How To Keep It Going Without Caffeine

Caffeine has long been a part of our culture, but these days many of us are consuming too much. Many American coffee shops offer huge 24oz. cups of strong coffee, while some convenience stores sell gigantic 128oz. tankers of sugar-laden fountain soda. These excessive amounts of caffeine (and sugar) can be a powerful and unhealthy shock to your system, especially if you suffer from any uncomfortable level of anxiety.

So what can you do as an alternative to sipping coffee or soda all day?

For starters, begin to wean yourself off of the go-juice. Begin by drinking smaller amounts and/or diluting it with water. If you're an avid coffee drinker, try switching to tea. I am an avid coffee drinker, but when I was suffering from daily panic attacks I gave up the coffee and switched to Chai tea lattes. They contain much less caffeine and even taste a bit like coffee, which made for a nice substitute.

Adding regular exercise to your routine will help you feel less sluggish in both the long and short term. Dehydration can also make you feel tired and irritable, so be sure you drink enough fluid throughout the day. The Institute of Medicine advises that men consume roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day and women consume 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day. A healthy diet rich in fruit, vegetables, lean protein and whole grains can do wonders for you. It's like putting super premium fuel in your tank.

What if you're at your desk and feeling worn out and unmotivated? Get up and get outside! I don't care if it's 20 below zero and snowing upside down, get some fresh air and get your blood pumping by walking around the block a few times. Do some light stretching to help relieve built-up tension, and even jog in place of do some jumping jacks to get your heart rate going. You may be surprised how alert and refreshed you feel afterward.

Humans were never intended to sit at a desk for hours on end. Be sure to take frequent breaks - at least two per hour for at least 5 minutes each to stay sharp.

Applying these changes to your life can help break your dependence on caffeine for energy.

Comments
  • kaudio

    Somehow leaning on go-juice is associated with getting things done, but you make a great point that a healthy meal can be just as effective. I often point this out to my friends when we are working into the wee hours of the night. Coffee and sugar are like supplements, not a substitute for food. Even worse, too much sugar can increase insulin levels and lead to a dip in blood sugar levels. In other words, people tend to put themselves to sleep after that coffee with 12 packs of sugar added. After nodding off, they immediately chug more coffee and sugar to counter the first cup and a vicious cycle is born.

    The body can become habituated to insulin like this, leading to diabetes. Now-a-days, I try to take my caffeine straight up as an espresso along with a meal. Give that a try during those unholy hours and you'll feel like you just woke up.