For many people who are starting the new school year, coffee has become essential for productivity. It’s incredibly hard to resist a long, cozy afternoon nap when you’re working or studying from home -- especially when your desk is only a few feet away from the bed. Multiple cups of coffee were the only thing that would keep me staying alert.
But when I noticed that I was always tired despite my high caffeine intake, cranky, binge-eating, and often anxious, I knew that my coffee dependency had gone way too far. If you are also experiencing these signs, it’s time to change this coffee dependency for good.
That doesn’t mean quitting coffee entirely! There is a healthy way to drink coffee that you can achieve in a few simple steps. By working through these steps, I formed healthy habits to set me up for productivity throughout the school year.
1. Gradually decrease caffeine consumption with coffee alternatives
After that, try coconut water as the next coffee substitute. Known as the "the natural sports drink," coconut water is filled with electrolytes that restore hydration. It also has 0 mg of caffeine. Coconut water's nutrients and refreshing taste are sure to give you a sustainable supply of energy in the morning.
2. Drink coffee at the right time
- 9 am - 10 am
- 12 pm - 1 pm
- 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
- within 1 hour of waking up
That's when cortisol reaches peak production. Drinking coffee during these hours decreases the caffeine's effectiveness and reduces your body's natural ability to produce the alertness hormone.
Also, planning what you want to accomplish on a particular day is essential for decreasing coffee consumption. On days with few responsibilities lined up, try ditching the caffeine altogether.
3. No more all-nighters
All-nighters were the culprit of my excessive, late-night coffee consumption. While it's common for most college students to pull all-nighters, it can turn into a vicious cycle. I thought I'd be more productive under the pressure of completing everything in one night. Instead, I end up watching Netflix and falling asleep right after drinking dark-roast coffee, throwing my sleep schedule into havoc, and pushing my assignments another day back. All-nighters are not worth it. It's better to take beauty rest and resume working when the sun rises. It’s better to take a beauty rest, and resume working when the sun rises.
4. Listen to music at the start of the day
Music helps you get into a momentum; getting ready in the morning, making breakfast, and checking emails start to feel like one continuous flow. Listening to your favorite beats is an excellent supplement to the previous steps above.
As you drink fewer cups of coffee, your body will adapt to that lower amount of caffeine and perform just as energetically.
What is your go-to coffee replacement? Let us know by leaving a comment!