We've all been there. Mid-afternoon hits and we are ready to hit the sack. That post-lunch laziness sets in but there are still hours of work left. Many folks reach for a cuppa Joe, and that caffeine kick does the trick. The rest of the day is manageable thanks to that much-needed pep. But what if coffee isn't your thing? Slug it down, or find something that tempts your taste buds as it provides that energy surge to get your engine running? The latter seems logical, so here are some coffee alternatives that will get you over that mid-day slump, leaving you super-sharp and alert.

Coconut Water

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Refreshing and slightly sweet, nature's coconut water is a pleasing pick-me-up that is natural and light. One reason you may feel tired mid-day can be due to dehydration. According to WebMD, coconut water is, "super-hydrating, with more potassium than four bananas." It is low in sugar, so you will not suffer that spike and crash like you might with super-sugary sodas and juice drinks.

Trueself recommends drinking coconut water straight up or making a tasty coconut water-based smoothie. "Mix 1 cup of coconut water with 1 cup of berries and ½ banana. Top with coconut flakes." Make one at home before work and keep it in the office fridge for when you feel that slump surfacing. A few sips and you're good to go 'till closing time.

Matcha

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With matcha, mid-day slumps have met their match. Go for the green stuff and you'll be on "go" until it's time to go home. According to Dr. Axe, "Matcha is an excellent alternative to coffee. A two-gram serving contains enough caffeine to give you an energy boost and is delivered slowly to your body over a period of 6-8 hours." No jitters, only steady and reliable energy to make every workday moment count. Sip some throughout the day and you will never be sidelined by a sudden slump.

What makes matcha so magical? As Trueself explains, "Matcha contains L-Theanine, an amino acid that stimulates alpha brain waves, and the EGCg content revs up your metabolism."

Maca

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Maca is amazing when it comes to giving you a boost without the buzz. Livestrong explains that maca root offsets the symptoms of adrenal fatigue, which "causes the adrenal glands to slow down and function at a less than optimal rate, causing extreme tiredness and a general feeling of malaise. Maca can be found as a whole food, powder, liquid, tablet, or capsule." It is versatile and proven effective.

As per Trueself, maca tastes buttery and nutty, making it a nice addition to a simple smoothie. Whip one up in the morning and let maca's magic keep you energized and on-the-ball from sunrise to sunset. Check out this easy-to-make maca milkshake recipe courtesy of Trueself, made with milk, fruit, cashew butter, and maca powder. An energy-boosting blend.

Apples

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An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but did you know it keeps Mr. Sandman at bay too? According to Shape, "A simple apple is a great energy-boosting, mid-afternoon snack. Full of vitamin C, fiber, and complex carbohydrates, an apple can deliver a boost of energy and stabilize blood sugar."

As Stemilt simply explains, "You don't need expensive supplements or drinks for energy. It you're perpetually dragging, get more sleep and eat healthy, fresh food." The crisp and juicy snack is portable and delicious. And remember to stick to the whole fruit rather than juice which can have lots of added sugar that will bring you down as fast as you spiked.

Dark Chocolate

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Chocolate, you had us at hello. But aside from dark chocolate's decadent taste, it can be a nice mid-day slump stumper too. As long as you keep your portion size in check, you will avoid over-indulging yet get the pick me up you are after.

According to The Hearty Soul, "It contains antioxidants that will give you energy. Make sure that it's dark chocolate, as milk chocolate contains added sugars which may give you an initial feeling of more energy, but will result in a crash in all likelihood, with a net result of feeling more depleted than before you ate it."

For even more snacks with a caffeine kick, check out five recommended by Topdust. From peanut butter to popcorn, these caffeine-infused treats are unique and energizing.

When you're not crazy for coffee, energize with an alternative.

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There’s an internet trend that says that everyone has three drinks: one for energy, one for hydration, and one for fun.


Hydration drinks are usually seltzer, a sports drink, or good old-fashioned water. Fun drinks can be anything from boba to kombucha to a refreshing fountain sprite. But the drink you choose for energy says the most about you. Are you a chill tea drinker? An alternative yerba mate devotee? A matcha-obsessed TikTok That Girl wannabe? A chaotic Red Bull chugger? Or are you a lover of the classics, a person after my own heart, who just loves a good cuppa joe?

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Over two years into the most momentous event in our lives the world has changed forever … Some of us have PTSD from being locked up at home, some are living like everything’s going to end tomorrow, and the rest of us are merely trying to get by. When the pandemic hit we entered a perpetual state of vulnerability, but now we’re supposed to return to normal and just get on with our lives.

What does that mean? Packed bars, concerts, and grocery shopping without a mask feel totally strange. We got used to having more rules over our everyday life, considering if we really had to go out or keeping Zooming from our living rooms in threadbare pajama bottoms.

The work-from-home culture changed it all. Initially, companies were skeptical about letting employees work remotely, automatically assuming work output would fall and so would the quality. To the contrary, since March of 2020 productivity has risen by 47%, which says it all. Employees can work from home and still deliver results.

There are a number of reasons why everyone loves the work from home culture. We gained hours weekly that were wasted on public transport, people saved a ton of money, and could work from anywhere in the world. Then there were the obvious reasons like wearing sweats or loungewear all week long and having your pets close by. Come on, whose cat hasn’t done a tap dance on your keyboard in the middle of that All Hands Call!

Working from home grants the freedom to decorate your ‘office’ any way you want. But then people needed a change of environment. Companies began requesting their employees' RTO, thus generating the Hybrid Work Model — a blend of in-person and virtual work arrangements. Prior to 2020, about 20% of employees worked from home, but in the midst of the pandemic, it exploded to around 70%.

Although the number of people working from home increased and people enjoyed their flexibility, politicians started calling for a harder RTW policy. President Joe Biden urges us with, “It’s time for Americans to get back to work and fill our great downtowns again.”

While Boris Johnson said, “Mother Nature does not like working from home.'' It wasn’t surprising that politicians wanted people back at their desks due to the financial impact of working from the office. According to a report in the BBC, US workers spent between $2,000 - $5,000 each year on transport to work before the pandemic.

That’s where the problem lies. The majority of us stopped planning for public transport, takeaway coffee, and fresh work-appropriate outfits. We must reconsider these things now, and our wallets are paying

the price. Gas costs are at an all-time high, making public transport increase their fees; food and clothes are all on a steep incline. A simple iced latte from Dunkin’ went from $3.70 to $3.99 (which doesn’t seem like much but 2-3 coffees a day with the extra flavors and shots add up to a lot), while sandwiches soared by 14% and salads by 11%.

This contributes to the pressure employees feel about heading into the office. Remote work may have begun as a safety measure, but it’s now a savings measure for employees around the world.

Bloomberg are offering its US staff a $75 daily commuting stipend that they can spend however they want. And other companies are doing the best they can. This still lends credence to ‘the great resignation.’ Initially starting with the retail, food service, and hospitality sectors which were hard hit during the pandemic, it has since spread to other industries. By September 2021, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 4.4 million resignations.

That’s where the most critical question lies…work from home, work from the office or stick to this new hybrid world culture?

Borris Johnson thinks, “We need to get back into the habit of getting into the office.” Because his experience of working from home “is you spend an awful lot of time making another cup of coffee and then, you know, getting up, walking very slowly to the fridge, hacking off a small piece of cheese, then walking very slowly back to your laptop and then forgetting what it was you’re doing.”

While New York City Mayor Eric Adams says you “can't stay home in your pajamas all day."

In the end, does it really matter where we work if efficiency and productivity are great? We’ve proven that companies can trust us to achieve the same results — or better! — and on time with this hybrid model. Employees can be more flexible, which boosts satisfaction, improves both productivity and retention, and improves diversity in the workplace because corporations can hire through the US and indeed all over the world.

We’ve seen companies make this work in many ways, through virtual lunches, breakout rooms, paint and prosecco parties, and — the most popular — trivia nights.

As much as we strive for normalcy, the last two years cannot simply be erased. So instead of wiping out this era, it's time to embrace the change and find the right world culture for you.

What would get you into the office? Free lunch? A gym membership? Permission to hang out with your dog? Some employers are trying just that.

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