Caffeine is one of the most abused substances in the world. For many of us, our days don't even begin until we have our morning cup of coffee. Leading endlessly fast paced lives, it's no wonder why so many of us feel the need for a little chemical help to keep up. With early morning classes, meetings, staying up late studying, working late hours in the office, taking care of your family, and so much more, there's no doubt we find ourselves dragging throughout the day.
While caffeine certainly works to fight off sleepiness, it does so at a cost. Caffeine can have some fairly negative and potentially dangerous side effects that are important to understand. Caffeine has been thought to have negative effects on learning and memory, anxiety and depression, and dehydrates your body. With all these negative side effects, caffeine at a reasonable amount is typically fine for the average individual.
But, if you are interested in pursuing other options for an energy boost throughout your day, try out these simple and healthy alternatives.
Ginkgo biloba is a wonderful natural alternative to caffeine that can help give you a boost throughout the day. Taken from the nut of the ginkgo biloba tree, this extract has been used for its healing properties for centuries. Ginkgo biloba has been used in ancient and modern Chinese medicine to treat asthma, bronchitis, fatigue, and many other ailments. Many doctors today recommend that people take ginkgo biloba extract on a regular basis for improved memory and focus and have found it beneficial for circulatory diseases, sexual dysfunction, and multiple sclerosis. This natural extract works as a wonderful alternative to caffeine by increasing blood flow to the brain and extremities. This increase in blood flow resembles the effect of exercise on the body, helping you feel more energized, awake, and alert. For those wishing to break their coffee habit, try buying the ginkgo leaf and using it to brew a hot tea. This is a wonderful and healthy alternative to your morning cup of Joe.
Ginseng is another wonderful natural alternative to caffeine. Like gingko biloba, ginseng is also extracted from a plant and has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine. Extracted from the ginseng root, this supplement has been used in modern and ancient medicine to help with depression, anxiety, type II diabetes, sexual dysfunction, and to increase flood flow (similar to ginkgo biloba). As energy drinks become more and more popular, we are seeing ginseng root pop up more often. Ginseng is believed to have energizing effects, but typically not with the small doses that are put into energy drinks. Nonetheless, many people report feeling more awake and alert after consuming ginseng root. Along with its other beneficial effects, ginseng can make a healthy alternative to caffeine for some people. It is recommended that you discuss taking ginseng with your doctor before you try out a regular routine. There are some known negative interaction with the root, so be sure to discuss things with a professional first.
Vitamin B12 plays an important role in your natural brain function, nervous system function, and blood formation. On top of offering all of these natural support, B12 also plays a major role in your energy level and mental alertness. You will likely find this vitamin as a prime component of every energy drink you've ever tried. Not only does B12 help energize you, it also affects your body's production of melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone that regulates your sleep cycle. If this sleep cycle is disrupted, you can wake up feeling sluggish and ill rested. Melatonin helps to kick your sleep cycle back into a normal pattern and B12 is essential in the production of it.
B12 is possibly one of the best alternatives to caffeine because it both keeps you alert during the day and helps normalize your sleep patterns.