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Skipping the afternoon slump

6 ways to stay energized – without caffeine.

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It’s easy to crave another cup of coffee around 2 pm when lunch settles and sleepiness sets in. But that extra dose of caffeine can also lead to poor sleep at night.

Kabir Yousuf, MD, cardiologist with Baptist Heart Specialists, has heart-healthy tips for avoiding the afternoon slump.

  1. Stay hydrated. Research has shown that increasing hydration and drinking more water throughout the day can help decrease afternoon fatigue.
  2. Skip the sugary snack. It’s tempting to grab a sweet treat out of the vending machine at the office to help give you a burst of energy, but the spike will be short-lived.
  3. Get moving. “This is actually two-fold,” explained Dr. Yousuf. “Having a regular routine for exercise will give you better energy throughout the day. Plus, going for a short walk at lunchtime can help you maintain your energy levels.”
  4. Soak up the sun. If you plan to talk a walk at lunchtime, go outdoors! “Exposure to the sun increases cortisol levels, which helps increase wakefulness,” said Dr. Yousuf. “Even eating your lunch outside can help.”
  5. Wake up with water. “Splashing or washing your face with cold water can increase blood flow to your face, which can help with mental alertness and decrease drowsiness,” said Dr. Yousuf.
  6. It may be obvious but...get quality sleep! Poor sleep the night before will naturally lead to decreased energy the following day. “Aim to increase both the quality and quantity of your sleep,” said Dr. Yousuf. “If your routine allows, even a 15-minute power nap can increase energy, productivity, alertness and memory.”

“The best part about these tips is that yes, they will decrease the afternoon slump, but there are numerous heart health benefits to staying hydrated, eating healthy, getting sleep and exercising,” said Dr. Yousuf.


If your fatigue persists or is regular, it’s time to see a doctor. To learn more about Baptist Heart Specialists or to make an appointment, visit baptistjax.com/heart or call 904.720.0799.

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