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That 2:30 Feeling
Have you seen the ads for 5 Hour Energy Shots? People in a busy work environment, talking about "that 2:30 feeling?" Long about 2:30 pm, they're tired and groggy, can barely keep their eyes open. They used to drink several cups of coffee or bottles of soda to cope with the fatigue. Now they take one little two ounce bottle of 5 Hour Energy, and they're wide awake and focused for hours, with no crash later.
I actually have a bottle of 5 Hour Energy on hand; I got it as swag at the Health Food Expo out in California, what, six years ago? And there's the point: I've had it for six years. I have neither thrown it away, nor drunk it. It lives in the kitchen cabinet where I keep my vitamins. I haven't thrown away the 5 Hour Energy Shot because it looks like a pretty good product. It consists of vitamins and amino acids that actually should have the effect of perking one up and making one feel more energetic and alert, and with no objectionable junk. If I needed an energy product, it would be an option I would consider. It's just that I'm still waiting for "that 2:30 feeling."
This is not an original advertising ploy. (Yes, I know I talk about advertising a lot. Go with what you know, right?) For years, Dr. Pepper was advertised with the slogan "10, 2, and 4." Apparently some sort of study had been done that demonstrated that most people's blood sugar bottomed out at those times, causing fatigue and a dip in efficiency. The obvious solution was to swill down some carbonated sugar water and get that blood sugar back up. Right?
You see, we don't have coffee breaks in this country. (Nor, I suspect, in other countries.) What we have are blood sugar breaks. People get up in the morning and have some carbs -- juice, sugar in the coffee, or a can of soda, plus cereal or a bagel or some toast or a muffin. Their blood sugar shoots up, and they perk up and feel ready for the day. But a couple of hours later, long about 10, when the insulin has tidied all that sugar away into their fat cells, they're tired and cranky and getting foggy, and head to the vending machine, or hit the break room for a donut. They feel better fast, just like a junky feels better as soon as they have a fix, but by lunch time they're crashing again. So it's a Coke and some fries, and they're good until... well, 2 or 2:30. And they do it again.
Or, if they've been watching this particular ad, they have a 5 Hour Energy Shot instead. And frankly, it would be a huge improvement over a can of soda or a candy bar. But my point is -- you knew I had one, right? -- if that person were ketoadapted, had trained his or her body to run on fat instead of sugar, there would be no 2:30 feeling. Because those of us who run a fat-based metabolism have a handy-dandy fuel tank, and can shift over to stored energy without a hitch. No crash. No fog. No desperate stumble to the vending machine.
I certainly remember the crash; I remember it all too well. Because I'm Ms. Night-Owl-Sleep-Disorder, and for years got to work at 1 pm, my crash came later than 2:30, in the early evening. But it hit with a vengeance, and I was barely able to keep my eyes open for a good two or three hours. In my thirties, when I was taking classes at dear old Harry S Truman in Chicago, I popped herbal ephedrine and slugged down cup after cup of tea to get those As in chemistry, because my classes were scheduled right at what I thought of as my "biorhythm low." Biorhythms my butt, it was my low fat, high carb lunch dropping me like a hot potato. (Come to think of it, that lunch probably was a hot potato.) Funny how that biorhythm thing cleared up when I went low carb. I have no predictable dip during the day. I have days when I'm more energetic than others, sure. But some identifiable time? A mid-afternoon crash, or my old early-evening crash? Nope. Doesn't happen.
So I'm sorry, 5 Hour Energy Shots. It looks to me like you have a good product. It's just that it, like so many others, is aimed at correcting a problem that's caused by our lousy carb-based diets. For those of us who eat right, there is no "2:30 feeling."