I have to say I started drinking coffee sometime in high school, maybe my junior or senior year. Coffee was familiar to me as my dad would always have some brewing for his commute to work. I couldn't tell you when I started drinking coffee but it was definitely related to the coffee-esk drinks that I could get at Starbucks. I slowly shifted away from the frappuccinos and the dessert drinks and into espresso drinks or regular coffee and would enjoy coffee in the morning with my family, on vacation or as I got older in college and needed it to help get me through early morning classes or long study sessions.
Without me even knowing it, I started to develop a caffeine addiction. I noticed it when I would have a day without any coffee (just because I was too busy to make it or stop anywhere to grab some) and by mid-day I would have a splitting headache. Right away I knew this wasn't something I wanted as a crutch so I gave myself a limit of 1 coffee a day to start to pull back. Eventually, that worked its way down to 1 coffee, every other day. I felt better in my relationship with coffee when I no longer got headaches on days without any coffee.
But I love the taste and ritual of coffee. The ritual of gathering in the morning over a cup of coffee, the creamy taste when mixed with my favorite creamer, or grabbing a coffee while catching up with a friend! But I didn't want to be dependent on it anymore solely for energy and the jolt to be awake.
As I have learned more about my body and my overall health, I wanted to explore ways to maximize my energy. This involved looking into other methods to start my morning! Coffee on an empty stomach and the only thing you consume for several hours in the morning can reak havoc on your body. I didn't know what it was before but now I noticed it; the hand trembles, the immediate drop of energy loss, feeling stressed or anxious. Coffee on an empty stomach can cause the body to produce excess cortisol (our stress hormone) and send you on a rollercoaster of hunger and energy crashes throughout the day. That's when I typically would reach for another coffee, and it became a vicious cycle. One simple change I made was pairing my coffee with some protein powder (a friend of mine called it "protein-coffee") to help get some protein in my system to help my body handle the caffeine better. But it's even better when you can have a well-rounded breakfast first, before your coffee. Giving yourself a meal of protein, dietary fats, and carbs before coffee can slow the spike of your blood sugar and save you from the energy rollercoaster, hunger, and any shakes or stomach issues.
I have grown into a morning person as I have gotten older and often either to get up and teach a workout class or to attend a workout class myself. Movement is a great way to naturally boost energy by giving your body an endorphin rush, boosting your moods (supporting serotonin levels), and increasing cognitive function. Not to mention this improves your quality of sleep which supports the future version of you in the morning! (It's all really a cycle when we think about it!). Challenge for you: Start your day with movement and you might find that you may not need your coffee and often reach for it out of habit. Maybe you switch it to half-caf or even decaf so you can still keep the ritual! Note how your energy levels are around 1 or 2pm.
Consistently starting my morning with a glass of water has also been a new ritual to support my energy levels. After being asleep for 7-8 hours, our bodies need to replenish the water we lost in our sleep. There is something so refreshing about a glass of water, right?! Replenishing the body with water, sometimes adding in a little bit of lemon, rehydrates the body which boosts energy to kick start the day. But of course, don't stop there. We want water throughout the day to support energy levels too!
I have never really been a tea drinker, but through my own exploration, I have learned how beneficial drinking Matcha is. Simply put, it is a more potent, concentrated version of green tea packed with antioxidants, amino acids (like L-Theanine which promotes calm alertness), and polyphenols. It does have a more earthy taste than green tea since matcha used the whole leaf. Naturally, I was hesitant but also curious how I could make this something I enjoy.
I challenged myself to swap my morning coffee for matcha for 1 whole month. This was challenging in the beginning especially in the morning when Joey would still make a large pot for coffee for 2 ...but I wanted to really see how I felt without coffee.
I started making Matcha Lattes with Pique Life's Sungoddess Matcha. I went with this brand because it is 100% organic, ceremonial-grade, and quadruple toxin screened, so you know it's the best quality! You can check out how I make my Matcha lattes on my IG reel. I honestly think the creamy cashew milk is what made it for me. I still get the creamy I love in my coffee but with all the added benefits of Matcha! After 1 month... I was hooked! I felt the lasting energy and seriously no 2 pm energy crashed from coffee. It was nuts!
All this to say, I still drink coffee. I still enjoy the taste, and yes I still reach for it in the mornings when I feel I need an extra energy boost. But I have learned there are other tools in my tool belt I can incorporate with or sometimes before my coffee so I can truly enjoy the coffee and not feel I need it. Coffee also has benefits of its own on our health. Rich in polyphenols, increase serotonin, and antioxidants.
It's just like anything else - this is unique to your body. So when you have coffee, take note of how you feel.