Few things are quite as satisfying as the morning’s first sip of coffee. From the delicious aroma to the instant rush of motivation, coffee can seem like a necessary comfort in an otherwise stressful workday. But for many of us, coffee comes with its downfalls—things like mid-afternoon crashes, dehydration, jitters, and that sense of impending doom that pervades your every thought and interaction.
Yes, coffee is a delight, but it’s also, technically, a drug. According to Leslie E. Korn, Ph.D., on Psychology Today, “Like many drugs, the beneficial effects of coffee can wear off, and prolonged use can cause anxiety, insomnia, and exhaustion.” Its signature euphoric perk can wear off over time, and you can be left sipping more and more of the stuff just to wake up. In addition, stopping can cause caffeine withdrawal symptoms—another reason so many people avoid weaning off coffee. If gettin’ off the sauce is one of your 2019 resolutions, here are four easy actions you can take to make giving up coffee a lot less miserable:
Filter In Water
First thing’s first: you need to detox. If your body is used to an extra large latte every morning, it’s probably going to have a reaction when you skip it on Day One. Drinking a ton of water flushes out toxins and gets the excess caffeine out of your system, so withdrawal symptoms like headaches, irritability, brain fog, and exhaustion go away faster. In fact, staying hydrated can make your day a lot better in general, and 24 hours after you’ve taken your last sip of coffee, it can make all the difference. Benefits of hydration include more energy, elevated mood, and increased mental clarity--so keep sipping.
Now, most people already know they should be drinking more water, but many can’t find the time or the motivation to get up from the desk and over to the water cooler. If you’re having trouble filling up, consider Liquid I.V.’s Hydration Multiplier. One stick in 16 ounces of water can provide 2-3x the level of hydration as that amount of water alone, and the added vitamins and electrolytes can enhance your sense of wellbeing even further. You’ll be breezing past the coffee shop like it’s nothing in no time.
Manage Caffeine Withdrawal
When it comes to quitting coffee the infamous headaches can be the easiest part. Other symptoms include fatigue (big shocker there), body aches, irritability, anxiety, and inability to focus. Instead of trying to kick coffee any old workweek, choose a week when you have some time off, so you can languish in bed with your pounding head. The first few days are the hardest, so be sure you’ve got at least a week off to get the worst of the symptoms out of the way.
Keep Workouts Light
Yoga and stretching can work wonders for releasing toxins responsible for unpleasant caffeine withdrawal symptoms, but try to lay off the heavy stuff. Until the initial fatigue is gone, steer clear of lifting, cardio, and intense running. While a fierce workout may get your heart pounding, the rush of adrenaline may be followed by exhaustion. And with nothing to perk you up, you may be snoozing at your desk by mid-morning. Once you start feeling the major upswing in energy that generally follows coffee withdrawal, you can get back to your morning sweat.
Switch to Tea
Giving up coffee doesn’t mean you need to say goodbye to caffeine! In smaller doses, and in different forms, caffeine can still be a highly beneficial addition to your day. For example, matcha, or green tea powder, is a type of tea that has gained widespread popularity over the last few years for its unique taste and relatively high caffeine content. Matcha is a great substitute because it provides an energy boost that’s sustainable. The body absorbs and releases matcha much more slowly than coffee, which means less of that exhilarating energy spike, but no crash.
In addition, while many people think they miss coffee because of the taste or the energy, what they’re really missing is the ritual. Brewing a cuppa joe, adding milk and sugar, and sipping while you work or drive can be a beloved part of your morning routine, and can be easily supplanted with a cuppa something else. If matcha’s not your thing, try Yerba Mate, another form of green tea with a high caffeine content and a good, clean buzz, or chai, a spiced black tea famous for its heavenly taste.
Whatever your reasons for willingly putting yourself through caffeine withdrawal, we highly recommend Liquid I.V. as a hydration hack. Happy sipping!
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