I almost feel guilty writing about watching your caffeine intake because it is one of my “habits to work on”. Despite the summer heat, I still enjoy wrapping my hands around a warm cup of coffee in the morning. I may think I’m a little dependent on caffeine, to say the least, but I recognize the good in taking a reality check to see just how much I need it. The good news: if you can get past a few headaches and sleepy mornings, the caffeine habit can be kept in check.
Take this short quiz to see how your caffeine habits stack up.
Answer each question as it best applies to you:
1. How many cups of coffee do you drink each day?
a. None, I feel refreshed as soon as my feet hit the floor.
b. 1 or 2, to get the day started.
c. Until the pot is gone; you don’t want to waste it!
2. How many cans of pop do you usually drink each day?
a. Maybe 1 a day.
b. At least 2, but sometimes more if it is a groggy day.
c. I should have bought the giant jug at the gas station long ago because I’m always drinking pop.
3. What are your thoughts on energy drinks?
a. “What’s an energy drink?”
b. “They make me too jittery.”
c. “They are a life-saver when I’m feeling sleepy.”
4. How much sleep do you typically get?
a. 7-9 hours of solid sleep
b. 5-6 hours, if I’m lucky
c. Less than 5 hours
5. How would you describe your need for caffeine?
a. I usually feel rested enough that I don’t need much if any caffeine.
b. I definitely need a dose of caffeine to get my day started, but that’s about it.
c. I need to refuel on caffeine when my buzz wears off.
Add up your total number of “a’s”, “b’s”, and “c’s” to see how your caffeine habits stack up:
Mostly “a’s”:You may enjoy an occasional caffeinated drink, but you don’t rely on them to get you through the day. Continue to keep your energy level boosted by getting enough sleep, eating well, and being physically active.
Mostly “b’s”:You enjoy having a caffeinated drink or two to keep you awake and alert but you don’t require a constant caffeine buzz. If you’re having trouble getting your day started, try getting more sleep, eating a balanced diet, and being more physically active.
Mostly “c’s”: You enjoy your caffeinated drinks and overtime they have become vital to get you through your day. To help you sustain your energy level with less caffeine, try to get more sleep. Eating a variety of healthy foods and being physically active can be a natural energy booster. Consuming too much caffeine may result in insomnia, dizziness, increased heart rate and blood pressure, anxiety, nervousness, and irritability.
Find your healthy balance. If you gradually reduce your caffeine intake, your body will adjust.