Nutritionist and author Rob Hobson shares his essential tips for sustaining energy and avoiding an afternoon slump.

The afternoon slump, a familiar decline in energy post-lunch, is more than just a feeling; it’s a reality for many. A recent study quantified this daily energy dip, pinpointing the average peak of vitality at 11:15am, followed by a notable decrease in energy again at 2pm. This pattern underscores the influence of our lifestyle choices on energy levels, with 40% of Britons turning to sugary drinks for a fleeting uplift, a choice that impacts blood sugar levels, potentially leading to the observed afternoon energy crash. This connection highlights the importance of mindful dietary choices in maintaining consistent energy levels throughout the day.

The same study revealed that Brits feel they are operating at merely 53% of their daily energy potential, with unhealthy eating habits listed as a leading “energy drainer.” But there are simple ways to mitigate fatigue and optimize daily energy through healthier lifestyle adjustments.

Commenting on the study, Rob says: “In today’s fast-paced world, maintaining a consistent level of energy is crucial. Yet according to the new research, the time of day when UK adults are least energised is 2pm, likely because of fluctuating blood sugar levels and a natural dip in our circadian rhythms. This ‘afternoon slump’ can hinder productivity and focus during the day, impacting both our professional and personal lives.

“What’s more, 40% of UK adults say they are resorting to sugary, fizzy drinks for a quick fix, which, while providing a brief surge in energy, can lead to longer-term health implications and energy crashes,” explains Rob. Try Rob’s top tips for sustained energy levels…

  1. SEE THE LIGHT Exposure to natural light is the most potent element influencing our circadian rhythms. Begin your day by either drawing back the curtains or taking a stroll outside. This practice is beneficial for numerous reasons. The presence of sunlight leads to a reduction in melatonin (sleep hormone) levels and increases the stimulating hormones norepinephrine and cortisol. Absorbing some sunshine first thing signals to your body that it’s time to start your day and get yourself moving.
  2. STAY HYDRATED Water is essential for brain function. Although it may seem obvious, many of us aren’t drinking enough water. Even slight dehydration can impair energy, focus, and memory. To stay hydrated, carry a water bottle with you throughout the day. Having a bottle within arm’s reach and taking regular sips can become as natural as checking your phone!
  3. UNPROCESS YOUR LIFE Unprocessed foods, such as whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables, are nutrient-dense and the key to sustaining energy levels due to their rich content of complex carbohydrates, high fibre, and balanced nutrients. These complex carbohydrates and fibres ensure a slower digestion process and a gradual release of energy, helping to stabilise blood sugar levels and prevent the energy spikes and crashes that are associated with ultra-processed foods.
  4. TAKE REGULAR EXERCISE Regular physical activity can significantly boost your energy levels and improve mental clarity. Activities like brisk walking, cycling, or yoga increase your heart rate, enhancing blood flow to the brain and muscles. This not only improves your physical health but also enhances mood and mental focus. Imagine your exercise routine as a daily “energy appointment.” It doesn’t have to be a marathon; even 30 minutes of activity like a brisk walk in the park or a quick yoga session at home can do wonders.
  5. USE CAFFEINE STRATEGICALLY Caffeine, when used strategically, can be an effective tool to enhance alertness and concentration. Think of caffeine as your personal assistant for the brain – it’s there to give you a boost when you need it. Controlling your caffeine intake, through a high-quality supplement, can offer a more balanced energy boost compared to the fleeting lift provided by sugary drinks. This can be especially useful during long work hours or when you need to focus on demanding tasks. You could try the new Pro Plus® Fizz (£5.99 for 20,, a healthier energy supplement alternative that comes in a convenient effervescent tablet that dissolves in water. It contains caffeine and guarana extract, which both quickly bolster alertness and focus, along with vitamins B2, B6, and B12, which contribute to a reduction in tiredness and fatigue, and ginseng to support mental performance and sustain energy levels without the sugar-induced highs and lows.

Rob Hobson is an award-winning nutritionist with more than 17 years of experience in the industry and has been featured on Channel 4’s Food Unwrapped. Rob has authored international best-selling books including The Detox Kitchen Bible, The Art of Sleeping, and new book Unprocess Your Life. @Robhobsonnutritionist