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.
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Actress Jada Pickett Smith has provided an update about her journey with alopecia years after discussing the struggles she endured with the condition.
According to the National Institutes of Health, alopecia is an autoimmune disease in which the "immune system attacks hair follicles and causes hair loss."
The site also states that those suffering from alopecia could lose their hair in small patches or large clumps. Alopecia can affect men and women of all races equally, and signs of the condition could occur at any age. Despite the negative impact, there are no known causes for alopecia. However, medical professionals claim that genetics and environmental factors can play a significant role.
In a recent Instagram post, Pinkett Smith revealed that her hair is attempting to "make a comeback" as she showcased a past bald photo of herself and a present-day image. In the newer snapshot, the mother of two is seen rocking her hair growth.
In addition to the upload, Pinkett Smith informed her followers that even though she is still experiencing "trouble spots," it is still being determined if she will continue growing out her hair.
"This here hair is act'n like it's try'n [to] make a comeback. Still have some trouble spots but — we'll see," she wrote.
Jada On Her Experience With Alopecia
Pinkett Smith initially opened up about her experience with alopecia during a 2018 Red Table Talk episode. In the show, the star revealed that she excessively wore turbans and cut her hair because it was falling out.
"A lot of people have been asking why I've been wearing turbans. Well, I haven't talked about it. It's not easy to talk about, but I am going to talk about it," she said. "I was in the shower one day and had just handfuls of hair in my hands, and I was just like, 'Oh my god, am I going bald?' It was one of those times in my life where I was literally shaking in fear. That's why I cut my hair and why I continue to cut it."
Years later, in July 2021,The Matrix Resurrections alum shaved her head bald due to her hair loss. In December of that same year, Pinkett Smith showed her legions of followers in a video the side effects she had been experiencing, including an unexpected bald line that appeared across her skull as she sported a low buzz cut.
"Y'all know I've been struggling with alopecia," she stated while describing the bald line. Now this is going to be a little bit more difficult for me to hide, so I thought I'd just share it so y’all not asking any questions. I'm just gonna make me a little crown — that's what Mama's gonna do."
With Pinkett Smith sharing her alopecia journey, it could inspire others to be open and support others going through similar struggles.
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Featured image by Amy Sussman/WireImage