Please Do Not Put Butter in Your Coffee

Please Do Not Put Butter in Your Coffee
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Please Do Not Put Butter in Your Coffee

Here are some ways to boost your energy at 4 pm without piling on the calories. These really work, and you won’t have to spend half an hour on the treadmill to counteract them.

Get moving.

Take a walk. Stand up and stretch. Do a few down dogs or other inversions. Getting your heart pumping a little faster will drive more blood flow to your brain.

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Drink a large glass or two of water.

Dehydration is often confused with fatigue. Before you go for that next cup of coffee, with or without butter, try quenching your body’s need for fluids.

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Have a piece of fruit or a handful of berries and nuts.

The natural sugar will provide the fuel you need to get through the rest of the day.

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Take a break.

Often, simply getting away from your current task, can renew your sense of purpose. Put down what you are working on, and pick up something else.

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There is nothing like laughter to get you out of a slump. Seek out a funny colleague, call a friend who makes you giggle, or Google a video of your favorite sitcom moments. Marsha Brady getting hit by the football gets me every time.

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I just heard on the radio about putting butter in your coffee. I really hoped this "trend" would be long gone by now. Apparently, proponents claim if you put butter in your coffee, the fat in the butter will prevent the 4pm crash most people experience on a daily basis. Holy cow. It seems people are really doing this. I know the late afternoon lethargy stinks, but don't be a butter drinker. I heard it and started yelling at the radio, "No, no, no, no, no ... not again!" The DJ didn't hear me, and just kept on talking. You may have been listening to the same station. Don't do it.

While I am doubtful there is good scientific proof that adding loads of fat to your caffeinated drink will fight fatigue, even if it did work, here's what else you'll get in addition to a boost. Two tablespoons of butter — the recommended dose — has 200 calories, 180 mg of sodium and 22 g of fat, of which 14 g is saturated. That's about 75% of your total recommended dose of saturated fat in a day — all before you've had your breakfast. So, in addition to an energy boost, you'll be getting a cholesterol, weight and blood pressure boost. Not to mention, it really sounds disgusting.

Last year, there were reports like the Times cover story about butter not being as bad for our heart health as we've been led to believe. They were based on good scientific evidence and encouraged an overall healthy diet. I love to cook, I sometimes love to cook with butter and have always followed a diet based on moderation, not elimination. I was happy to see research that the demonization of fat was misguided. However, I don't think we should start eating it by the stick.

Check out the slideshow above for several ways to stay awake that don't involve coffee from Dr. Karen Latimer.

About Dr. Karen Latimer
Karen Latimer, MD is a Family Physician and mom of five kids, ranging from toddler to adolescent. She serves as AOL's Health & Parenting Expert and founded Yes Five, a family medical blog that gives you five thoughts on all sorts of different health topics.

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