Signs that you are a coffee addict:
- Missing your morning cup will trigger a marathon headache until you get your fix.
- You’ve considered brewing your coffee…with coffee.
- Your coffee cup is more of a bowl.
You are - the most caffeinated person in the world.
Sound familiar? That’s what we thought. You’ve got a coffee problem! Now calm down, we know you’ve got an inordinate amount of caffeine running through your veins so we’ll proceed with caution. But, maybe it’s time to get ahold of yourself and cut back on your java intake? You don’t need to give it up entirely, we know that’s pretty much out of the question. Instead, you could integrate some other methods to keep yourself sharp throughout the day without having to make multiple trips to the break room and/or bathroom. So, before you throw your cell phone at our heads, hear us out!
Why, you may ask, should you want to cut back on your coffee consumption in the first place? Good question. The most obvious reason is it can become overwhelmingly expensive. $5 plus for your morning cup, every day, for a year…do that math (if you don’t feel like it, that’s $1825). Ask yourself, if you were handed almost $2k, would you feel good about spending it all at Starbucks? Probably not. Maybe you’d rather go on a shopping spree or buy a plane ticket. Either way, if you’re not made of money you probably shouldn’t be spending it like you are.
Another great reason to cut back? It’s not particularly good for you. The quickest place damage can be seen is on your face. Well, in your face. Your teeth to be exact. Not only does coffee turn them an unsightly shade of yellow, it also breaks down your enamel making you susceptible to sensitivity and tooth decay. Oh, and coffee breath is no bueno either. What’s more is that the oils and acids in coffee beans increase acid production in your bowels – say hello to heartburn and ulcers! It also dehydrates you, raises anxiety levels and screws with your body’s ability to absorb certain nutrients.
Do we have your attention? Good. Let’s move on.
To set the record straight, we want you to know that we get it – you need the energy boost. We do too! But there are alternative ways to keep yourself sharp without mainlining coffee.
Green tea – It may not have as much caffeine as coffee, but the overall benefits of making the swap are worth it. Like we said, green tea still has caffeine in it. You’ll get a bit of the jolt you’re used to and that’s a good thing. It’s never a good idea to quit anything cold turkey, so you get a pass on this one. But an added bonus of making the switch is you’ll be helping your body prevent cancer and heart disease. Plus, it doesn’t have the high acidity of coffee which means no more tummy issues.
Power foods –Replacing coffee with natural foods provides your body with healthy fuel. A properly nourished body makes for a properly functioning mind! Maybe you didn’t realize it, but since coffee is an appetite suppressant you may have been eating less than you should and could be somewhat malnourished in the nutrition department – a contributor to your lower than low energy levels. Apples, bananas, nuts, seeds, etc. are healthy energy sources to consider.
Get out – Seriously, get out of the office! Exposing ourselves to sunlight boosts serotonin levels making us not only more energetic but happy, too! The sun also shuts off the production of melatonin, the sleepy-time hormone. If you’re constantly inside, your circadian rhythm can be a little off. Stepping out into natural light tells your body that it’s daytime and not time to hit the hay.
Midday workout – Do you ever notice how after working out you’ve got the energy of your high school self? Maybe that’s an exaggeration, but for sure you get a little extra oomph from physical activity. Change up your routine a bit and slip your gym sesh into your lunch hour. You may be surprised at how positively it affects your concentration throughout the rest of the day.
Maybe you’re not buying the whole “cut down on coffee for your own good” thing. Truth is, coffee isn’t going to be your demise. But, it’s also true that it’s not entirely good for you either! Give a few of these suggestions a try. We promise, coffee will always be there if you’re ever jonesing for a fix!