I am almost sure that my friends, family + the UC CHAARG Exec Team think I need to attend some type of intervention for *girls addicted to coffee*. I consume anywhere from my daily two cups [with breakfast] to upward of four cups. It sounds crazy telling you I regularly consume FOUR CUPS of coffee per day – clearly it’s time for a change, which is why I started researching if *too much coffee* is bad for you + started looking for some natural alternatives to that rush of caffeine.
If you are a *one to three cup* kind of gal, you are at an elevated risk of high blood pressure [yikes]. If you like to kick it up a notch — consuming *three to five cups* per day you increase the risk of caffeine overdose. That may sound scary ++ it’s super rare, but if you consume a little more than two 5Hour Energy shots worth of caffeine [500 mg + ] you are putting your body in the danger zone. If you consume *six cups* or more there are some serious risks involved like: induced panic attacks, shaking, increased heart rate ++ so much more.
Also, consuming too much caffeine over many months can result in dependency — which can make *cutting back* more difficult due to symptoms of caffeine withdraw — migraines, fatigue ++ mental fogginess. Information overload — I know, but to learn more check it out HERE.
As college-aged girls most of us view coffee as a lifeline to staying afloat with our busy schedules, but there many natural alternatives to coffee + artificial caffeine that can still provide you with an energy boost!
1] ICE COLD LEMON WATER
First thing in the morning [even before you think of reaching for the nearest mug, fill a 16 oz cup full of ice, H2O + lemon slices. The rush of cold water + citrus will naturally boost your metabolism, which makes sense because water makes up 60% of our bodies. The lemon also stimulates your senses — waking them up quickly if you’re feeling groggy, or sluggish.
2] BLACK TEA
Most brewed teas have caffeine, but much less than coffee. Teas also are jam packed with antioxidants + powerful disease fighters. Black tea packs some serious heat [caffeine] + is an ideal replacement for your morning espresso. It has more caffeine than most freshly brewed teas, so it is the closest replacement to coffee.
3] GREEN TEA
Green tea can also be a refreshing substitute if you love the boost of energy coffee gives you, minus the jitters. Your mind + body will feel refreshed after sipping on a morning cup of green tea.
4] POMEGRANATE JUICE
Pure pomegranate juice is sweet + tangy enough to drink individually, or it can be mixed into a smoothie. Because of the antioxidants in pomegranates it really packs a punch for boosting your energy. Drink this for a mid-day pick me up, or for your long night of studies ahead.
Kombucha is tangy flavored fermented juice that has a ton of health benefits. It contains some caffeine + vitamin B12, which helps with fatigue + can help boost your metabolism. If your metabolism gets a pick-me-up, so will your energy level + your mood.
6] GREEN JUICE
Green juice is the perfect natural energy alternative to coffee. It is jam packed with essential vitamins, minerals + nutrients that will give you an all day long plateau of energy.
7] COCONUT WATER
Coconut water has become increasingly popular with CHAARGies lately. It’s natural sweetener is where the metabolism boost comes in. Coconut water also is a replenisher of electrolytes — perfect to pair with your post-workout snack.
8] DECAF COFFEE
Decaf coffee eliminates almost all of the caffeine in a regular cup of joe, but still contains a small amount. This is a ideal way to decrease your caffeine intake, while still getting the coffee flavor you love.
9] FLAVORED SPARKLING WATER
La Croix flavored sparkling water is delicious + is recommended as a Whole 30 drink substitution for coffee. The carbonation in the water is refreshing + great to drink first thing in the morning to wake your body up.
10] APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
ACV is all the rage + is recommended by everyone who’s tried it // reaped it’s benefits. Add ACV to a glass of water anytime of the day — morning, pre-workout, post-workout or before you hit the library. The potassium + enzymes in ACV boost your energy levels naturally, while the amino acids combate lactic acid build up [ideal after a killer workout].
Not to worry for all the CHAARGies [like myself] who enjoy a cup, or two of coffee in the morning — research shows moderate coffee intake can result in huge benefits. Normal amounts of caffeine can help improve attitude, mental clarity ++ it’s even shown to fight diseases, like Alzheimer’s. If all of you coffee crazed CHAARGies could slow your Starbucks visits + start to incorporate the natural alternatives to your morning Blonde Roast, you can be one step closer to being the healthiest ++ happiest versions of yourself.
+Delaney [@delaney_inchaarg] // UC CHAARG