I know that drinking too much coffee every day is not good for me, yet I still struggle to limit myself to four cups of Colombian roast a day. For me, coffee is an intrinsic part of my day. The joy of joe, for me, is as much about routine as it is about caffeine.
Nevertheless, the latest research tells me that I need to cut down. But what is life without the things that make us happy. I want to reduce my consumption of coffee without really trying, and I think I’ve stumbled across a few ways to do it.
You don’t need to deprive yourself of the coffee that makes you happy; just a few changes to your routines here and there should be sufficient.
Drink a little later
This may sound odd, but bear with me. If you usually have your first coffee of the day at 8am, try having it at 8.30am. Move your second cup from 10.30am to 11.30am. Just this change alone allowed me to cut my average daily coffee consumption from six cups to five.
Add a cup of tea to the mix
I love to have a hot something to sip on at my desk, and while it usually HAS to be coffee, I don’t mind substituting the odd cup of joe for green tea now and then. Full of antioxidants, green tea is great for the immune system.
Get more sleep
If you’re one of those people who parties hard several times a week and loses lots of sleep, the chances are you’re using coffee as a self-prescribed medication a lot of the time. Take steps to regulate your sleep patterns, including removing visual and aural stimuli from your bedroom, maintaining a consistent bedtime, avoiding alcohol within three hours of going to bed and maintaining an appropriate temperature in your bedroom.
If you can get the seven to nine hours sleep most people need, you won’t be as tired during the day — reducing your reliance on caffeine to keep you sharp.
Improve your diet
Have you ever wondered why you feel devoid of energy at 11am every day? One possible reason may relate to what you’re eating for breakfast. As a good rule of thumb, your breakfast should be about as calorific as your lunch. You should also be eating good, slow-release carbs such as those provided by whole wheat and whole grains. Avoid breakfast featuring lots of processed sugar, as they provide a quick burst of energy, but they won’t get you through to lunchtime. A lot of people lack energy because they skip breakfast altogether, so they turn to caffeine as a substitute.
Don’t make coffee the first thing you do in the morning
So many of us turn to coffee before anything else in the morning. However, if you can get out of that habit, you might be able to slash your caffeine consumption. Research has shown that some rigorous exercise can energise you much more effectively than caffeine can. So instead of reaching for the French press when you wake up, go for a brisk walk.
Use smaller cups
This particular option doesn’t work for me, as I make coffee in a French press — and invariably drink the lot in one go. However, by cutting the size of your coffee cups, you may be able to cut your coffee consumption by up to a third.
Keep a coffee journal
This particular tip worked wonders for me. Although I didn’t keep a journal as such, I made a note on my phone every time I drank some coffee. I discovered that, on some days, I was drinking as many as seven or eight cups of joe. Just knowing this helped me to moderate my coffee consumption. If I’m ever in the mood for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up, I check my notes to see exactly how much I’ve already consumed that day.
You don’t need to deprive yourself to cut down on your coffee consumption. Just a few changes to your daily rituals should do the trick!