Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Waking up without coffee


One of the rituals of the American morning is coffee. People love it. Coffee makers come in all shapes and sizes. Some people search to find THE coffee makers that match their kitchen. They can be pre-set, they have alarm clocks and some will even brew just one perfect cup of the stuff that wakes them up and gets them moving.

Next to oil, coffee is the commodity that generates the most revenue worldwide. Entire industries have been built on this morning ritual. Starbuck’s corporatized the corner coffee shop, made it cool and built one of the biggest companies in the country. Coffee houses and chains sprang up after Starbuck’s initial success. In response, McDonald’s changed their coffee and started to offer gourmet coffees for the morning commute. And Dunkin’ Donuts, which sells more coffee in theU.S.than anyone, focuses its corporate advertising on the coffee, not the donuts.

Coffee, or more accurately, the caffeine in coffee, is addictive. It can also be expensive. If you find yourself with some of the symptoms of too much caffeine – jitters, heartburn or acid reflux, irritability, trouble sleeping, stack of coffeehouse receipts in your wallet – you might try these alternatives to the morning joe.

Take a cool shower

Not a COLD shower, a COOL shower. A cold shower can shock your system and there’s no sense in that. A cool shower will get the mind and body going. Try an invigorating body wash, too; something with peppermint in it.

Let there be light

Getting some light is a way to make your body realize that it’s time to get up. Getting outside in the sunshine is a great way to start the day; however, like many, you may be up before dawn. Just turn on the lights in the bedroom and the house. Dark is the enemy to waking up.

Listen to something

Set your alarm clock to your favorite radio station. Turn on the TV. Listen to an audiobook. Quiet is the enemy to waking up.

Get moving

Taking a brisk walk or jog around the neighborhood is a great way to start the day. Any exercise is beneficial. Take your dog for a walk. It benefits them just as much as it does you. Stretching, calisthenics, or yoga are also great ways to get moving in the morning.

Drink a glass of ice cold water

A glass of ice cold water, and we’re talking as cold as you can make it, will help wake you up as much as a cup of coffee will.

Don’t skip breakfast

Eating breakfast kick starts your metabolism. Make sure you get some protein and good carbohydrates. If you absolutely HATE eating breakfast, some people find that eating an apple is beneficial. The natural sugars in them give you energy. (And there is some truth to “An apple a day…”)

Try herbal tea

Hot teas may not be your bread and butter, but you probably didn’t LOVE coffee the first time you tried it, either. There are hundreds of different teas to try so you’re likely to find one that you like. Teas have great properties to help your health, too; many are high in antioxidants, which can help you fight certain types of cancer.

If you’ve tried to cut down on coffee, what’s your favorite way to start the day?

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