Ah, coffee. One of the great fuels of the 21st century. The number of Instagram quote-posts on the subject of one beverage is quite baffling for someone who avoids the stuff entirely. Yes, true life: I eat breakfast, face blank pages and meet girlfriends… minus the coffee. The latter is probably the hardest- even in England, ‘wanna grab a tea?’ just doesn’t quite cut it.
Before you start recommending the Starbucks shot I need to try in order to ignite an undying passion for the brew, let me tell you: my objection to coffee is a relatively new one. I essentially blew my minimum wage spends as a teenager on lunchtime lattes.
However, a few years ago I developed a digestive condition that left me with an intolerance to my favourite thing. No more coffee: I went cold turkey. Yes, my Common White Girl archetype could well have had a tiny moment. Avoiding PSLs is still very difficult (#pray4me) but here I am today, managing to leave the house unzombified (most of the time).
I swear by this stuff for pretty much every ailment. Headache? Hangover? Bed separation anxiety? A slice of lemon in hot water has been proven to aid digestion, cleanse your liver, boost your immune system and indeed, wake you up. It’s also a great method of teaching your body to cut out coffee, seeing as it helps you feel awake without risking that nasty afternoon crash.
Add more water. Make it ice cold.
Ice cold water is the best thing to drink if you want to feel rejuvenated when you wake up. If you often feel dehydrated when you wake up then reaching first for coffee really isn’t going to help the situation. Ice cold water will make you feel so much fresher.
Get the right kind of fuel.
I’m a Leslie Knope-style believer in the power of breakfast and the sovereignty of breakfast food. No, it’s probably not sensible to eat waffles and ice cream every day, but leaving the house on coffee alone is not going to help you out in the long run (those dreaded 11 am munchies will hit you so hard). Try a protein-rich breakfast and enjoy the feeling of not actually being hungry until lunchtime.
An apple a day…
May well keep the doctor away, but apples also contain natural sugars and carbohydrates that will help stabilise your blood sugars and make you feel much livelier. An apple is essentially like a cup of coffee: just less expensive and…fruitier.
And finally, I’m gonna say the E word. Sorry.
Yep, exercise is obviously a great way to wake your body up. I don’t know about you, but I have gathered some serious dust on my gym membership now that it’s started to get colder. Running you say? What is running? Nevertheless, even if exercise isn’t your thang, some gentle stretching or yoga practice will make your muscles up and act as prep for the day. Watch some YouTube tutorials, buy an inexpensive mat and get all Instagram-esque-smoothie-yoga-health-high-and-mighty on your morning. Take that, morning.
I’ve slipped up a few times (espresso martinis are my jam) but trust me when I say that having gone without it for so long, one sip of an iced latte is enough to recognise the effects of coffee on your body. Jitters and queasiness are all I remember before slipping into a coffee-induced coma for twelve years.
But seriously: there are alternative ways to fuel your day.
Image via Abigail Paige