Choosing an Afternoon Pick Me Up: Water or Coffee?

Choosing an Afternoon Pick Me Up: Water or Coffee?

Many of us begin to lose focus and energy in the afternoon and seek some way to wake ourselves up to finish the working day strongly. The go to beverage for many people is coffee; that initial burst of caffeine seems to work wonders, shaking us awake and giving us boundless energy and focus. Well, that’s the commonly held perception, but does it bear up to scrutiny and could a simple glass of water be a better and healthier alternative?

A Closer Look at Caffeine

Caffeine is, of course, a powerful stimulant and although you may think that your focus is improving there is no evidence to support that claim. In fact, drinking high amounts of caffeine throughout the day could actually impair your ability to function effectively. This phenomenon is relevant to all caffeine laced drinks, such as soda, cocoa, and even some teas. Ingesting caffeine can impair your memory, induce a lack of concentration, adversely affect your digestion and may even trigger anxiety attacks.

Why is Afternoon Coffee Drinking so Popular?

Many people have adopted the habit of drinking coffee later in the afternoon to give them a boost to finish work. This is partly cultural, but there is an ingrained perception that coffee can wake a person up and get them back to work. In fact, the usual cause for fatigue late in the day is dehydration and addressing that need will have better results. When we drink coffee and other drinks that contain caffeine, we only mask our fatigue for a very short period of time.

The Energetic Benefits of Water

Sadly, even now after the extensive promotion of water drinking, most people still don’t drink enough water throughout the day. Most adults should be drinking at least eight 8oz glasses of water each day and more than that if engaging in vigorous activities or during hotter weather conditions. People that are aware of their water needs often start out strongly and then fade away later in the day and forget to drink water consistently. This can be addressed with a host of methods, such as hydration calculators, water drinking apps, and even a simple timetable could suffice. Over time, drinking more water will become a habit, and most people will notice that they have more energy to finish their working day strongly.

Some Extra Tips

Staying hydrated throughout the day is a great way to avoid brain fog and feeling sluggish in the afternoon. If you’re still struggling, it may be a good idea to supplement your diet with a few brain boosting snacks, such as seeds, nuts, fresh fruit and dried fruit. These will give you a little protein or natural sugar boost to stimulate your body and mind. It’s also vital to ensure that you get 7-8 hours of good quality sleep every night to recharge your batteries for the day ahead. Taking an afternoon walk during a work break is a great way to wake yourself up with some light exercise and a change of scenery. Finally, bottled water can be expensive, so get a home water filtration system and take some flasks of water to work with you to save some money.

By Mark Williams (NicMar President Mark Williams holds degrees in Applied Science and Industrial Thermodynamics, along with Agricultural Mechanization and Systems Engineering from Ohio State University.  He also holds the highest possible industry ranking, being WQA (Water Quality Association) LEVEL 6 Certified.)

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