12 Simple Tips To Ditch Coffee In The Morning
Have you had your cuppa yet?
You probably have.
If you are anything like the rest of the UK, you’ll have already had a cup of tea or coffee before 9am each and every morning. And while enjoying the odd caffeinated beverage is fine for most people, the caffeine we drink as we head into, and through menopause, can have a bigger effect than you’d think.
As we age, we tend to drink more caffeinated drinks – around 24% of people over 60 drink over 20 cups of tea a week – that’s more than a jittery 3 cups every single day of the week.
While drinking tea or coffee may seem like a harmless way to wake up, it’s worth remembering that our caffeine fix is likely to be exacerbating menopause symptoms such as hot flushes, insomnia or anxiety.
Firstly, as we age, and particularly as we head through menopause, our bodies become less efficient at processing caffeine.
This means that those jolty effects of your morning cuppa may last longer, and be stronger than you think. With extra caffeine circulating around your body, your ability to drop off to sleep (and to stay asleep) will be affected. This in turn makes you more tired the next morning, and therefore in need of a strong cuppa to wake you up.
Poor sleep, combined with caffeine can heighten anxiety and lead to heart palpitations, shaking and hot flushes. All of these things can happen during menopause anyway but add in your reduced ability to process caffeine, and you are suddenly exacerbating a lot of symptoms which you really don’t need.
What’s more, caffeine is a known diuretic. It causes your kidneys to work harder, removing water from your system and making you pee more.
If you are dealing with the symptom of stress incontinence, a hastily filling bladder is probably not what you need. Equally, the diuretic effect of caffeine also adds to dehydration, which is an important consideration seeing as many of us don’t drink enough water.
So, now you are aware of just a few of the reasons for curbing your reliance of caffeine to wake up, what will give you that ‘wake up’ buzz without the caffeine hit?
Here are 12 tips to ditch coffee and get you jumping out of bed in the morning:
Go to bed in good time. Sounds obvious, but a good sleep is key to waking up without needing caffeine. I share more tips here for sleeping well.
Drink a glass of warm water first thing in the morning. This will hydrate your body straight away – important as you lose a lot of water through breathing and sweat during the night.
Try a cup of herbal tea, such as peppermint or ginger, which will get your taste buds off to a flying start.
Take a cold shower. You might not feel very tempted by this, but I guarantee you’ll feel wide awake afterwards. You don’t need to do the whole shower cold – just a quick 30 blast at the end will invigorate you!
Wake up and stretch. Before you get out of bed, allow yourself the chance to stretch, or try out some morning yoga to wake up those sleepy muscles and get your blood pumping.
Head out for a brisk walk; the fresh air, and early morning sunlight will ensure you come back ready for the day.
Eat a solid nutritious breakfast, such as eggs or porridge or leftovers from your previous meal which provide sustained energy rather than the huge sugar hit from most cereal which is followed by a sugar drop (and requires either sugar or caffeine to get you going again!)
Pop some tunes on and have a quick kitchen boogie. This will get your blood moving, your muscles engaged and your energy levels (and endorphins!) nice and high!.
Find a few moments to meditate or practice mindfulness. It may seem counter-intuitive, but allowing your mind to relax will help you feel more focused and reduce stress so you can get on with your day like a zen master.
If you struggle in the Winter months, it might be worth investing in a light therapy lamp. Used correctly, this will simulate natural sunlight, regulate your circadian rhythms and help you fall asleep at the right time and wake up feeling refreshed.
Try aromatherapy oils, including ones like sweet orange, peppermint or eucalyptus, to wak up your senses, improve your focus and brighten your mood.
Engage your brain with your journal or a crossword to get your neurons firing first thing.
While your traditional morning cup of coffee may currently feel necessary, it’s worth bearing in mind that relying less on caffeine to wake up could make a big difference as we approach and navigate menopause.
While quitting caffeine completely can be tricky, especially if you decide to go cold turkey, our tips to ditch coffee in the morning could be the start of you discovering wonderful ways to wake up without needing a bucket of coffee!