Everyone loves caffeine to some degree, but not everyone can go without it, when asked to do so.
For the most part, caffeine does offer a lot of perks, including reducing chronic and exercise-induced muscle pain, and boosting your next workout.
But what happens when you know you’re relying on caffeine just a little too much, and you really battle to give it up? Follow our four rules for healthy caffeine enjoyment.
1) Choose coffee whenever possible
If you absolutely need your caffeine fix, choose coffee over sodas and sugary drinks. Coffee is a powerful antioxidant, so unless you’re having tons of sugar in your coffee, you’re not getting all the added sugar that comes with drinks like Coca Cola.
2) Stay within the “safe” guidelines
Try to stick to drinking about 300 to 400 milligrams, or roughly 4 cups, of caffeine per day. Any more than that and you may start to feel jittery and anxious, and it can start to affect your sleeping routine at night. Caffeine has also been known to stimulate hormones, specifically gastrin which makes the colon more active. Too much caffeine and your colon could be working overtime, leading to dehydration and a loss of too much good bacteria in your gut.
3) Drink caffeine in the morning or before exercise
Caffeine is a known stimulant, making you more alert. This is great in the morning or before a workout, but not before bed when it could affect your sleeping patterns. Caffeine has also been studied as an effective performance-enhancing aid in endurance athletics, making it a good go-to for highly active people.
4) Look for caffeine alternatives
If you really enjoy caffeine and don’t really want to give it up altogether, look for alternatives. Caffeinated gels, gums and chews are good alternatives and may be better for you as it would technically be a smaller dose than a large cup of coffee. Either way, try to switch it up to give your body a break from too much of a good thing.