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Coffee Or Bust: Tips On Minimizing Your Caffeine Intake As A Busy College Student

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCLA chapter.

As someone with a self-diagnosed caffeine addiction, I’ve definitely struggled with changing up my routine to include less caffeine, especially since my withdrawals can lead to excruciating migraines. However, after my second cup of coffee of the day, I often find myself worrying way too much or even getting the shakes during lectures. So lately, even with multiple 8AMs, I’ve been trying to cut back on that pesky caffeine for the sake of my own sanity. Here are some tips that have been helping me survive:

Wait at least an hour after waking up

I know. This one may sound impossible, but it’s actually been really helpful. Especially if I have an afternoon class, what I like to do is wake up and workout right away, only having had water and some food to fuel myself. If I still feel a little drowsy after my workout, or if I just want one, I’ll treat myself to a coffee. But honestly, once you start using this tip you might find that you don’t crave any caffeine to help you feel awake. This tip has also helped me have an easier transition to waking up earlier for my classes, which has been an absolute lifesaver.

try to limit energy drinks and sodas

Yes, as a beverage girlie, this tip is the worst. I am absolutely obsessed with Diet Coke (and no, I will not be hearing any aspartame slander), so this one is especially necessary. Although I try not to drink them multiple times a day (guilty as charged), the real focus for me surrounds making sure I drink enough water throughout the day. Even though I’m constantly craving the ethereal goodness of an ice-cold Diet Coke with a lime, my skin thanks me for it.

Eat Breakfast

I’m begging you. Please do not be that person who talks about how they’ve only had a coffee for breakfast. Not only does actually eating something in the morning help keep my stomach from growling during my discussion sections, but it also helps me wake up and stay awake longer. Food is fuel and nobody should be afraid of that, especially when you have classes to take and places to be.

try decaf

This one may be controversial, but try decaf! As someone who loves the taste of coffee as well as the experience of having one in the morning, I’ve been switching to decaf to limit any unnecessary caffeine-induced anxiety. Enjoying a cup of Joe in the mornings has become a cherished part of my routine that’s proved hard to give up (I’ll admit it, I’m a creature of habit). While you might occasionally get a headache without the added caffeine, you can still enjoy the little things you love, like a latte!

everything in moderation

Now, this rule is my favorite. The real tea here is that it’s not that deep. If you want a coffee, get a coffee! If you think that you’d be better off with decaf, then get decaf. It’s all about knowing your body and nobody knows that better than you.

While I urge you to think about your caffeine consumption, don’t jump to crazy restrictions which will ultimately lead to binges. Do what makes you happy, and if that means getting a coffee, then so be it!

Autumn Morgan is a third-year Film & Television major at UCLA who grew up in the San Fernando Valley. She thoroughly enjoys being overdressed and reading women’s divorce fiction. In her free time, you can find her laying by a river eating fruit.