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Most of us start drinking coffee or caffeinated products at a young age. I and many health professionals have noticed the effects caffeine consumption has on day-to-day life. It becomes an apparent issue now that we are in our early 20’s. I challenge you to take the steps with me to better your health and state of mind.

I started drinking coffee every morning as an early teen. Like most, this habit has seeped its way into my early adulthood causing my daily routine, mood, and appetite to be altered. It was only in my sophomore year of college that I realized the chokehold caffeine had on my mornings. According to Web MD, continuous overconsumption of caffeinated products can lead to insomnia, nervousness, and increase heart rate.This semester, I’ve decided to make conscious decisions to put my physical and mental health first. You should too. 

After realizing how dependent my days are on coffee, I made three simple changes that everyone should try. 

The easiest way to overcome the craving for coffee is to simply to replace it with something else. Choose something hot or cold, and experiment with techniques, flavors, and brands. Whether it be decaf or tea, anything that starts to break the habit will work. The best replacements that I’ve found have been matcha (it contains little caffeine) and hibiscus tea. Both have great health benefits. I recommend a little bit of research to find the perfect replacement for your individual needs. You can find inspirations for replacements on pinterest and health blogs! Instead of waking up craving coffee, shift your mindset into wanting to try something new, and explore the world of exciting beverages, without the crash and harmful side effects. 

After habitually drinking coffee, it’s hard to reset a routine along with your body. The best way to wake up and start your day is with a glass of water. This will jump start your internal clock and metabolism. Follow this cup of water with food. As I started, after drinking less caffeine in the morning, my cravings for food first thing in the morning started to return. According to Healthline coffee suppresses appetite and promotes stomach emptying. All of which could be harmful first thing in the morning. Some of my morning go-tos have been oats, and smoothies- both offer ways to get creative and have a variety of choices each morning. By replacing the craving for coffee, drinking water and fueling up with food, you are breaking the harmful patterns caffeine could be causing. 

Last but definitely not least is my favorite method for overcoming caffeine addiction. Herbal remedies have made their way into almost every niche of health and wellness. They have also become my favorite way to combat my desire for coffee. Herbal shops are a great way to get educated on what herbs can benefit you the best! They are extremely cheap and there are endless combinations you can create. Some of my favorite blends include mullein, passion flower, damiana, and motherwort. Each herb has individual benefits ranging from heart and lung health to pain and anxiety relief. When in combination, herbs can have intense effects such as energy and clarity of thoughts. There are loads of herbalist shops around the city. I can recommend the Herbiary located in the Reading Terminal and Earth Mother Herbs in North Philadelphia. 

Although it will take some time to adjust to life without coffee on an empty stomach every morning, trying these tricks may help you start finding your natural drive. This is not to say stop drinking all caffeinated products forever, but rather use it as a treat because your body and mental health should be your biggest priority. Try these tricks with me this fall to overcome your caffeine addiction.

Rose Mastrangelo is a junior studying advertising. She is passionate about all forms of art and is a ceramics enthusiast. When she isn't curating her dream life she enjoys mediation and yoga.
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