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Are you someone that is non-compos until the first morning coffee has kicked in? Do you experience most working days like a battle ground between what you need or hope to achieve and your flailing energy with your key weapon being coffee, tea, energy drinks or sugar? How habitual are your ‘pick-me-ups’ – 9am, 3pm, 5pm?

Three simple rules of pick-me-up habits


What goes up must come down! The thing that most of us fail to recognise in our pick-me-up habits. Each time we use a stimulant (caffeine, sugar etc.) we will experience a brief period of ‘artificial energy’ followed by a crash back down to earth. How do we respond to the crash? Often by reaching for another pick-me-up! Oh dear, around we go again.


Becoming the habit! Like any habit– pick-me-ups are subject to tolerance (this means that our body adjusts to something so that after a while we need a larger amount in order to get the original effect) and dependency (our bodies have adjusted to our chronic intake so that we feel that we no longer feel ‘normal’, ‘okay’ or ‘good’ without it). Can you remember when you previously felt fine and enjoyed just the one coffee a day whereas perhaps it’s snuck up now to two or three?


The buzz at what cost? Excess caffeine and poor food choices, while giving you a brief sense of elevated energy, have been shown to often compromise the quality and accuracy of things you achieve under their influence. They can also interfere with good decision making.

Busting the habit

Even if you’re not a huge pick-me-up addict, busting the habit can be very hard to do. This is partly because of the effects of tolerance and dependence, but also because many of these pick-me-ups fit in with our social routines. It is important to know that allowing your body to adjust to your daily life minus the pick-me-ups and the development of healthier coping strategies, is short-lived and what you will discover is a more sustained, reliable, productive energy throughout the day

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