Okay here’s the deal with caffeine

I LOVE coffee, tea and any other warm drink that goes in my favourite mug.

Lately, making tea or coffee has become such a central part of my morning ritual. Just boiling some water, measuring out my tea leaves or coffee grinds and frothing my oat milk makes me feel ready to face the day.

Yet, I still feel the need to cut out caffeine from my daily routine …

Every time I remove caffeine from my day to day life for a short period of time (usually for about a month after exams because I need to reset my body after over caffeinating myself), I realize that I actually don’t need caffeine to function and that my body is definitely strong enough to get through a long day without it (I mean if I am sleeping and eating what my body needs ).

Featured drink: Oat milk latte from LIT Espresso Bar, Toronto

Here are a few things I’ve realized for myself when it comes to caffeine:

  1. When you hit a wall during the day and feel like you have little to no energy – caffeine might not always be the answer. Take that moment to check in with your body and mind: Have I had enough water today? Did I have a balanced meal or snack less than 3 hrs ago? Am I missing key nutrients in my diet today (example: if you are typically low iron you should consider having a snack with high iron to help you get through the day – like dried apricots or chickpeas) ? Do I need to move around or do some exercise (getting your flowing can help you get your energy back) ?
  2. Take note of the time of day. I’ve heard lots of people talk about how caffeine does not affect their sleeping patterns. It’s easy to fall in line with everyone else’s caffeine habits without actually checking in on how it affects you personally. An easy way to start doing this is to note what time of the day you have caffeine at, what time you were able to fall asleep and how long you slept for. Try spending a week or so without caffeine to see if these patterns change and make adjustments to your liking.
  3. Caffeine additions addiction. I am definitely guilty of adding way too many toppings too my cup of freshly brewed coffee in the morning. From cinnamon to coconut sugar to ashwagandha, I love giving my cup of coffee or tea an upgrade. However, we can’t forget that the sugar or dairy being added to your cup of coffee can add up and have an effect on our overall energy during the day. The energy crashes you’ve been experiencing could be coming from the 2 tablespoons of sugar in your morning latte and not the caffeine itself. All this means is be mindful of what you are consuming even when it comes to your daily caffeinated drinks. An easy way to monitor this is to just make your own drink in the morning (*hint hint* this will also save you money).
Featured drink: Iced Cardamom Spiced Latte from Fika Café, Toronto

BUT that doesn’t mean that caffeine is an evil thing that you can never enjoy.

Just like anything else, have it in moderation!!! For me: this means one cup of whatever deliciousness I choose to have that day, trying my best to not have caffeine after 3pm (since I know that it definitely affects my sleeping patterns) and using as little sugar as possible (I only put sugar in my coffee if I make it from home, that way I can use coconut sugar, maple syrup or honey).

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