Need a pick-me-up? Try going caffeine-free
There are many good reasons to reduce caffeine in our lives; we sleep better and have fewer gastro problems when we don’t drink as much.
Often it’s tricky to understand if a product contains caffeine never mind how much! Labels may not tell us if caffeine is present, especially when the quantities are small, so look out for ingredients such as coffee beans, cacao or green tea. Be aware that many over the counter medicines contain caffeine, along with teas, chocolates, sweets and there are even small amounts in decaf coffee and hot chocolate!
AXA PPP healthcare’s Director of Psychological Services, Mark Winwood, shares some tips on how to give your body a boost in different ways.
- Increase the amount of water you drink
It is important to have a replacement for your usual caffeinated drinks and the best alternative to caffeine is water. It may surprise you how much fluid you actually take in during the day with your cups of tea and coffee so to stop you becoming dehydrated this fluid needs to be replaced.
- Be more active
Take regular breaks from your desk. Computer screens and air conditioning can make you feel sluggish so instead of having your usual tea or coffee break, invigorate your body with oxygen by taking a 15 minute walk outside.
- Make your brain work
Working your brain in a different way with a puzzle, crossword or Sudoku, for example, will help to re-energise you.
- Sugary treats
When you’re in that afternoon slump and you feel the need for a sugar hit, resist the sweets or chocolate bars, choose a piece of fruit instead. An apple or orange will give you a natural boost.
- Ice therapy
Another way to resist caffeine is to drink a glass of ice-cold water or suck on an ice cube. Try splashing water on your face or running your wrists under a cold tap too. It will make you feel invigorated and stop you from reaching for the kettle or that caffeinated cold drink instead!
- Essential oils
Citrus, peppermint or jasmine essential oils can act as a pick-me-up. Simply rub a few drops between your palms and then breathe in their smell.
- Warm drinks
If you are craving a hot drink try a peppermint herbal tea or a cup of warm soup. Both are much more healthy than a cup of tea or coffee.
- Don’t replace caffeine with sugar
It is very tempting to replace your usual caffeinated drink with one packed with sugar but try to resist as the instant high you experience will be all too quickly followed by a slump in energy.
- Meditation or sleep perhaps?
Could the reason the lethargy you are experiencing simply be tiredness? Try recharging your batteries with few minutes of focused meditation or a power nap
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Have you got a health question?
We've teamed up with AXA PPP healthcare to bring you articles, information and tips from their clinical teams on a wide range of health topics. And if you have a health related question of your own – about your or your family's health, medication or upcoming procedures, for example – you can also access their, "Ask the Expert" service. Available around the clock, 365 days a year this free resource allows you to ask the team of friendly and experienced nurses, midwives and pharmacists about any health concerns you may have– whenever you need us, 24 hours a day, every day.
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