1. Keep the routine – cut the caffeine.
Whether it’s black coffee or a latte, that morning beverage is not only all about the caffeine boost – it’s a central part of the morning routine! But, 8 ounces of coffee packs at least 95 mg of caffeine.
Let’s be honest – most of us don’t just drink 8 ounces of coffee. Most of our favorite mugs are at least 12 or 16 ounces, which means we are drinking 1.5 to 2 times the caffeine before we even start our day if we only drink one mugful!
So, how can you keep your routine, have energy for the day, and reduce your caffeine?
Like any change, it doesn’t have to be done all at once. Give yourself a reasonable deadline for when you want to lower or reduce your caffeine intake and then gradually start reducing your caffeine.
Find a new love.
Instead of completely changing your morning routine, change what you’re taking in during the routine. Yes, you can keep the 10 minutes of quiet before the kids wake up as you savor a warm beverage and do it without caffeine!
If you love the taste of coffee, start brewing a caf-decaf mix, gradually increasing the amount of decaf in your brew. Decaf coffee still has trace amounts of caffeine, in amounts of 2 to 5 mg for every 8 ounces. Quite a reduction from 95 mg!
If one cup is really enough for you, but you find yourself drinking an entire pot because it’s there, just brew one cup. Setting your environment up to support your desired habits is key to ensuring success.
If your desire is more for something warm, try a cup of herbal or green tea instead. Many herbal teas are decaffeinated naturally and green tea typically only has 25 mg of caffeine. That’s almost 75% less caffeine than a cup of coffee.
Over time, your body and brain will start to associate your routine with waking up instead of relying on caffeine to get you going. Give it time and be patient with yourself.
2. Add movement to your mornings.
Maybe coffee isn’t central to your morning routine, but feels like a ‘must’ for energy, clear thinking, a good mood, and being a present mama! What can you do instead? Move!
Just 10 minutes.
You don’t have to add an intense workout to your already jam-packed morning routine to get that energy boost. Even a brief 10 minutes of movement can get your blood flowing, your brain alert, and give you the chance to feel prepared for whatever the day has in store.
Brighten up the space.
Whether you choose to do 10 minutes of sun salutations, a brisk walk, gentle stretching, or even shaking out your limbs, find a bright space to move in the mornings. The extra light will further stimulate your mind, telling your brain it is time to wake up.
If your energy lags later in the day, especially as you start cutting caffeine, give yourself even one to two minutes of movement to get that energy boost again. Experiment as you find what movement works best for you in the mornings and throughout the day.
3. Eat energy-boosting foods.
Food can also be an amazing way to increase your energy without caffeine. Finding the right energy-boosting foods can sometimes be a challenge, but replacing those cups of coffee with superfoods can give the same, or better, energy boost to help you feel ready to tackle the day.
Keep it balanced.
Energy-boosting foods work best when we eat them in groups rather than in isolation. Finding a balance of complex carbohydrates, protein, and fats is the best way to infuse your system with long-lasting energy first thing in the morning.
Foods that are minimally processed will provide the best energy for your body. Not sure what whole foods will pack the most energy? That’s ok!
Here are a few ideas:
- Oatmeal with nut butter topped with banana
- Veggie and egg scramble with whole-grain toast or a side of fruit
- Green smoothie with nut butter or avocado and chia seeds
Experiment to see what not only gives you an early morning boost but also gives you lasting energy until your first snack opportunity. Keep track in a journal or on a calendar so you build a stock of ideas.
Prep the night before.
Adding breakfast can feel overwhelming, especially when mornings are often chaotic. Set aside 5 to 10 minutes the night before to prep your energy-boosting breakfast so you can have it on hand as you go through your morning routine.
Setting down that cup of coffee can be a daunting task! Your mornings can forge ahead, full of energy, without caffeine. Start slow, have grace, and take that step to find what energy-boosting routine works best for you.