Tips To Cut Back On Your Caffeine Intake

Instant human: just add coffee.

A lot of us need coffee to get through the day. We need coffee like cars need gasoline, or like crack addicts need their crack. The idea of a world without coffee is too blasphemous to consider--because all chaos would break loose. We would crash our cars into our neighbor's mail boxes from sleep deprivation. We would accidentally forward lolcats to our bosses, and important Excel documents to our friends. We would fall dead asleep in the middle of an important presentation. Because life without black coffee, frothy cappucinos, soy lattes and expresso shots is simply not possible.

But lo and behold! Word on the street is that too much caffeine is not good for you, and it will do our mind and bodies a whole lot of good if we make the effort to cut back on our caffeine intake. What gives?

Yes, a strong cup of coffee wakes you up. But it is a jittery kind of energy that can make your thoughts go at warp speed, decrease your concentration, make you anxious, give you heartburn, make you dehydrated, and crash your energy level when you are coming down fast from your caffeine high, making you more tired than before. Coffee later in the day also disrupts our sleep cycles, which continues the vicious cycle of waking up unrested and needing that cup of joe to wake ourselves up.

Let's not also forget the processed sugar and fatty cream that many of us add to our coffee. Not good.

You don't have to go all Spartan and give up coffee forever for the rest of your life. Having coffee as an occasional treat in moderation, though, is much healthier for you than having it every day like your daily vitamins and water. Here are 7 tips to loosen the death grip of caffeine addiction to feel energized more au naturale.

1. Read up on the health benefits of decreasing your caffeine addiction. It's easier to decrease your dependence on an enjoyable activity when you know why you are doing it and how it will benefit you. Check out this article on the dangers of caffeine addiction and excess caffeine consumption.

2. Consume only freshly squeezed fruit juice, freshly cut fruit, and glasses of water in the morning.Want to really give your body a shot of energy the natural way that won't crash your energy level hours later? Drink freshly squeezed oranges or grapefruits, and eat freshly cut fruit. The natural enzymes from fresh foods will really jolt you to alertness, and you won't be weighed down by heavier foods like bagels with cream cheese or omelettes.

3. You can still have coffee-just don't have it every single day of the week-- or if you must, order decaf.

4. Get your caffeine fix with green tea instead. Freshly brewed green tea will still give you some caffeine and a more gradual energy build-up, but it won't be as extreme as a strong cup of black coffee that completely jolts your nerves into a jittery mess.


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PHOTO (cc): Flickr / arikfr