Archive for the tag - coffee

7 Tips to Cut Back on Caffeine.

Addicted to caffeine? Here are 7 tips to cut back.

400 billion is a very big number. It’s also the number of coffees consumed each year by people around the world. In North America alone, it’s estimated that 80% – 90% of adults have caffeine on a regular basis.

Though it’s believed that moderate caffeine consumption may be linked to some health benefits (including lower risk of some diseases, cancers and strokes), too much caffeine isn’t a good thing.

Most experts recommend no more than 200 to 300 milligrams of caffeine per day, which works out to between 2 and 4 cups. According to the Mayo Clinic, heavy caffeine consumption may cause:

  • Insomnia
  • Nervousness
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Upset stomach
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Muscle tremors

With most of us not getting enough sleep – and with sleep being critical for muscle recovery – the symptom of insomnia is of particular concern for many exercise enthusiasts.

To that end, here are seven tips for cutting back on caffeine:

  1. Monitor intake. Using a journal, your phone or a piece of scrap paper, keep track of the amount of coffee, tea and soda that you consume on daily basis. This will help you get a better handle on the situation and give you a starting point.
  2. Take it slow. Gradually reduce your caffeine intake by reducing coffee consumption by 1/2 cup per day. Quitting cold turkey isn’t sustainable – and it can result in painful withdrawal symptoms like headaches.
  3. Replace caffeinated drinks with a cup of caffeine-free herbal tea. Or even water. It’s important to replace an unhealthy habit with a healthier one to help fill the void.
  4. Switch to decaf coffee. There are many great and delicious decaf flavors. Alternatively, you can try watering down your caffeinated coffee to reduce your intake.
  5. Cut brew time. You can reduce the caffeine in tea by brewing it for less time. Or, you can pour out some of the tea and replace it with hot water.
  6. Watch for other caffeine sources. Beyond coffee, tea and soda, caffeine can also be found in other products. There’s some (but not much) caffeine in chocolate, and quite a bit in many pharmaceuticals. Two Excedrin tablets, for example, contain 130 milligrams of caffeine. That’s more than a cup of a coffee.
  7. Plan accordingly. As you gradually decrease caffeine consumption, your body may experience withdrawal symptoms. For that reason, it’s best to make cutbacks during lower-stress periods in your life.

Most of all, know that a low-caffeine life is possible. And, it’s great! I don’t consume caffeine, and yet I have tons of energy and jump out of bed in the morning. No caffeine needed. ๐Ÿ™‚

If you have any tips to reduce caffeine consumption, please share them in the comments below!

Replace Coffee with Apples – The Overlooked Superfruit.

It’s 3PM. You have three hours until the end of the workday and you’re feeling low on energy, motivation and enthusiasm. You’re tempted to pour yourself yet another cup of coffee – hoping that the caffeine can help pull you through. But you think to yourself, “Isn’t there a better option?”

Yes. A simple apple.

Do apples have caffeine? No. But for centuries, people have been touting the wonderful benefits of this often overlooked superfruit.

Apples, depending on their size, have about 20 grams of natural sugar. While this sugar helps awaken the body, it’s very different from eating a spoonful of table sugar or a handful of candies:

By eating table sugar our bodies go out of sync with our sugar levels – as the sugar is processed in the body extremely fast – and in doing this the body informs the pancreas to pump out insulin. Fruit sugar is broken down more slowly which allows the body more time to react to the sweetener that has been consumed. This puts less stress on the body without the worry of a sudden sugar spike.

Moreover, apples are also rich in fiber; each apple contains 4 grams. For most healthy adults, the USDA recommends 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories consumed. And since most of us don’t get enough fiber, adding in an apple will certainly help. Fiber has a lot of great benefits – including that it will help you feel fuller and more satisfied longer.

Various studies have also linked apple consumption to diabetes management, colon cancer prevention, bone protection, breast cancer prevention, lower cholesterol, asthma help and more.

So instead of pouring yourself that extra cup of joe, keep a basket of fresh and crispy apples nearby. And if you’re feeling extra fancy, spread a few tablespoons of real peanut butter on your apple slices. Delicious!