You’re tired. I get that. If you’re like 50% of the American population, your morning cup of coffee is the only thing stopping you from complete irrational insanity. Coffee is big business. By the end of 2011, there were roughly 50,000 more coffee shops opened in the US. That hot, comforting cup of coffee is a great reason to relax, take a break, or perk up for your next task.
Still, caffeine is considered a drug in the US. Caffeine can cause nervousness, sleeplessness (I know, that’s the point), and irritability – not to mention it’s highly addictive. If you’ve noticed that morning cup of coffee has become two cups in the morning and one in the afternoon, and you’re still feeling tired, your increased intake could be on its way to becoming a full blown addiction. Take these necessary steps to kick your caffeine habit before you find yourself relying on Joe a little too much.
- 1. Get some sleep – A no brainer, getting 7-8 hours of good sleep a night can help you feel less tired, and more refreshed in the morning, which can eliminate the need for coffee. If you need help settling down at night, keep the lights in your house low, and find a relaxing nighttime ritual that works for you. Take a bath, read a book, or massage your feet with some calming lavender lotion.
- 2. Put down the cup, put on your sneakers – Instead of heading for the coffee pot in the morning, or even in the afternoon, put on your sneakers and head out for a walk. A 15-minute walk can help ease your mind and help you feel refreshed.
- 3. Go herbal – Herbal teas like lemon, chamomile, peppermint, and orange spice can satisfy your palette and provide you with a hot, comforting drink without the caffeine. Replace a cup of coffee with a caffeine free herbal tea and enjoy the added health benefits.
- 4. Go slow – If you drink more than two cups of coffee or caffeinated beverages a day, don’t cut out all caffeine at once because you could make yourself sick. As with other drugs, completely cutting out caffeine can cause withdraw symptoms. Cut out one caffeinated beverage a day until you’ve completely kicked the habit.
- 5. Resist snacking/Get spicy – Caffeine speeds up your metabolism, causing you to burn calories. Because of this, cutting out caffeine can cause your metabolism to slow. Avoid fatty, sugary snacks that can pack on the pounds while you kick your caffeine habit. Instead, eat foods high in fiber like whole grains and leafy greens. Other foods known to boost your metabolism include foods with a lot of spice like cayenne, cinnamon, and ginger.
- 6. Beware the decaf – Despite its name, decaffeinated coffee STILL contains caffeine. A generic, brewed cup of decaf coffee contains 2-12 mg of caffeine, as opposed to 95-200 mg in a regular brewed cup. While significantly lower, if you’re trying to completely eliminate caffeine, drinking decaf may not be the best way.
Once you’ve kicked the caffeine habit, you can enjoy the benefits of avoiding the substance. Aside from saving money by avoiding Starbucks, you may also enjoy an increase in blood flow, lower blood pressure, and an improved mood. Believe it or not, lowering your dependence on caffeine can even make you feel LESS tired. It’s a new year, so take a moment to do something right for your body. Kick the caffeine habit and tell Joe to take a hike.
Have you ever tried giving up caffeine? How’d it go?