Caffeine is an addictive drug, and one that won’t let go of your body without a long, drawn-out fight. Giving up caffeine can make you crave it even more as all the cells pumped full of it cry out for more. Caffeine dependence is real, and it’s no easier than giving up any other addictive substance.
The easiest way to transition towards a caffeine-free lifestyle is to supplement the energy-loss with better practices and other sources for your morning buzz.
Remember though, that what you’re feeling is only half energy loss — when you give up something like caffeine, it’s somewhat like a hangover. Half of the pain and tiredness you’re feeling is your body rebelling against being cut off, like an internal tantrum, and it’s a lot louder than the short-term energy loss that you’re actually experiencing as you transition towards healthier, longer-burn energy sources.
An energy drink will spike you up, no questions asked. However, all that sugar and caffeine will fade within a couple of hours, and leave you with a downwards spiral that’ll make you feel miserable the second you burn it off.
On top of that, it doesn’t even necessarily give you the right sort of energy. While you’re buzzing around, you’re also experiencing a 75% increased hormonal stress level, and a hugely elevated blood pressure to boot. While you’re energetic, you’re also jumpy and prone to irrationality. Hardly the best way to cram in some concentration.
Instead, you should learn how to make the most of natural sources for energy:
Start incorporating a lot of these into your diet, and you’ll easier start shaking off Mr. Sandman without a cuppa.
Exercise really is the panacea of wellness. It’s linked to alleviation from anything ranging between depression and mental stress.
Importantly for us, though, it also boosts energy by helping your body keep oxygen flowing around it. A quick workout, in the morning or at lunch, can bizarrely make us feel more energetic rather than less throughout the day (maybe not immediately the first time, if you’re out of shape, but you’ll be thanking us in a couple of days).
So dust off those joggers and hit the track; substitute that half hour of dead-brained, no-coffee morning for a healthy run, and fight your waistline while you’re at it!
If you can possibly help it, take that run sometime when you can catch some sun rays. Keep protected against sunburn, which can cause fatigue itself, but assuming you’ve slip, slop, slapped, then sunlight acts as a natural pick-me-up.
Sunlight stimulates serotonin, a chemical which alters the brain’s mood and promotes calmness and concentration. You’ll synthesise much-needed Vitamin D, and there’s no beating the feeling of basking in a glimpse of the sun’s warmth on a cold, windy day.
WHO recommends 5-15 minutes of sun, a couple of times a week. We tend to agree. Sunlight is good (in moderation, that is; don’t go too crazy)!
If you can’t squeeze in a midday workout, you can at least make a small concession. Do some stretches at your desk if you’re kept in over lunch with work, or get up every so often to walk around the office or pick up some papers.
Green tea gives you a small amount of caffeine — drastically less than coffee and even much less than black tea — but comes pre-packed with EECG (linked to weight loss) and relaxes muscles rather than stressing them out.
Temptation to snack leads us back to soft drinks, caffeine-rich snackfoods, and coffee. Circumvent this with some snacks that won’t break your desire to reduce caffeine.
This one is technically cheating, since yoga is exercise after all. However, most yoga courses also come with an assortment of breathing and meditation techniques on the side; diaphragm breathing techniques to get your energy flowing that you can do while stationary or out at lunch.
Another added benefit to yoga is that it can be done in your home without any other equipment. Just assume the position and feel the burn. Chill out with some music while you do it too, since listening to music lowers stress and raises alertness.
Get your full 9 hours sleep, and you’ll wake up feeling less tired. Shocker, huh?
You’d be amazed at how many people burn the candle at both ends and still expect to be as full of energy as a deep slumberer. They’re usually the sort of person who could benefit most from a long night’s sleep and a reduction of caffeine, too. Go to bed on time and you’ll wake up on time easier. Not exactly the most major scientific breakthrough of the decade, but still salient advice.
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