It’s that time of the semester, finals week. Instead of binging coffee and Red Bulls to pull all-nighters, let’s get you through this week to winter break in the healthiest way possible! I have been obsessed and possibly addicted to coffee for as long as I can remember. Recently, I’ve noticed how much it dehydrates me, gives me a weight in my stomach and other gross side effects that you’d think would make me stop drinking coffee altogether… but it just smells and tastes so good. It’s comforting to be in a coffee shop and drink a hot vanilla almond latte or an iced hazelnut cold brew, but alas, it’s too hard to go on feeling weak and sickly. Caffeine is actually a drug, in its essential form, caffeine is a bitter white powder derived from a natural insecticide found in some plants. NPR says that over the years, it became acknowledged as a drug after people independently discovered its stimulating effect. If you’re experiencing restlessness and jitters after your third cup, it may be time to cut yourself off and change your daily dose of coffee. I’ve researched some alternatives for that morning kick and energy at Hale that we all crave.
My favorite one had to be first! According to Web MD, chocolate has significant caffeine levels to at least perk you up a little before your 7:30 exam.
New Health Advisor says coconut water is naturally full of bioactive enzymes, potassium and beneficial electrolytes. It can be added to smoothies or drank by itself for an energy drink alternative.
Ask any of my close friends, and they’ll tell you I’m a protein freak. I get it from my mom, always making sure my pals are getting protein in every meal whether it be in meat, eggs or nuts. Spread peanut butter on your bagel instead of cream cheese. Fry up an egg over easy and make a toast sandwich with avocado!
Water and Vitamin B12
Water is essential to staying hydrated, obviously, so it does the opposite of what caffeine does to your body! Adding vitamin B12 is known to promote the production of melatonin and red blood cells, and could help fight depression.
Ginseng is an herbal extract taken from the ginseng root. New Health Advisor lists it as an alternative to caffeine because it has the same uplifting effect as caffeine by increasing blood flow. There is also evidence that it may reduce stress and depression. Try it in tea or take it as a capsule.
Each of these alternatives have different benefits that should help wean you off your caffeine addiction. If you’re still struggling I would advise you to visit Lafene Health Center. Enough sleep is often neglected in our fast-paced college schedules, but it’s vital to our survival! I hope you find these alternatives as addicting as coffee, Monster, or your other favorite caffeine filled drink so you can start putting healthier foods and drinks in your body! Go crush your finals!
Check out more information on alternatives below…