Breaking News: You Can Survive Without Coffee!

by Erika Solloway on April 11, 2016

Chances are, some of you are reading this blog post with a Dunkin’ iced coffee by your laptop. Or maybe you’ve already had an energy drink or caffeinated tea today. Consuming caffeine seems like a routine part of our day sometimes, but it doesn’t have to be! In the US about 80% of adults consume caffeine every single day with an average of 200 mg per day (that’s about two 5-ounce cups of coffee or four sodas).

coffee

Caffeine occurs naturally in more than 60 plants and is used to make coffee, tea, flavor soda and foods, and even added to medications. No matter which way you consume caffeine, it can have an effect on the way your brain and body work, affecting the way you behave and feel. For example, caffeine can:

  • Make you jittery and shaky
  • Make it hard to fall asleep, stay asleep, or get a good night’s sleep
  • Make your heart beat faster
  • Cause an uneven heart rhythm
  • Raise your blood pressure
  • Cause headaches, nervousness, and/or dizziness
  • Make you dehydrated (especially after a workout)
  • Worsen anxiety or cause panic attacks
  • Cause heartburn or an upset stomach
  • Make you dependent on it so you need to take more of it to feel the effects

side effects

According to the FDA, caffeine is both a drug and a food additive. Moderate amounts aren’t harmful, but too much can cause an overdose and have serious health implications. The FDA considers 100 to 200 mg (one to two 5-ounce cups of coffee) to be a moderate amount to consume, but each person may have different limits. Experts agree that 600 mg (four to seven cups of coffee) per day is too much caffeine.

          Here’s a link to a chart published by the FDA with some common snacks and drinks with their caffeine amount for you to check out. http://www.fda.gov/downloads/UCM200805.pdf

          There is good news for you caffeine addicts! There are plenty of healthy alternatives! You can consider boosting your B Vitamins intake. B Vitamins help your body metabolize the foods you eat, and a deficiency can cause fatigue and poor concentration. With a boost in Vitamins B-6 and B-12 you can create a boost in red blood cell production which will help transport more oxygen throughout your body faster increasing energy levels. Foods rich in B Vitamins include lean meats, nuts, seeds, eggs, and fortified grains. Check with your medical provider before starting a new regiment of vitamins.

Increasing the amount of protein in your diet can boost your mood, concentration skills, and supply you with steady energy throughout the day just like a coffee would. Some protein-rich foods to try include eggs, lean meat, low-fat dairy foods, nut butter, and smoked salmon.

food

Since dehydration can cause a lack of energy, the American Council on Exercise suggests that women consume 91 ounces of water each day from food and drinks, and men consume 125 ounces. Keeping hydrated can results in an energy increase.

water

Sources of information:  http://www.fda.gov/downloads/UCM200805.pdf

http://www.livestrong.com/article/138624-natural-alternatives-caffeine/

 

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