Dr Helen Lawal, our GP and Health & Lifestyle Coach says:
We Brits drink 165 million cups of tea per day* and 95 million cups of coffee a day*! Many of us turn to caffeine to boost our energy, and often it’s out of habit. It can be helpful to see this habit as our body’s way of telling us we are craving something that we are lacking. Often, it’s quick energy pick-me-up, or a break from work, so here are ways to satisfy those cravings without caffeine:
- Sleep: Sleep deprivation is a huge factor in lethargy, and those getting less than 6 hours sleep would see a significant benefit by increasing the amount you sleep to between 7 and 9 hours. It will help contribute to a reduced risk of diabetes, obesity and mental health problems. Bring your bedtime forward and notice the difference that extra hour brings your sense of wellbeing, mood, appetite and energy levels.
- Protein: Increasing the amount of protein in your diet can help keep you fuller for longer, meaning you are less likely to need a pick me up. Fish, eggs, nuts and tofu are great sources of protein to help keep you fuelled.
- H2O: It’s easy to forget to drink water, especially in the cold winter months. Dehydration can impair our concentration and leave us feeling lethargic. Why not try some warming caffeine-free alternatives like hot lemon water or a seasonal herbal tea such as ginger or cinnamon.
- Take a break: Often we link our coffee and tea breaks with a simple break from the business and stress of a day. Do something to break up your day such as calling a friend, read a book, go for a walk or listen to music.
- Exercise: A 10-minute brisk walk can boost your energy, clear your head and lift your mood, plus it’s easy to fit in to your busy routine. Download the Active10 app for free to make sure the walk is “brisk” for the most health benefits, and to track your minutes.
- Meditation: Effective mediation takes practice but can have a huge impact on your physical and mental health. Start small with 5 to 10 minutes and build up over time. There are some great apps providing guided meditations for beginners!
- High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): This type of workout alternates between bursts of intense activity and periods of low intensity activity or rest, and in turn it boosts your metabolism and helps you burn more fat. You don’t need equipment and can do it anywhere. You can do star jumps, burpees, squat jumps or jumping lunges for 45 seconds each, followed by a short 15 second break, then repeat 4 times. This intense cardio burst will give you an immediate energy boost!
*British Tea and Infusions Society: https://www.tea.co.uk/tea-faqs
*British Coffee Association: http://www.britishcoffeeassociation.org/about_coffee/coffee_facts/