It’s hard to imagine a morning without a steaming cup of coffee, and many of us drink several cups throughout the day. But while caffeine has its perks – namely, its magical ability to improve your morning outlook – consuming too much can cause sleeplessness, digestive issues, anxiety and fatigue. Whether you’re looking to reduce your caffeine intake or cut it completely, our advice will help make the process less painful.
How to Reduce Your Caffeine Intake
Don’t try to quit caffeine cold turkey – doing so can give you withdrawal symptoms like headaches, lethargy and drowsiness. Instead, cut down on your consumption gradually. If you’re a coffee devotee, try reducing the number of cups you drink by one each day, or mix regular and decaf together and slowly increase the amount of decaf in each cup. If your go-to caffeine fix is soda, slowly swap your caffeine-heavy fizzy drinks with sparkling or still water, gradually cutting down the number of cans. And be mindful of the sneaky sources of caffeine, like chocolate or green tea.
How to Feel Awake Without Caffeine
By making a few small changes to your daily routine, you could wake up ready to go every day, no caffeine necessary.
Step 1: Deepen Your Sleep
An afternoon dose of caffeine may help you get through the rest of the day, but its effects could linger long enough to disrupt your sleep.
Caffeine intake and stress can interrupt your shut-eye, specifically the restorative rapid eye movement (REM) stage of the sleep cycle. REM sleep – also called dream sleep – helps you relieve stress, process emotions and retain memories. Lack of this type of sleep can decrease your motivation and cause issues with memory or concentration.
Adults need six to eight hours of sleep per night for optimum energy and brainpower during the day. Having trouble getting enough sleep? With their unique blend of melatonin and botanicals like lavender, chamomile, valerian root and lemon balm, Vicks Zzzquil Pure Zzzs Melatonin Gummies can help you fall asleep naturally.* They’re non-habit forming, so you wake up without grogginess.
Step 2: Check Your Diet
Large daytime meals drain energy from your brain and muscles. Sidestep these effects by eating five to six small meals low in carbohydrates and high in protein during the day. Round out your nutritional intake with plenty of fresh veggies and fruits (which contain lots of water) to help you get hydrated.
Speaking of hydration, did you know nearly two-thirds of the U.S. population is dehydrated at any given point due to not drinking enough water? Stay hydrated by substituting your coffee or cola for water (add some fruit for a tasty beverage). Aim to drink at least six 8-ounce glasses of water each day.
Tip: Making changes to your diet can disrupt your digestive system. To help counteract those effects, nourish your good bacteria and add more good bacteria to your digestive system* with Align Prebiotic + Probiotic Gummies Supplement.
Step 3: Exercise
Working out may sound like the last activity you want to do when you’re already running low on energy, but it might be the best cure for your fatigue.
Regular exercise releases high levels of mood-enhancing, naturally produced chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin, which spark your energy and keep you upbeat and focused. Unlike the short rush provided by caffeine, exercise gives you a steady stream of energy, making you feel more awake and alert throughout the day.
If your busy schedule makes it difficult to fit in a full workout, take small breaks throughout the day to get your heart rate up. Climb the stairs for five minutes in your office building, or take a quick stroll around the block to energize your body and brain. And, as always, be sure to consult a physician before participating in any strenuous activity.
With these small changes, you’ll be able to reduce or eliminate your caffeine intake, wake up feeling energized and feel focused all day – without relying on that morning cup of joe.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.