By Daniel Hunter

Paddington Bear may be aghast, but dramatic changes in modern working patterns and practices should spell end of elevenses and bring the Great British morning break forward by an hour according to a new study of working behaviour.

Polling for juice producer Pomegreat found that 38% of workers get up earlier than they did a few years ago and 37% are starting work earlier by dealing with emails in bed, at the breakfast table and on their commute. One in ten now start as soon as they wake up as their smartphones flash vital emails and messages at them.

By 10am, many workers have often been on the go for three or four hours and are ready for a mid-morning energy boost. More than half (54%) of respondents to the poll said that they wanted a morning break by 10.30am at the latest.

Experts say “tensies” should now replace elevenses as the time to down tools for a drink and a snack.

Good energy levels are vital to help people concentrate at work, but inevitably take a dip a few hours after breakfast. Scientific studies show that brain cells need two times more energy than the other cells in the body. Neurons, the cells that communicate with each other, have a high demand for energy because they're always in a state of metabolic activity. Most demanding of a neuron's energy are the bioelectric signals responsible for communication throughout the nervous system. This nerve transmission consumes one-half of all the brain's energy (nearly 10% of the whole body's energy).

While tea and coffee are popular, other drinks such as fruit juice with natural sugars will provide a bigger boost to revitalise flagging spirits and see workers through to lunchtime.

To help workers avoid energy slumps Pomegreat has removed all refined sugar from its juice drink range and has replaced it with a slow release all-natural sweet fruit extract with a low GI score s to help sustain energy levels during the morning.

Dr Dorian Dugmore, Pomegreat’s expert on wellbeing, said: “It is very important to manage and maintain energy levels throughout the day. Elevenses has been a great British ritual for many years, but as people are now beginning their working day earlier and earlier, it is simply too late to wait for an energy boost.

“Fruit juice is a great mid-morning drink because it contains fructose, carbohydrate and vitamins, a combination which provides a tremendous energy boost.”

The term elevenses was first coined in 1889, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. Around that time, people also referred to afternoon tea as “fourses.” Elevenses also appear in some of Britain’s best-loved literature: Winnie-the-Pooh likes honey with condensed milk on bread, Paddington Bear takes elevenses with this friend Mr Gruber and the hobbits are fond of elevenses in JRR Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings series.

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