For some people, there are few greater pleasures in life than a cup of coffee. It can be a perfect way to wake yourself up in the morning and set yourself up for a productive day at work. It provides a medium for getting together with friends or arranging a romantic date in your local coffee shop. But as you no doubt know, you can have too much of a good thing.
Caffeinated drinks, like soda, coffee, and tea, are not inherently harmful in moderation. But if you fall into the habit of drinking more than a couple of cups of day, or you feel you can’t function without it, you might have an addiction. Caffeine is a stimulant, which means it makes you feel more alert. But if consumed in excess, it can lead to negative side effects like anxiety and irritability. And in the long term, you might notice serious consequences for your health such as digestive troubles, insomnia, and high blood pressure.
It’s clear that there are obvious health benefits to reducing your intake, but it’s easier said than done. If you would like to reduce your reliance on tea and coffee, here are three tips for cutting the caffeine.
Make a plan
Simply stating that you’re going to drink less coffee is unlikely to get you the results you’re after. Although you might start well, you have no way of measuring your success so there’s a good chance you’ll fall back into your old ways. Before you begin to reduce your intake, work out what your goals are. Do you want to cut out caffeine altogether, or just drink less coffee? What is an acceptable number of cups to consume in a single day? Do you have a time limit for reducing your intake? Making a plan gives you a tangible goal to strive towards and will hold you accountable if you slip up.
Just because you have to steer clear of highly-caffeinated beverages, that doesn’t mean you can’t still experience the pleasure you get from your morning cup of coffee. Find other hot drinks with little or no caffeine to act as a replacement. You can buy organic tea or decaffeinated coffee in all kinds of flavors and forms, and with a little research, you might find something you enjoy even more. Sometimes a craving for coffee can be nothing more than thirst in disguise. Keep a bottle of water with you at all times and sip it throughout the day to reduce your constant need for liquids.
Seek other sources of stimulation
If you are the kind of person who feels you need caffeine to stay awake or function at work, there are other ways to recreate this feeling. There are much healthier and natural forms of stimulant that can give you all the productivity of a cup of coffee, with none of the health risks. Exercise is the best way to wake you up in the morning, and a quick run or bike ride to work will leave you feeling charged and empowered all day.