○ 10 min read
5 Ways to Wake Up Without Coffee
Ugh — mornings, right? If you can’t crawl out of bed without the promise of a cup of coffee, or two, or three, then maybe it's time to start thinking about changing up your morning routine. It’s not that coffee is necessarily a bad habit. In fact, it can even be good for you in some ways, but the dependency can get out of hand, and one cup can lead to a few more, and then all that extra caffeine can become a problem.
The truth is, the jitters can lead to a lack of sleep, which makes you crave more coffee because you aren’t getting the deep rest you need to feel your best. It’s a vicious cycle that just keeps going around and around. So, are you ready to get off the caffeine roller coaster? We’ve got a few tips to help you let go of the habit and start your day with a bang.
Why Do People Drink Coffee in the Morning to Wake Up?
The universal pick-me-up! Coffee has a complex history and has emerged as one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world. Countless variations of the drink have made it adaptable to whatever taste preferences people have, and so even people who don’t enjoy its natural bitterness can sweeten it up and add all the flavors they want.
Coffee and other caffeinated drinks really wake your brain up, increasing focus and alertness.
Sometimes it just becomes a habit, and people drink it more often than they really need to. For some, it is a modern-day ritual that is an integral part of the day, and their whole morning revolves around it. It is always welcome at the office, so it becomes a trusted work companion for some. A little can be really beneficial, but it can also lead to people feeling additional stress and a scattered state of mind.
Downsides to Drinking Coffee to Get Your Day Started
While coffee can be beneficial, it does have its drawbacks. Caffeine, like nicotine, is an alkaloid with addictive qualities. Starting the day with a cup or so is not usually an issue for most people, but some are sensitive to its effects. For those people, even small amounts can cause problems. Drinking too much coffee can push you over the edge from focused and productive to tense and agitated. Too much caffeine can lead to all kinds of uncomfortable symptoms, and those prone to anxiety may notice it increases feelings of apprehension and overwhelm.
Too much coffee can make it difficult to sleep, make your heart race, make you feel restless and even shaky, contribute to digestive issues, frequent urination, discolor teeth, and even provoke lowered nutrient absorption. As people get used to the effects of caffeine, they begin to need more and more as their tolerance rises, and they need to seek out more coffee over time to feel the same stimulating response. The more reliant your body is on coffee, the more you’ll experience withdrawal symptoms when you don’t have it. This can include headaches, foggy thinking, feeling extra tired, and increased irritability.
Besides all of this, coffee plants around the world are starting to struggle. Many coffee producers are experiencing reduced yields, and plant diseases are making it more and more difficult for coffee growers to harvest those precious beans. Finding an alternative might not just be good for your health; it may someday be necessary.
How to Wake Up Without Coffee
Live a life less overstimulated! Getting rid of the dependency on coffee (or even just cutting back!) will do your body some good. You will likely sleep better, feel less on edge, and be better able to relax when you want to. It is possible to reduce feelings of everyday anxiousness, keep your teeth glittering white, and develop a wake-up routine that will give you more stability in your mood and energy levels. Reducing your coffee consumption can even save you money, especially if you rely on specialty coffee shops for your daily cup, with all the frills.
Drink a Cold Glass of Water
Yes, really. This might seem too easy to be effective, but simply drinking cool or cold water can wake your body up. Drinking water first thing in the morning is a great way to hydrate after sleeping when your body uses fluids in various maintenance processes. Drinking it cold may increase your metabolic rate by up to 30%, helping to get your heart rate up and stimulating other processes that get your energy flowing.
Stretch & Exercise
There is nothing like a good morning stretch. Loosening up your joints and stretching your muscles can start getting your blood moving in a gentle way that wakes up your brain and your body. After lying in the same position for quite some time, getting your circulation going is really beneficial. It is even more important if you work at a computer or are sitting for most of the day. A little exercise helps to promote more oxygen in the blood and the brain, helping you increase alertness and feel more awake. Even a quick 5-10 minute workout can change the whole direction of your day and help you feel energized and relaxed.
Fresh air and sunshine are sometimes forgotten necessities. Getting sunlight on your face first thing in the morning has a cascade of effects that help you wake up. Sunshine helps to set the cycle of your circadian rhythm, which controls functions in your body that relate to sleepiness and alertness. Being in the sun releases endorphins, which are “feel-good” chemicals that increase your sense of well-being and happiness. Serotonin is also released when soaking up the sun’s rays, which can help you feel more focused and calm. The fresh air outside (especially on a cool, crisp morning) can be refreshing and invigorating, setting the tone for your day and bringing a vibrance to your morning.
Take a Cold Shower
Get out of your comfort zone and into a cold shower! Getting in a brisk cold shower first thing in the morning might take some getting used to, but it brings all kinds of amazing benefits if you can endure the initial shock of it. Cold showers and ice plunge baths are popular biohacks that get your blood pumping and help your muscles to recover from a workout, and they are fantastic for waking you up! The burst of cold activates your sympathetic nervous system and encourages the release of endorphins, cortisol, and adrenaline.
Eat a Healthy Breakfast
Yes, your mom was right; it is still the most important meal of the day. A lot of coffee-goers end up skipping breakfast because coffee can take away your appetite. Being fueled on caffeine can make you think you aren’t hungry, even when your body actually really needs sustenance. Eating a high-protein breakfast will help you sustain your energy without the caffeine buzz and won’t send you toward a midday crash as it would if you were just relying on coffee to get through your morning. Ideal breakfast foods such as yogurt, a protein smoothie, fresh fruit, whole grain bagels, oatmeal, a veggie omelet, or a smoothie bowl can give you long-lasting energy and get your body’s engines revved up for the day.
Drink a Coffee Alternative
There are other options to turn to! If you are one of those people who really enjoys the ritual around your cup of coffee, then finding a replacement will ensure your success when trying to go without, and it can even provide you with additional health benefits. Even switching to hot cocoa is a good way to reduce your caffeine intake and still enjoy something hot and delicious in the mornings. If you enjoy the bitter, roasted coffee flavor, try something that has a similar flavor profile, such as a blend with roasted chicory or roasted dandelion. You can add whatever creamer and sweeteners you like and maybe a dash of cinnamon to round out the flavor.
There are also some incredible options infused with functional mushrooms that taste great and can wake you up in a whole different way. Look for something with lion’s mane mushrooms to increase focus and productivity without additional caffeine. Cordyceps is another good mushroom to start your day with as it helps to promote energy and endurance. There are so many options available, and you may need to try a few different ones to find your new favorite.
Don’t Quit Cold Turkey
Take it one step at a time. Even if you don’t go overboard with your coffee consumption, you can still experience withdrawal effects when you stop drinking it. By gradually reducing your coffee intake, you will be less likely to experience adverse effects and make it easier than stopping cold turkey. If you have multiple cups a day, start cutting back a little at a time. For example, if you drink 3 cups a day, reduce it to 2 cups for a week, and then the week after that, drop it down to 1. Cutting back on the weekend or whenever you have a day off is a good idea to help you adjust without the need to be highly productive at work. Switching to a lower caffeine option such as green tea will also take the edge off and give you a little boost without being overstimulating..
The Essential Element
It’s ok if you aren’t quite ready to give up the habit, but there are other ways to get you going in the mornings that don’t involve coffee. Even just cutting back is a good strategy, and you can incorporate these ideas into your morning for the best possible start to your day. At Essential elements®, we know you are striving for your personal best each and every day. Knowing how to get going without the caffeine fix will help you stay energized without the ups and downs that too much coffee can contribute to. Your body is incredibly powerful; you just have to tap into the habits that keep your stamina and endurance at full capacity to help you wake up refreshed and ready for whatever kind of day is ahead of you.