It’s Monday morning and your eyes will barely open. You drag yourself down to the kitchen and immediately look for grounds to make a pot of coffee. As your coffee begins to brew, you start to think, “Man, I know that by 10 a.m., I’m going to want a nap!”
“Caffeine is not dangerous to consume,” clarifies Shane Allen, certified sports nutritionist and weight management specialist with PersonalTrainerFood.com. “In fact, the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recommendations state that you can consume up to five cups of coffee a day (about 400 milligrams of caffeine) without detrimental effects. Obviously, you know your body best. If you feel jittery or anxious, then start sipping those cups a little slower and going to the coffee pot a little less frequently.”
However, coffee doesn’t always have the best or longest-lasting effects for everyone.
“Caffeine may be contraindicated for people with high blood pressure or who are sensitive to caffeine symptoms like anxiety and insomnia,” says Beth Warren, founder and CEO of Beth Warren Nutrition. “Also, excess caffeine may act as a diuretic, which can lead to dehydration if adequate fluid isn't replaced. Consuming caffeine in strong dosages — over 200 milligrams at a time, for example — may cause health problems, so caffeine supplements are not recommended. As mentioned, if one gets frequent migraines and drinks coffee in excess, it may aggravate these symptoms.”
Luckily, you don’t necessarily need to consume caffeine if you are in need of a real morning boost.
“Your body craves fuel for energy,” says Warren. “If you are looking for an energy boost, you need to be sure you're eating quality carbs that break down into sugar in slow-release form as opposed to spiking your sugar for a boost of energy and then dropping, leaving you fatigued”
To help you perk up in the morning without that cup of coffee, we compiled a list of energy-boosting foods and drinks that will definitely keep you alert and happy.
“Almonds have vitamin E, magnesium, and protein to help sustain your energy reserves throughout the day.”
- Shane Allen
“Apples are low-glycemic, so their natural sugars are less likely to cause a spike and crash of your blood sugar, helping you to maintain consistent energy without feeling like you need a nap by 11 a.m.”