It's 9:00 AM. Your coworker is asking if you have seen the latest episode of Westworld, but you stare fixedly at your phone. You can't stand the thought of looking her directly in the eyes and actually having to feign interest in the conversation.
Your eyes ache and no yawn can soothe the exhaustion that consumes you. Biting your tongue, you accept that you are minutes, no seconds, away from snapping on this coworker, telling her that her eyebrows are drawn unevenly, but then you remember that you haven't had your morning cup of coffee. Crisis averted… for now.
Research finds that over 85% of American adults consume some form of caffeine daily, consuming 164 mg on average. At least 68 million Americans drink three cups of coffee every single day and over 50% of Americans over the age of 18 consume caffeine on a daily basis. Be it coffee, tea, soda, or energy drinks, a majority of the country is dependent on caffeine to drive performance and maintain energy, and it can be dangerous for our health if left unchecked.
Like most students, I had my fair share of all-nighters and excessive caffeine consumption during undergrad. There were definitely moments when I drank so much coffee and tea that it literally would stop working, or worse, have the opposite effect and make me sleepy. Plus, one million Starbucks runs really take a toll on your bank account. I was forced to confront my growing caffeine dependence (and poor time management habits), seeking out sources of energy that did not involve hardcore caffeine consumption. And, so should you.
Here are 5 ways to boost your energy without caffeine:
This seems so basic, but drinking more water was really a game changer for me. A 2015 British study found that 1 in 5 people who went to their doctors complaining of severe exhaustion were actually dehydrated. Remember, it's recommended that women drink a minimum of nine cups of water a day while men should drink a minimum of 13. So, stay hydrated and consider drinking a glass of water before reaching for that cup of coffee.
Sometimes, caffeine consumption can be a habit as much as it is a dependence, so opt for a different drink or snack every once in a while, and see how your moods and preferences change over time.