The “wake me up” coffee in the morning, several cups during the day, the “pick me up” in the afternoon…. Recognise this? Perhaps you’re a coffee addict!
Caffeine is a stimulant for the central nervous system that will affect your body in numerous ways. A dosage of just 50-100mg – the amount found in just 1 cup of coffee – is enough to make you feel more awake, focused and energized as the caffeine reaches your brain. And this rush may be the reason why so many of us crave that morning cup of coffee – we need that caffeine kick to get us started!
However, the problem with caffeine is that the energy it gives you is very short lived. You may have experienced the up-and-down energy swings that often kick in with a big cup of coffee – or other caffeine containing beverages, such as sodas or “energy drinks”. Every caffeine “high” is follow by a “low”, and this low typically want you to ingest more caffeine. This makes caffeine a highly addictive substance and many of us end up craving the “fake energy” it provides and consume it in large amounts. Another side-effect, it the that too much caffeine consumption may end up over-stimulating your body, resulting in irritability, headaches, anxiety, uneven heartbeat, irritated stomach and trouble sleeping.
If you feel that you can’t face the day without coffee or sodas it may be a good idea to give your body a break from caffeine. The good news is, that there are several other foods and drinks that can raise your energy levels and give you the same wakefullness as caffeine, but without the negative side effects.
STAYING HYDRATED increases your energy levels and can be as simple as drinking a glass of water, especially in the morning when we are more dehydrated. The body can’t function when we are dehydrated and the fatigue kicks in.
If you want to give your body a break from caffeine, but need a energy boost during the day, you could try this GINSENG-LICORICE-GINGER TEA
One of the most common uses of ginseng is to increase energy, and licorice root is known to relieve stress and fatigue. Ginger is full of anti-inflammatory agents, and boosts your metabolism.
10 g dried ginseng root
15 g licorice root
20 g fresh ginger root
10 g lemon grass
Place the ginger root with 2 cups of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover with a lid and let it simmer for 40 minutes.
Add the peeled and sliced ginger root, liquorice root, and chopped lemongrass in the saucepan together with 1 cup of cold water, bring to a boil, lower heat and let it simmer for another 30 minutes.
Strain the tea and enjoy.
Another good energy boost is a smoothie high in B-vitamins. B-vitamins helps energy production, help regulate your appetite, support your metabolism, and is important for the health of your skin, hair, nails, eyes and liver.
Jump start your morning with this- high in B-vitamins, energy providing smoothie.
Half a avocado (about 30g)
2 handfuls of organic baby spinach (about 40g)
Half a banana
40 g pineapple
1/2 pink grape fruit
Remove the skin from the avocado, wash the spinach, cut the peel of the grapefruit, be sure to move the very bitter white skin under the peel, cut the skin of the pineapple, and cut all the fruit in small cubes.
Place the fruit along with the spinach in a Nutri-bullet or blender, add 1/2 cup of cold water and blend. Enjoy your smoothie.