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Managing your energy levels throughout the day

Do you ever find yourself running out of stream throughout the day? Or feel at an all time energy low by the time the day is done? Wouldn’t it be great to keep your energy levels even throughout the whole day?

Energy levels rise and dip depending on the tasks we’re doing, what time it is, how we’re feeling and what we’ve had to eat or drink. By recognising patterns in your own energy levels, you can tackle the dips more effectively.

Here we take you through the day, highlighting some of the key ways you can keep your energy steady.

Keeping hydrated
Alex McKinven, Physiotherapist, shares some advice on staying hydrated.


  • Get the best start Get the best start

    A healthy start

    Start the day the right way by eating a healthy breakfast. Don’t be tempted to skip it. Breakfast will set you up for the day and keep you on an even keel throughout the morning. A few great breakfast choices include starchy and fibre-rich carbohydrates such as wholegrain cereal, porridge oats and wholemeal toast. These are all good sources of energy.

    Don’t get stuck in a rut though. It’s important to have a good balance and eat a variety of foods, so you get all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals you need. Think about adding fruit, protein such as beans, and low-fat dairy products into your breakfast mix too.

    Mid-morning mini breaks

    Take quick breaks to prevent signs of discomfort setting in. Looking at a computer screen for lengthy periods can cause pain and discomfort such as back pain, tired eyes and headaches. All of these are likely to affect your ability to concentrate and lower your energy.

    You can only concentrate for a certain amount of time before it starts to slip. If you notice that you’re yawning, feel hungry or restless, it’s a sign that your energy is waning and time to take a break.

    Refresh your concentration and break up long amounts of time sitting down. Go for a short walk, get a drink, or walk over to speak to a colleague.

    Bupa Health Assessments

    If you are concerned about your health, Bupa can help you get a diagnosis.

  • Reclaim your lunch break Reclaim your lunch break

    Do you often carry on working through lunch? If so, make a change to stop and give yourself a proper break. There are plenty of ways to spend it, leaving you feeling refreshed and energised for the afternoon ahead. Try one of the following and notice the difference it makes to your afternoon’s work.

    Exercise for energy

    Whether it’s a brisk walk, run or gym session, exercise gives you more energy, helps you maintain a healthy weight and regulate your sleeping patterns.

    Get some green space

    Some research has suggested that green spaces, such as parks, make people feel happy. Green spaces can offer a break from your everyday demands. Ask yourself: would you rather eat your lunch at your desk or under the foliage of leafy green trees in the park?

    Be social

    Set up a lunch date to catch up with a friend or colleague. Combine a healthy lunch with a revitalising walk, as well as catching up on each other’s news.

    Centre yourself

    If you’ve found your morning a bit stressful, take a bit of time out to do some relaxation exercises or mindful thinking.

    And importantly, make sure you eat a healthy lunch. Whether you make your lunch yourself or buy it from the shop or canteen, think about what you’re choosing and keep healthy eating in mind. Your meal should include key nutrients and be well balanced.

  • Avoid an afternoon lull Avoid an afternoon lull

    After the buzz of a productive morning, for many people, the afternoon can be a challenge to refocus. Many of us are familiar with the phrase of ‘mid-afternoon slump or lull’. It’s to do with what’s called your ultradium rhythm; natural cycles of energy. Towards the end of a cycle, you start to feel tired and low in energy.

    To help stay on focus, make sure you keeping well hydrated. Dehydration causes headaches, tiredness and can hinder your mental performance at work. Water is the best choice because it hydrates you without adding any calories or damaging your teeth. Keep a bottle or glass of water on your desk and drink a glass with every meal.

  • An overview of your health

    Find out how a Bupa health assessment can help you understand your health, identify future health risks, and offer practical advice for a healthier you.

  • Recharge with a relaxing evening Recharge with a relaxing evening

    An alcohol-free accompaniment

    There’s nothing like kicking off your shoes and relaxing on the sofa after a busy day. But watch out if that’s often accompanied by a glass of wine. Regularly drinking too much alcohol can interfere with the quality of your sleep, leaving you feeling exhausted the next day.

    Proposed new guidelines recommend that you should not regularly drink more than 14 units over the course of a week. If you do drink as much as 14 units, you should spread it over three days or more, rather than 'saving up' units.

    An easy way to cut back on your intake is to have several drink-free days each week.

    Drinking below the limits is even better. And, if you want to cut down, lower alcohol drinks or alcohol-free versions of your favourite tipple are a good place to start.

    Sweet dreams

    A good bedtime routine is the key to sleeping well. Some simple sleep hygiene measures can help. Make sure your bedroom is quiet, the right temperature and your mattress supports your body properly. Before bed, do something you find relaxing, such as reading or listening to some soothing music. It’s easy to stay switched on all the time, but try and turn off your phone and other devices to help you wind down. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time each day.

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  • Author information Author information

    Reviewed by Natalie Heaton, Bupa Health Information Team, March 2014.

    This information was updated in January 2016 following revisions to the Department of Health’s guidelines for alcohol consumption.

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