This post is certainly not a product evaluation. In fact, I’ve never used the product. My exposure to this product comes from Internet and TV ads rather than actually using this product for a period of time. From what I can see, 5 Hour Energy appears to be marketing to the Gen X and Gen Y‘ers. And from what I see from all the marketing, there’s a lot of some money to be made in the energy drink segment.
Getting back to my post, it is strictly from a contrarian perspective. In other words, are there alternatives to the 5 Hour Energy and other energy drinks? I don’t know too much about this product although the many ads in various media outlets makes me wonder if this product will have a long shelf life. Are there other practical options to a “pick me up” for one’s mid-afternoon lulls? Could some other lifestyle approaches help mitigate this loss of energy which usually occurs during a certain time of day?
• Don’t eat a big lunch. You overeat; blood from all over the body (even you head) will rush to your digestive area to digest the food. Sometimes, people overeat at lunch because they skipped breakfast and this is the first meal of the day (and they are ravenously hungry). Even if you don’t have time, eat a banana, a protein bar or a sandwich during the first few hours of the day.
• Sometimes, instead of a heavy meal for lunch, substitute that with a protein shake. Of course, making a protein shake is much more cost effective and easily accomplished at home.
• Stay properly hydrated throughout the day. This is certainly a good idea regardless of your energy level fluctuations.
• To maintain a steady blood glucose level throughout the day, some suggest eat a fistful of food every 2-3 hours. This will mitigate the “peaks and valleys” so you will experience fewer mid-afternoon crashes.
• Avoid eating cookies or a candy bar to get you going. This will provide a quick “pick up” as your body will quickly absorb the refined sugars in these products, however, this could set you up for a more significant “crash” later in the day.
• As I mentioned earlier, it’s important to eat breakfast. Either a piece of fruit or complex carbohydrate will help. Maybe an apple, banana, oatmeal or some whole-wheat toast is a good place to start.
• Deep breathing may be useful too. In seconds, inhale for 4, hold for 16, and exhale for 8. Do this 6 to 10 times within a 5 minute period will help oxygenate your blood and provide an energy boost for an hour or two without food or drink.
• If one of your primary goals behind this product is to include B12 in your diet, why not take a B vitamin (find one that includes B12) with your lunch?
• A little while after lunch, maybe a brief walk around the neighborhood or office area from time to time will get the blood flowing after your mid-day meal.
• Some brief stretching or squatting for those office employees helps gets the blood flowing.
• Another option is taking a Green Tea tablet. This is a natural energy boost but experiment in small doses. A full Green Tea tablet may make you jittery and aggressive.
• Eat a piece of fruit mid-morning and mid-afternoon to stay hydrated and active.
• Another option is taking a multi-vitamin at breakfast or lunch.
• If you must do caffeine, a cup of tea or coffee in the afternoon might help pick you up for a little.
These are just some ideas you could use to be more active throughout the day and avoid those late morning or mid-afternoon lulls that some of us have experienced or experience regularly. According to the product reviews on 5 Hour Energy, some consumers really feel strongly about this energy product and feel it helps them stay active throughout the day. Others don’t like the taste or have not had a positive experience with this product.
Regardless of how you feel about this product, there may be lifestyle changes one could make to avoid many of these afternoon lulls. Therefore, let’s consider other inexpensive, healthy and practical tips people can try to integrate into their lifestyle to help stay active and alert throughout the day.