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Coping Without Caffeine

Author: Dennis Aimes
Published: Apr 30 2013

Inside of a building, electronic machinery hums to life. The buzzing of fluorescent lighting can be heard, an ominous soundtrack accompanying shambling humanoid figures as they groan. Their fingers reach out for liquid nourishment, a darkly colored fluid that gives vital life energy.

Is this the scene from the latest zombie movie to grace the silver screen, or is it the scene around the office coffee pot every day of the workweek?

A gazillion office workers depend on the liquid vitamins derived from coffee beans every day. For many making it through a workweek would be impossible without copious amounts of coffee.

Caffeine has been proven to be something that can be safely consumed, in moderation, but that does not stop people from being concerned about any possible negative health side effects from the consumption of it.

Indeed people are getting more and more health conscious every day; we’re questioning what’s in our food, learning that foods we were told were good for us are actually bad for us and vice versa, and we’re starting to make better and more informed decisions on what we eat. So, it comes as no surprise that people might be looking at certain necessary daily fuels like coffee and wondering if there is a healthier and as effective alternative.

If you’re looking to break the coffee addiction and cut down on those caffeine headaches here are some coffee alternatives that might be worth a try.

Green Teas

It’s pretty close to coffee but at the same time different, if that makes any sense. Your average cup of green tea has less caffeine than coffee (although some might make a pretty strong tea brew), but the added benefits of antioxidants make it a healthy choice.

Of course, the presence of caffeine in the tea is still, well, caffeine, and if you’re hoping to eliminate it from your diet this is not a permanent solution. Consider it a start, like a coffee patch you wear on your arm.

Smooth It Out

Do you have one of those high quality blenders at home? You know, the kind that doesn’t leak from everywhere it isn’t supposed to leak from. How about making yourself a blended fruit or vegetable smoothie for your workday?

Fruit and vegetable blends are gaining traction as a popular and tasty addition to anybody’s healthy inventory. Many people will tell you certain fruits offer more nutrition than others, but the truth is if you’re eating any fruits and vegetables then you’re eating healthy already.

Toss some fruits and nuts into a blender, bottle it up and take it with you to work. The vitamins and proteins are a great and natural pep you can add to your diet.

Fatigue has a way of tiring you out. I know, I know, what a shocker that one is. Too much time spent doing anything can make you feel tired. For people spending long hours in front of a computer screen tired eyes can have a body-wide effect.

A good rule of thumb is for every 15 minutes you spend staring at a screen, to spend 1 minute looking away at something else, preferably something far away. Give your eyes a break from the glare and take a gander at that tree on the other end of the parking lot, that is if you have a view from where you work. If a window isn’t conveniently located nearby try staring at the other end of the office.

Get up and stretch out for a couple of minutes about once an hour. Keep the blood and the oxygen flowing through your body and you’ll keep your energy levels up.

A friend of mine had a great trick for staying awake he learned during his time in the army. Drink lots of water. As he said it, it’s easy to stay awake when you have to go to the bathroom every five minutes. Of course, it’s also hard to get any work done under these circumstances as well. But drinking plenty of fluids is healthy for numerous reasons. It keeps your body hydrated and it keeps your blood oxygenated, and oxygenated blood helps you stay awake and alert.

Keep Active And On It

Being an active person might feel unnatural for you if you’ve spent the last several years living as a proverbial couch potato, but being active goes a long way for helping you feel energized. Most health experts say just 30 minutes of exercise three days a week is enough for boosting your body’s energy levels and metabolic rates. High natural energy levels are perfect for the endurance you need to get through a long work day.

The truth is, coffee and caffeine really aren’t that bad for you, but the people who have successfully weaned themselves off of it think differently. No more coffee stained teeth, no more coffee breath, and no more headaches from caffeine withdrawal.

Get yourself hooked on some healthy alternatives to that morning cup of coffee and have a few laughs at the expense of the coffee zombies shambling around the break room waiting for the latest batch of joe to finish percolating.

Dennis Aimes is a writer and insurance advisor with AAMI.

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