Energy sags at about 10:30, 2:30, and 4:30 were being talked about by 1925. At the time, the lack of energy was thought to best be overcome by sugar. Dr Pepper used the research that brought this notion to the public as an excuse to run a contest for the creation of an ad. The great slogan of “Drink Dr Pepper at 10 – 2 – and 4 O’clock” was born.
As a kid, I wondered what was special about 10, 2, and 4 for a time to drink Dr Pepper. Since I liked Dr Pepper I thought it was a great idea, though my mom wouldn’t tolerate that much Dr Pepper in a day. Today I understand that those are times about two hours after one’s last break, counting lunch time as a break, too. I also understand that sugar is the enemy to sustained energy, not the solution.
The reported benefit of taking those Dr Pepper breaks was that you were giving yourself a boost of sugar, something sure to bump your energy for another couple of hours (before it crashed, leaving you needing another boost). After sitting at your desk for two hours, you were also giving yourself the opportunity to move around, stretch your muscles, hydrate, and even get some fresh air — though those benefits weren’t mentioned. You were getting a refreshing pause.
Today, you can get that respite without the Dr Pepper. Sorry, Doc, but I can’t recommend you as a refresher anymore. I think that taking pauses more frequently than bi-hourly — say, hourly — is a better option than taking a sugar break. During that refreshing interlude, you can avail yourself of hydrating with good old-fashioned water (preferably distilled not tap), stretching, deep breathing, meditating, and walking outdoors for fresh air and sunshine (even when the sun is obscured by clouds, you are getting the benefits of sunshine). Those activities during your hourly break will boost your energy better and leave you more energized at the end of the day than sipping on Dr Pepper or any sweetened or carbonated drink will.
Coca-Cola also used the concept of taking breaks in their advertising. In 1924 they suggested you “Refresh yourself”, and in 1929, “The pause that refreshes” came along. Coke also suggested you enjoy life, drink Coca-Cola to revive and sustain [yourself], quench your thirst, sunshine, happiness, and a better life in any number of ways. Isn’t it interesting to see how companies know what’s good for you, even if they use their sugary and carbonated beverage — the antithesis of health — as the solution? Well, I give them points for knowing the right direction to send people, anyway.
The challenge is laid before you: What will you do to take a pause? Come up with at least three actions you can take that will naturally boost your energy, increase your vibrancy, and give you endurance for your day. Next, decide at what frequency you will take these actions. If you want to get through your day with more mental acuity, more vigor, and more stamina, you’ll take this challenge seriously.
Personally, I think frequent, regular breaks not only improve your daily energy levels but also your longevity. This energy-boosting action may be the true fountain of youth. It’s cheaper and healthier than any of the carbonated or sugared drinks on the market. It benefits yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. This way of pausing to refresh is a win-win all the way around!
Dump the energy sags. Take a refreshing break. See you at 10, 2, and 4 — as well as at 9, 11, 1, and 3! <grin>