How to get lean on caffeine

Words byHayley Hayley

Oh my god. Is it 7:00 already? It feels like you just got to sleep, and now here you are, yawning awake, struggling to shake the sleep from your eyes. And this is only the beginning. That’s when you reach for that big, steamy, life-saving cup of coffee. You take one sip. Ahhh. Now you’re awake!

Many of us have more than just that early morning jolt to keep us focused and alert during the day. Some people have upwards of five coffees a day, which can disrupt sleep cycles later in the day, starting the vicious cycle all over again. You stay up too late because, well, you had that fourth cappuccino at 4:00pm, and then waking up the next morning seems like hiking Everest. An impossible feat.

There are loads of reasons you might want to cut back on caffeine. But there are probably even more reasons why you feel that you simply cannot do it. We’re here to help.

Whatever your reasons are, you want to be prepared with some strategies to ease the transition. You don’t have to give it up entirely, but surely a cup or two less could make your life a little better. Here are our best tips for leaning a little less on a cup of joe.

Embrace the light. It is much easier to wake up when it’s light. We mean, that makes sense, right? Though you probably aren’t itching to wake up at 5:18 when the sun rises at this time of year, using light to trigger waking up will actually help your body feel more rested and thus need less coffee. Spring for a sunrise alarm clock (and blackout curtains in your room), and your body will feel as rested as ever. 30 minutes before you’ve set the alarm, the clock will slowly start getting brighter, signalling to your body that you are ready to take on the day.

Put the pedal to the medal in the morning. It may seem torturous to smash a Ro’ride before all of your friends have even peeled their eyes open, but you will feel infinitely better after and ready to tackle everything the day has in store. A morning workout is energizing and will get your blood and endorphins flowing, waking you up even if you aren’t quite ready!

Be a green queen. If those 45 minutes in and out of the saddle didn’t give you a jolt of energy, you may be tempted to dash over to the Coffee Company for a latte. Instead, snag an iced Matcha & Maca latte from the CPJ. While green tea does have caffeine, its levels are much lower than coffee. You’ll get a little energy boost without suffering the inevitable coffee crash later. Bonus points for cooling you down after that steamy ride.

Eat well to feel swell. It turns out that a lot of our dips in energy that would cause us to reach for another cup of coffee are actually caused by dips in blood sugar. It may be tempting to reach for a Tony Chocolonely for a quick pick-me-up, but fuelling your body right can help you avoid blood sugar spikes then crashes. Eat whole grains that will break down slowly and healthy veg and protein to keep you feeling strong and stable all day.

Stretch it out at the end of the day. As we noted before, poor quality sleep the night before is a major culprit for energy lag the next day. A bit of gentle, restorative yoga or light stretching before bed can do wonders for your sleep quality. It will help you unwind and calm your body, letting it know it’s time to relax and ready itself for sleep. Make it a habit and who knows! You may not need any coffee at all the next day.