As students, we all know the power of caffeine. Late nights and stressful times are no match for a rich cup of coffee. But unfortunately, their comes a time when the cons of caffeine start to outweigh the pros.
Like with most things, there are pros and cons to consuming caffeine.
- Gives us energy
- Increases metabolism
- Improves ability to focus and pay attention
- Can cause insomnia
- Can cause headaches
- Increases amount of stomach acid which causes heart burn and stomach aches
So excessive intake of caffeine can lead to some pretty serious health issues. But how do you know if you’re over-caffeinating?
Research suggests that healthy adults should be consuming less than 400 mg of caffeine each day as a safe amount. Adolescents are different however, and are recommended to consume less than that amount as well. That being said, a “healthy adult” means someone who is getting 7–8 hours of sleep every night, exercising properly and maintaining a healthy diet as best as one can.
Now comes time for the real test: how much caffeine are you really consuming on the daily? Check out these popular beverages below and add up the amount you’re consuming.
Caffeine in beverages:
- 1 cup of coffee: 100 mg
- 1 cup of tea: 30 mg
- 1 can of Redbull: 80 mg
- 1 can of Monster: 160 mg
- 1 can of Coca-Cola: 50 mg
Here’s the good news: There are ways you can curb your caffeine cravings to improve your health. Here are four tips:
Cut back gradually
Baby steps! Try weening yourself off by consuming less and less caffeine each day. You can do this by watering down your coffee or by using a smaller mug. It’s helpful to let your system adjust to your new habits, instead of just quitting cold turkey.
There’s no need to give up caffeine altogether, especially if you drink it regularly. Try tea instead! Tea typically has less caffeine but still enough to keep you energized and focused throughout the day while giving you that caffeine fix.
Sometimes it’s not the caffeine you’re craving, but rather just that sweet and familiar taste. Try a cup of decaf and see if it does the trick!
Find other ways to boost your energy
There are LOTS of healthy ways to boost your energy without reaching for the coffee mug. Try these tips, and not only will you be energized without caffeine, you might just gain a new healthy habit.
- Get more sleep… duh.
- Eat healthy. The best energizing foods are those that are rich in complex carbohydrates, protein, antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other health-promoting substances.
- Exercise. Physical activity helps you sleep better at night, meaning you wake up more energized.
- Get some sunshine. Sun exposure boosts Vitamin D and serotonin levels, which can improve mood and help you sleep better.
- Listen to music. The right jam can often improve your mood and thus, energy levels.
We all have a friend who could stand to cut back on their caffeine consumption. Suggest the cleanse to this friend and do it together. Can’t find someone with the same will power as you? No problem! Choose a buddy who will hold you accountable throughout the process.
Catherine’s favourite non-caffeinated beverage is apple cider.