Put down the caffeine

 
By Mina Radman • Published: March 5th, 2014
Category: Health in a Heartbeat
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For many Americans, mornings begin with a cup of coffee, lunch includes a can of Pepsi and a mid-day snack is a chocolate bar. By drinking and eating those items, however, you could be consuming excessive amounts of caffeine.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, moderate amounts of caffeine aren’t bad for you. The recommended daily limit for caffeine is 100-200 milligrams, or one cup of coffee, but many people drink double that amount in coffee and don’t realize that caffeine can be found in chocolate, soda and chocolate milk. An excessive amount of caffeine makes you jittery, raises blood pressure, causes dizziness and could even change your heart’s rhythm.

It’s easier than you think to lessen your caffeine intake. Instead of a cup of joe in the morning, try one of these alternatives to energize yourself.

A cup of tea with breakfast is a great, warm pick-me-up. Black and green teas contain caffeine, but at minimal levels when compared to coffee. Black tea has 20-40 milligrams of caffeine per eight-ounce cup, while green tea contains 10-30 milligrams of caffeine per cup. A cup of coffee, on the other hand, has 95-200 milligrams of caffeine.

If you want to avoid caffeine completely but still want a little boost, take a B-12 vitamin and drink it with a bottle of water. B-12 vitamins can be found naturally in food or bought as supplements from a health store, and they may help increase energy and endurance.

Ever heard of the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away?” Not only can regularly eating apples improve your immune system, but an apple’s natural sugar, fructose, can boost energy.

By making simple changes to what you drink and eat, you can keep your caffeine consumption at moderate levels … and still show up to work bright-eyed in the morning.