I know you love it, especially since Pumpkin Spice Latte season is among us. But coffee equals caffeine and drinking it all the time can be too much.
You can OD on caffeine. It may sounds a little ridiculous that a nonalcoholic beverage can have that effect on you but it has landed many people in the hospital.
Can you imagine spending hours in the ER and racking up a crazy medical bill just because you were trying to stay charged?
Nuts isn’t it?
Your day probably starts out like most people.
You rest blissfully until you're startled by the sound of the alarm clock. You it the snooze button one too many times, realize what time it is, then jump out of bed like your butt is on fire.
Or you don't hit the snooze button at all. You just silence your alarm and immediately, yet slowly drag yourself out of bed. You take shower and wash your face while trying to wake yourself up.
Regardless of how you get out of the bed, all you can think about is getting more sleep.
Ponder about how you'll take a nap in your car on your lunch break or skipping something in your morning routine to squeeze in an extra few minutes.
But there's one thing in your morning routine you can never give up, your morning coffee.
The Addiction is Real
According to USA Today, America is the largest consumer of coffee with 83% of the population drinking it. And that's not even considering other caffeinated beverages, like energy drinks.
There are people all over the country who take energy shots, pills and drink coffee throughout the day to stay wired.
The problem with these methods is that they are not healthy and permanently effective ways to stay awake.
CNN as reported that the amount of caffeine in energy drinks isn't regulated by the FDA. So you don't even know if the amounts you're consuming are safe.
Sure the occasional pill or can of Red Bull won't send you over the edge. But the problem occurs when you become dependent on these products to keep up the pace.
A Venti cup of coffee for breakfast and another 16 ounce can of your favorite energy drink to keep you going after lunch, think about how much that is all before 2pm.
While you're buzzing along you haven't ever considered what this could be costing you.
Excessive caffeine consumption has been linked to high blood pressure and even worse, possible sudden death.
None of these things are worth it. Especially when there are simple and cost effective ways to stay energized.
Next time you find yourself trying to keep up the pace, consider these tips to naturally maintain your energy:
1. Eat well
You need to have the proper intake of certain vitamins and minerals in order for your entire body to perform at optimum levels.
You may not have seen a food pyramid since grade school but you should be familiar with the kinds of foods your daily diet should consist of.
In case you need a refresher that would be: a couple of servings of fruits, meats, eggs, nuts and dairy, a few more servings of vegies and plenty of breads, cereals, rice and pasta.
Now some of these food groups may sound fattening to you or perhaps you’ve already cut it out of your diet. Determine if your lack of that food group has contributed to your lack of energy and remember there are healthy ways to consume it.
Remember sweets should be eaten sparingly. I love Frosted Flakes as much as the average 8 year old, but a few hours later I’m hungry and drained.
Biting into a chocolate bar, drinking soda or anything high in sugar might give you some pep, via a glucose rush, but soon you’ll be worse off then when you started.
Food is to your body as gas is to a car, fuel. Try not to go too long between meals. If you prefer to have 3 major meals during your day, consider a healthy snack to reduce the length of time between them.
2. Take supplements
If you can’t figure out a way to incorporate the necessary nutrients into your diet, or maybe you’re not getting enough, take a multi-vitamin. This is a good way to fill the gap.
When taken as directed you’ll notice stable energy levels and it will also be influencing your overall health.
3. Sleep well
Sounds simple enough but a lot of people are not getting it. Sleep is among one of the first things you should look into when losing energy.
I used to get sleepy at work around 2 to 3 pm each day. Sometimes when it was bad the fatigue would begin as early as 10am. Those mornings usually started with me peeling myself out of bed.
It’s so hard to work in front of a computer when you just want to drop your head on the keyboard.
Adults should get anywhere from 7 to 9 hours of sleep nightly, depending on your individual need, to feel well rested in the morning. Make every effort to secure those necessary hours each night.
Now that I’m on a schedule that allows me to get a full 8 hours, I wake up naturally and well rested. Sometimes I even get up before my alarm goes off.
Best of all, I have no more mid-day crashes.
4. Power nap
I once knew a person who could literally power nap during the day for 15 minutes and awake refreshed.
For me that would be a teaser. It would take me about that long to fall asleep.
Typically, an hour nap works best for most people, refreshing their energy and concentration.
Give it a whirl, especially if you can’t get a full 8 hours at night.
You’ve probably heard how this can help.
For those who are not gym fanatics, you might be wondering how a physical activity, which can exert a lot of energy, can increase it.
If you’re just starting a routine and right after a session, it can knock some energy out of you but in the long run it fosters stamina and strength.
Studies have shown that even 15 minutes of exercise regularly can enhance your energy level. So get up, try some jumping jacks or take a jog around the block. It could be a good way to wake you up in the morning.
6. Control stress levels
As you know stress can suck the life out of you emotionally, but it can also do a number on you physically.
If you can help it, stay away from people and situations that induce anxiety and stress.
For the stress that is unavoidable, practice new techniques to improve how you handle it.
You can also try yoga. These practices are known to improve relaxation and well-being in addition to increasing vitality.
This can also help with stress.
At first, I admit I wasn’t into meditation much but after understanding and trying it I can attest that I experienced increased relaxation and concentration.
This can help greatly when you need to tackle the day.
8. Improve your mindset
Your view of life has a major influence on how you approach tasks. Thinking positive can drive you to your desired destination, whereas a negative attitude can leave you stagnant.
Sometimes just thinking in a certain manner can ignite excitement like nothing else, thrusting your energy to its peak level.
9. Take time to relax
You can take 10 to 15 minutes at work or spend a half hour at home watching your favorite TV show. Give yourself a moment to just relax and enjoy.
I usually do this before going to bed each night as it helps me unwind.
10. Get off your butt
Leading a sedentary life can drain your energy. While many of us are deskbound due to our line of work, you can still take a few minutes to get up and move around when you can.
Instead of emailing someone in the office or calling, get up and walk over to them.
Or in lieu of printing multiple copies, print one and take it over to the copy machine to make duplicates.
On a sunny day, you can enjoy a few laps around the office building. However you do it, you should maintain a reasonable pace during the day.
Getting That Energy Boost
Low levels of energy can be caused by your routine.
If your oomph isn’t there and you have no medical conditions to consider as a contributing factor, reflect on your lifestyle.
Incorporate a few of these techniques to start the process of elevating your energy and you’ll feel renewed. All without playing Russian roulette with your health and saving money. It doesn’t get any easier than that.
Are you a part of the caffeinated nation, what happens when you’re exhausted?