When Coffee Doesn’t Prevail: 7 Alternatives to Caffeine.

There’s a simple way to remain awake and alert. It’s called coffee. It’s tempting to down a cup or two when you’re feeling drowsy at work, or when you wake up feeling more tired than when you went to sleep. However, drinking too much coffee comes with hazards. What too much coffee means can vary from one person to the next depending on each body’s reaction to large amounts of caffeine. Too many cups a day may cause insomnia, anxiousness, and digestion issues. On the other hand, there are many alternatives to consider that will give you an energy boost and keep you alert without consuming any caffeine at all.

First let’s address the risks of consuming too much caffeine. Hypersensitivity to caffeine can lead to symptoms such as insomnia, jitters, and an increased heartbeat. “I was working on my presentation that was due the following day and needed to stay awake because I hadn’t slept for about 2 days. As a result, I drank about three cups of coffee in less than 5 hours.I felt my heartbeat race and felt like I was having an asthma attack.I had heart problems growing up so If there is a way I can stay awake without coffee I would very much prefer it. “ said Tarek Hamza, an architecture student at the American University in Dubai.

According to Dr. Prachi Singhal, a clinical dietitian at Zeal wellness clinic “Caffeine in high doses raises your blood level of Epinephrine. Epinephrine is also known as adrenaline. In pure forms, epinephrine can increase blood pressure, increase the contractility or force of the heart, and mildly increase the heart rate. In patients that are susceptible to abnormal heart rhythms, high doses can cause the heart to develop skipped or palpitations from a rapid heart rhythm”

Due to the risks associated with consuming caffeine, we have compiled a list of alternative remedies and tricks to keep you alert and awake, according to Dr.Singhal and

Dr. Muhannad Nihad, a General practitioner at King Hussein Medical Hospital.

1.  Afternoon naps:
Studies have shown that taking a 20 minute afternoon nap does not mess with the body’s hormone levels or circadian rhythms, but reduces stress and improves energy levels for the rest of the day.

2.  Blue light from electronics :
Blue light triggers parts of the brain that perceive it as daytime, which leads to two important points. Firstly, having a blue light during the day and early evening improves energy levels and alertness by convincing the brain that it is daytime. Secondly, blue light should be avoided later at night as it may cause restlessness and difficulty initiating sleep.

3.  Food:
Having a proper balanced diet with the correct amount of protein and carbohydrates directly affects energy levels. As the body goes into power-saving mode it becomes low on fuel. Smaller, frequent meals keep the body energized and avoids the drowsiness caused by a heavier meal.

4.  Vitamins:
Namely the B and C vitamins play an essential role in converting food to energy, and the production of neurotransmitters (the chemicals that carry signals in our brains), which makes them an essential part of any healthy diet. They can be taken in the form of pills or you can add animal products such as dairy and eggs to your diet for vitamin B while vitamin C can be found in fruits such as oranges, guavas and tomatoes.

5.  Ice cold water
Drinking Ice cold water first thing in the morning can shock your system into a metabolic furnace that kicks into gear to warm the water put into your system.

6.  Apple Cider Vinegar:
This is a vinegar made of fermented apples and is high in B Vitamins (which equals energy). It is known to increase alertness. When consumed, sugars are broken down to produce beneficial bacteria.

7.  Flax seeds:
This seed can be added to any meal raw, or blended into a smoothie or shake. It Contains B-vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and magnesium, which all help with mental acuity.

Unlike addictive caffeine fixes, these remedies activate your senses, engage your attention, amp up your energy, and prevent morning grogginess and afternoon slumps without the side effects or health risks. It is advised to consume moderate amounts of coffee as recommended by experts, so reduce your dependence on coffee and make sure you get some sleep at night to prevent paying for it the next day.

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Photo credits: Doa’a El Khouly

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