginger is a natural energy booster and may be able to give you the kick you are looking for mid-afternoon. Studies suggest it has stimulatory effects. Just make sure you go for as fresh as possible without any added sugar.

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