Many of us are guilty of consuming too much caffeine, but it can feel essential to so many of us throughout the work day. Whether you’re a latte, drip coffee, or espresso aficionado, coffee is a coping mechanism to get through a 9-5, especially after a pandemic where many people have to work from home, making it even harder to focus.
Still, if you’re getting an upset stomach, sleeping poorly, or getting the jitters more often than usual, or these could be signs that you might want to cut back. Reducing caffeine intake or even going cold turkey and cutting it out altogether can be more difficult than it seems.
After all, coffee is an addiction, and the body experiences withdrawal symptoms when you take it away. Symptoms will be worse based on how much caffeine you consume a day. Here are the best tips to help you get through the workday without coffee.
1. Stay hydrated
Many of us don’t drink enough water, but if you’re weaning yourself off caffeine and looking to make it though the work day, staying hydrated will be essential. Whether that means drinking sparkling water or fruits and veggies with a high water content, if you’re not dehydrated the caffeine-free process will get much easier.
2. A snack in the morning
Try to eat low sugar index snacks, and besides snacking in the morning, also consider snacking throughout the day. This will keep your body fuelled up and energized throughout the day rather than entering that low energy, late afternoon slump. If you do opt for granola bars or smoothies, try to pick options that aren’t excessively high in sugar, as this can cause a similar crash to caffeine.
3. High protein diet
From granola bars to Chia seed pudding, high protein foods will mimic the same effects of coffee or caffeinated tea, providing you with energy boosts throughout your day. Also, consider eating salads with dark leafy greens such as kale and spinach, which provide vitamin B, an important nutrient that’s necessary for your body’s energy-making process.
4. Do a morning workout
There’s nothing like releasing some powerful brain chemicals and increasing blood flow to help pump you up for the day and help reduce the likelihood of fatigue and headaches. Of course, a big part of this will be getting good quality sleep in so that you can bring your A game to your morning workout.
5. Invest in a high quality office chair
Whether you work from home or an office, an ergonomic chair is more important than you think. Bad posture can cause not only back pain and aging-related issues, but it can even worsen headaches. If you sit up straight, you might feel a whole lot better and more productive — even without that daily cup of java.
Did you know that moving your body tells your cells that you need more energy? Who needs caffeine when the body can help us stay awake? We just need to ask in the right way. If you can find a few moments to get up and stretch, your body will thank you. Stretching can actually help you stay awake at work, since being stiff or achy naturally makes us more tired.
7. Take a screen break and rest your eyes
When our eyes feel fatigued, so does the rest of us. If you’re forgetting to take breaks from staring at the computer, it can significantly worsen caffeine withdrawal symptoms. We’re talking eye strain, headaches, and general irritability. To give your eyes a break, go to the window and look off into the distance, playing with objects of different distances, like the horizon or buildings.
8. Take a walk
Sometimes, a change of scenery can be everything. So can some fresh oxygen in your lungs, and the sun on your skin, which also helps to regular your sleep-wake cycle. If you can spend your lunch break outside or at least spend 20 minutes outside, it’ll make a difference. Exposure to natural sunlight also helps heal insomnia.
9. Chew gum
According to some studies, chewing gum can actually make you more alert, improve attention, and increase productivity at work. It can even improve your reaction time. Swap that cup of coffee for a piece of your favorite flavored gum. It’ll up your cognitive performance and won’t make your heart feel like it’s beating out of your chest, unlike coffee.