Many people buy a coffee whenever they need a pick-me-up. After all, the smell of coffee beans alone is enough to wake up people. Other caffeinated drinks, like soda and energy drinks, can also give an instant energy boost.
But while caffeine is generally considered safe and healthy, its energy-boosting benefits are short-lived. It’s not much different from sugar in that regard. And speaking of sugar, coffee and other caffeinated drinks are often loaded with it. As such, commercialized caffeine can do more harm to our bodies than good.
What’s more, if you have a condition that affects your energy levels, like chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), drinking caffeine as an energy booster can worsen your symptoms. It turns out that caffeine aggravates adrenal exhaustion and low blood sugars, which can also increase stress and anxiety related to CFS.
If caffeine is doing those things to your body, you have a good reason to quit it. But take baby steps because stopping your intake might lead to some withdrawal symptoms. So focus on reducing your dependency on it first through these five ways:
1. Get Treated for Your Low Energy Levels
An inability to function normally without caffeine can signify an illness. If you feel sluggish for a whole day despite having enough sleep, get checked by a doctor. You might be dealing with chronic fatigue, an autoimmune disease of a complicated nature. But treatment plans for CFS exist. It lets you manage your symptoms and energy levels without caffeine.
Other possible causes of low energy are lack of physical activity, sleep deprivation, substance abuse, weight issues, or psychological issues. If you use caffeine to make up for those unhealthy lifestyle factors, you might need medical attention, too. A nutritionist can address a lack of physical activity and weight issues, while therapists best handle substance abuse and psychological issues. As for sleep deprivation, starting a healthy bedtime ritual will help combat it. If your sleep quality is affected by your mental health problems, a psychiatrist can help you.
Simply put, it’s not normal nor healthy to run on caffeine every day. Social and mainstream media might glamorize caffeine consumption. Still, you should remember that not everything social media makes trendy is good for you.
2. Try Ginseng
Ginseng is a herb native in Asia. People have been using ginseng for centuries to cure low stamina and fatigue. As such, it’s also an effective pick-me-up drink. You can make ginseng tea and drink it every morning instead of coffee.
Research has also found that ginseng can help treat chronic fatigue. It’s an alternative medicine, though, so you should consult your doctor before taking it. Also, alternative medicine isn’t meant to replace conventional treatments, so if you’re taking fatigue medications, don’t swap it for ginseng.
3. Increase Physical Activity
Instead of immediately picking up caffeine to combat your sluggishness, try moving around. Take a walk, do a quick jog or dance. Any movement that will get your heart rate up can boost your energy.
It may sound counterproductive to move around when you’re already tired. But over time, increasing your physical activity will elevate your energy. It will also help release dopamine, a neurotransmitter that makes you feel good.
Moreover, physical activity improves sleep quality, emotional health, cognitive function, and work performance. So if your sluggishness is causing you some problems at work or school, a slight movement can quickly change that.
4. Drink More Tea
Though tea is also caffeinated, they typically contain little to no sugar. For that reason, you can drink a couple of cups of it every day and not experience a crash. What’s more, tea has detoxifying properties that can reduce your risks for chronic diseases.
Drinking green tea, in particular, can help lower your risks for different types of cancers and type 2 diabetes. So swap out your instant coffee mixes for green tea leaves and get brewing ASAP.
5. Choose Smoothies Over Iced Coffee
If you want to give up coffee without sacrificing the pleasure you get from rich flavors, try smoothies. Fruit or vegetable smoothies are much healthier, and they help rid your body of toxins. But don’t load them up with syrup or sugar. Let the fruit sweeten it naturally, or use sugar substitutes if you have veggie smoothies.
Caffeine is undoubtedly effective and sometimes essential, but it’s not the only energy-booster there is. It can be addictive, which means caffeine dependency can offset its health benefits. Only take it in recommended amounts, and use caffeine alternatives if you’d crave it multiple times throughout the day.
Meta title: Five Ways to Reduce Your Caffeine Dependency
meta desc: Many people can’t start their days without coffee. But if you’re battling a condition that makes your energy levels low, relying on caffeine for a pick-me-up isn’t the brightest idea. Read on to learn how to reduce your dependency on caffeine.