Before the fall of my freshman year of college, I had never been physically addicted to anything. When visiting my family one weekend post-freshman year, I was lounging on my couch and had an extremely painful migraine. I tried laying down, drinking tons of water, taking medicine and even napping, but nothing seemed to work. After discussing what could be the cause, my mom asked if there was anything different in my diet.


Photo by Bari Blanga

It hit me: I hadn’t had any coffee yet that day. The only noticeable difference in my diet at home was the lack of caffeine I had been drinking. At school, I had three cups a day, even on weekends. That being said, after experimenting with alternatives and switching things up, I only have one cup a day now, sometimes none.

Just like everything in life, there is a point when you can have too much caffeine in your diet. The question is: how much is too much? Caffeine can have a variety of effects on your body: from giving you zero side effects all the way to anxiety, tremors, fast heart rate and depression. There are groups of people who should limit their caffeine if they are prone to stress, have high blood pressure, have irregular heart rhythms or have chronic headaches.

But before you ignore everything I’m saying and try to rationalize your coffee addiction, I do have options for you.

Instead of loading a K-cup into your Keurig in the morning, toss a bag of Ginseng tea in your mug and click the flashing blue button to pour hot water. Ginseng tea has been shown to boost energy levels, suppress your appetite and even improve blood sugar. If you’re not a huge tea drinker, add some honey and a dash of sugar to spice it up.


Photo by Bari Blanga

If you’re repulsed by the tea and won’t even consider Ginseng, try a super simple alternative: water with lemon. Lemon with water flushes out the toxins in your body, prevents wrinkles and acne and gives you more energy because of all of its vitamin C.


Photo by Bari Blanga

My last option for you is usually a shock to people, but I can vouch that it works. Instead of coffee, tea or water with lemon, grab a crispy apple in the morning and you’ll be good to go. Apples contain loads of vitamins that give you the energy of coffee without the inevitable crash.


Photo by Bari Blanga

Don’t believe me about these alternatives? Give them a try yourself, and I guarantee you’ll see how bright-eyed and bushy-tailed you can be without any coffee breath at all.

*Nutrition information from, and

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