If you are one of those people who absolutely cannot start their day without some form of caffeine, be it in the form of coffee, cola or tea, you may not realize that you’re actually doing yourself more harm than good.
Caffeine is a “drug”, which means that as time passes you need more and more of it for the same effect. And you may not realize it, but the morning cuppa you’re downing for an instant energy fix is actually making you more exhausted by the end of the day. Caffeine side effects put you on a rollercoaster of ups and downs, resulting in a crash at the end of the day. And most of all, you’re addicted!
“But I need to stay alert and can’t do without a cup of coffee”? True, if you’re like most caffeine addicts – But its possible. You’ll be glad to know that there are other ways to fight fatigue that do not involve caffeine. Here are our top three tips.
"But I sleep for eight hours every night!” You may sleep for eight hours, but how much of that is truly restful sleep? We’re talking about quality here. With workload and electronic devices keeping us up, how many of us find ourselves texting someone, or checking our Face book notifications, or tossing and turning in bed thinking about tomorrow’s to-do lists? The sad fact of the matter is that two-thirds of us don’t get the sleep that we need to keep us going throughout the day.
The experts at the Royal College of Psychiatrists in London, UK, recommend that you switch off all electronic devices at least two hours before bedtime and wake up at the same time every day. They also do not recommend afternoon naps, in order to keep your sleep patterns regulated. Lastly and importantly, avoid heavy meals, caffeine and alcohol in the couple of hours before bedtime. If you find you can’t fall asleep, relax with a book or a hot bath. Avoid watching a movie or playing with your cell phone, laptop or tablet, all of which will activate those gray cells.
If you weigh more than you should, all that strain on your heart can tire you out. Losing the excess weight will ease the burden on your heart and increase energy levels. But losing weight does not mean you obsess about the number shown on the scale – when we say “lose weight” we mean “lose excess body fat.” If you pack on muscle, your heart too will be strong enough to deal with the increased weight. So eat healthy, lose fat, and bulk up!
But a healthy diet is only half of the lose-weight equation. The other half consists of regular exercise. Yes, it may sound like such a chore, and of course you’re not in the mood for exercise at the end of a long and tiring day. But regular exercise actually perks you up, re-energizes you and helps you sleep more restfully at night. You don’t even have to sweat for hours at the gym – just a 15 minute walk is good enough in the beginning. After that you can gradually build it up.
Reduce your Alcohol Intake
You may think that a bit of alcohol in the evening helps you relax and doze off, but that’s not true. Alcohol actually makes you more restless at night, and gives you a hangover the next day. This means that even if you sleep for your required quota of eight to ten hours, you will still feel tired.
Abandoning your daily nightcap is ideal, if you can’t, at least cut down. Experts recommend that you limit your daily intake to not more than 2-3 units per day for women and 3-4 for men. But hey! Give it up; you’re stronger than you think!
With all these caffeine-free alternatives, it makes sense to remove caffeine from your daily routine completely, especially now that we understand the effects of too much caffeine on our bodies. But we also understand that it’s close to impossible to go cold turkey. Withdrawal symptoms include headaches, restlessness and even nausea.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists advises that you cut down slowly and gradually. If you have three cups a day, bring it down to two. Do this for a week, and then further reduce your intake to a single cup. Gradually you may find that you don’t need your morning coffee at all.
Like everything in life, this too requires time. Don’t force yourself into “artificial” timelines just because someone else told you they kicked the caffeine habit in a week. Give yourself all the time your body needs to free itself from the “high” that you get from caffeine. Just giving up one cup or one nightcap is an achievement. After all,
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”, Lao Tzu.
Source: Fitness Republic
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