Did you know the United States consumes the highest amount of caffeine, weighing in at 971 tons? According to the Heart Research Funding Organization, a majority of the caffeine we consume is coffee. Caffeine is consumed at least once a meal and not always in beverages. Caffeine can be found in protein bars, chocolate, yogurt and ice cream, candy and even in some waters. Research has found that consuming over 500-600 mg of caffeine a day can lead to a variety of negative side effects, such as insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, irritability, nausea, an accelerated heartbeat and muscle tremors.
Research has also found that nearly 75 percent of the caffeine that we consume daily will be filtered out of our system within 10 hours and is not guaranteed to give us the energy boost we are craving.
Instead of potentially damaging your body’s health with heavy caffeine consumption, try these simple healthier alternatives to keep you feeling alert, energized and ready to power through the day:
• Yoga: Yoga wakes up your body by driving oxygen rich cells to the brain and muscles, increasing your body’s energy levels. Even five to ten minutes of yoga in the afternoon can make you more feel more awake.
• Water: Did you know dehydration can cause you to feel overly exhausted? Each morning, pair your nutritious breakfast with a tall glass of water to hydrate your body and wake you up. Make sure you continue to drink water throughout your day to keep your body’s hydration and energy levels up.
• Smoothies: The proteins found in a healthy fruit and veggie smoothie can give you the energy your body desires. Try swapping out your morning Mocha Frappe for a healthier alternative: a powerhouse smoothie. Not to mention, nothing will wake you up in the morning like the loud sound of a blender!
A regulated amount of caffeine isn’t awful for you; so do not feel that you need to quit cold turkey and give up all caffiene. Simply try easing in these healthy, refreshing rituals to your daily routine to replace that fourth cup of Joe or that afternoon can of soda.