5 Caffeine-Free Ways to Get Through Your Busy, Repetitive, School or Work Day
Caffeine to many of us is a beautiful thing. When consumed in moderation it poses minimal health risks to most people, and in some studies, it’s even found to be protective. And the good hormones! Caffeine can trigger multiple hormones to be released, such as adrenaline and dopamine – hormones welcomed by college students with heavy workloads and endless exams to study for.
Unfortunately,…. high caffeine consumption can be said to increase other not quite as helpful hormones. Alas, there always seems to be a dang downside to everything, doesn’t there?
Large amounts of caffeine can elevate our cortisol levels. Cortisol – your fight or flight hormone” is released by our adrenal glands – who when steadily triggered (by high levels of caffeine), can find themselves in a constant state of stress (chronic stress). So, what exactly does this mean? Long-term activation of the stress system and the overexposure of stress hormones such as cortisol could put you at increased risk of health problems such as anxiety, depression, heart disease, sleep problems, and memory and concentration impairment. Disclaimer: don’t quote me on this and do your own “downsides to too much caffeine” research (lol). While I’m referencing seemingly reputable resources, I’d hate to contribute to the fields of misinformation that are already growing plentiful across the internet. :::shakes fist at internet:::
Whatever the reason you have for giving up caffeine – be it for health reasons, religion or you’re just trying to keep your teeth whiter – you’re here looking for ways to carry on throughout the semester and many endless study sessions without brown beans and leaves. So here are some tips to keep you from powering down completely by 2 pm. or if you’re being Extra extra about giving up caffeine – some tips to keep you from checking yourself into the nearest hospital for exhaustion you poor thing.
Exercise in the morning.
Studies show that even 15 minutes of exercise first thing in the morning can improve productivity all day. Dragging yourself outside for a run (or to your floor for some sit-ups) as soon as you get up may improve your mental sharpness, reduce stress, and give you a boost of energy that lasts all day. So, even though you might feel groggy when you begin your workout, it’ll be worth it.
Eat a nutritional breakfast.
There’s a debate as to whether breakfast is needed to jumpstart your day, especially by those who have found a lot of success in fasting until the afternoon. But if you do like to begin the day with a little something, eat some eggs or grab a fresh juice from your local mart on the way to class or work (think more the fresh green kind, not the sugary stuff.) Eggs, fruits, and veggies are a huge source of energy.
Get to sleep earlier: Good Sleep = Energy
One of the biggest complaints among night owls is that they simply can’t fall asleep early because their brains “turn on” at night. While this might be true, there are a few ways you can help yourself to relax earlier in the evening. Avoid screens an hour before you plan to go to sleep. Additionally, meditation is proven to quiet the mind and improve sleep, so if you haven’t introduced a practice into your night-time routine, now is a great time to start. And in case this was lost on you, definitely avoid caffeine for the eight hours prior to your scheduled bedtime.
Shower in the morning.
Really, really don’t want to wake up and feel like a slithering garbage person all day? Then shower when you get up. It’ll not only wake you up but help you to feel more put-together and productive during the day.
Know the foods that give you energy.
The 3 pm slump is nothing to mess with. We’ve got an entire post dedicated to the foods that will give your body and brain the energy it needs to make it through the day or night and especially those power-draining study sessions.