When the rooster starts to crow, the first thing I do is head to the kitchen for a cup of hot tea. Not much of a coffee drinker – no one in the house is yet, besides Jeff. I like my tea black, strong and loaded with caffeine. Caffeine is a drug in which some of the side effects of ingesting too much of it are scary – rapid heart rate, anxiety, sleep deprivation, nervousness, sweating, tremors and heartburn – just to name a few. From coffee to soda to tea, it feels habitual to many of us to use caffeine as a way to get our day started or for an afternoon pick-me-up. If just the thought of breaking the caffeine habit gives you a headache, stay with me.
First of all, I’m right there with you. Turns out, there are alternatives to drinking caffeine. Here’s what I found:
– I advocate for using anything that comes in decaffeinated form as a potential first step to quitting. Start here and see if you notice a dramatic difference in your energy level.
– Get your heart pumping naturally in the morning by working out. Bonus: you will get your calorie and fat burn cranked up for the rest of the day without having to think about working out after you get home!
– As you start your morning exercise program, be sure to drink 8 oz. of water. Drinking enough water helps you concentrate, staves off headaches and keeps you hydrated, which also helps to keep your appetite in check.
– Change your routine. Do you drive past your favorite convenience store or coffee shop on the way to work? Drive a different route to avoid temptation.
– Try coffee alternatives, like a new flavor of decaffeinated hot tea. Herbal teas are also a great way to get to sleep at night if that’s a problem for you. One of my favorites? Licorice Mint!
– Speaking of tea, did you know that green tea has half the amount of caffeine as coffee and lots of health benefits? It’s loaded with antioxidants and it tastes pretty good, too.
– Take a walk, especially during the mid-day slump. A good 20-minute walk gets your blood flowing and will help you fight sleepiness head for the coffee maker.
Have you found a good alternative for caffeine or a way of changing your routine that has resulted in great outcomes? Let me know, I’d love to share with my friends and family!