Everyone knows one person who has an apparently endless supply of natural energy. For the rest of us, there’s caffeine. It’s speculated that up to 83% of the US population uses coffee to get through the day. For most, it’s likely just a few cups and no more, but for others, that may find themselves in sleep-deprived or stressful situations, caffeine may become more than a nice pick me up. Also, higher levels of caffeine intake can result in sweating, heart palpitations, headaches, and insomnia, just to name a few adverse side effects. For those who are trying to cut back, here are some ways to ease into cutting back:
1. Water Before Caffeine
Drinking more water is proven to increase energy. Start keeping a water bottle nearby and make a rule for yourself. Drink a quarter or a half of the bottle before drinking your coffee, energy drink or other preferred forms of caffeine. Use your caffeine habit to create a new healthier habit of hydration. You may even find that you don’t need as much caffeine after hydrating. Sometimes, the desire to drink an energy drink or soda can be more out of thirst than from lack of caffeine.
2. Switch Your Source of Caffeine
In order of least to most average caffeine, your choices are as follows: white or green tea (35-55 mg), soda (40-55 mg), espresso shot (60-80 mg), coffee (70-140 mg), and energy drinks (72-100 mg). Keep in mind, this is the amount of caffeine per serving. A serving of espresso is 1 oz, add two to an order of coffee, and you can have a hot cup of 200 mg of caffeine first thing in the morning. Doctors recommend no more than 400 mg of caffeine a day for a healthy adult, meaning that in a single cup, you’ve already consumed half what you should drink throughout an entire day.
To begin to cut back, try switching one serving a day to a drink with a lower concentration of caffeine. For example, if you drink energy drinks, switch out for a cup of coffee, if you drink coffee, try to switch out for tea. It may be a logical assessment in this to go down to soda, but there are so many other negative effects of soda, it’s recommended to skip that step and go for a medium to strongly brewed tea.
3. Days Off, Caffeine Withdrawal On
Especially when you’re beginning to cut down on coffee, it’s reasonable to begin cutting back on your days off rather than busy work or school days. Dealing with the common effects of being tired and irritable can be much easier at home where you have access to healthier foods, plenty of water and lots of low caffeine teas to get you through. After a weekend without any significant caffeine, you’ll be surprised how strong the effects of that first cup on Monday morning can be. Maybe even strong enough to keep you from going for a second or third cup.1 comment