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Some caffeine alternatives might include various types of herbal teas. A person who relies heavily on the effects of caffeine to stay awake may also be able to get the same effects from other natural methods, such as showering and eating something sweet. It might also be beneficial for a person to take short, 20-minute naps in an attempt to recharge the body's energy level. Even though black tea does contain some caffeine, it has much less than coffee and may be able to help a person feel alert without all the negative side effects of high concentrations of caffeine.
There are many teas containing various herbs that could be considered caffeine alternatives because they mimic the caffeine side effects that most people seek, such as the ability to stay awake and mentally alert. Licorice tea is often thought to have a stimulating effect on the body's adrenal glands. Yerba mate, which is a very popular drink in South America and is made from the dried leaves of the tree with the same name, is considered useful for extra energy. Switching to decaffeinated coffee or black tea may also help because even though caffeine is still present in both drinks, it is present to a much lesser extent that is not typically considered dangerous. The alert feeling a person is used to getting from caffeinated beverages is still possible to attain when consuming these drinks, but in much safer doses.
It can be difficult for a person who is trying to wean himself off caffeine to stay awake if he is used to using it for that reason, but there are some natural caffeine alternatives that may help that are not in beverage form. When sleep is imminent and not desired, a quick shower may be just enough to perk a person up for a bit longer. Sugary foods also tend to give a quick rush of energy, although this tactic should be used minimally to avoid possible weight gain repercussions. Another idea is for a person to take a nap for about 20 minutes if she feels tired, but not for any longer. Twenty minutes is usually just enough to give a person the rest he needs to stay awake for a while longer, but an alarm clock should be set so that the nap does not extend past this time.
The process a person must go through to wean herelf off caffeine may be trying, but the results should be worth it. There are some benefits to caffeine, but only when it is consumed in moderate amounts. Most people get too much caffeine every day through coffee and energy drinks, and this may do more harm than good. Over time, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and increased nervousness may result from the regular intake of excess caffeine. Using caffeine alternatives in place of caffeine may over time help a person kick the habit for good.
I recently went through the typical caffeine-withdrawal headache routine and quit caffeine. Yoga helped with the headaches -- a lot! Especially going from the "down dog" pose to the "cobra" pose. I've tried yerba mate. It feels a little different from coffee, that is, less anxiety, no problems with the circulation in my legs, more lasting "up" and less crash, less intense "up," but there is a question as to whether or not yerba mate contains caffeine. They put "caffeine" on the label now, so it probably does. At least it tests positive for caffeine by US standards. Also, there is controversy as to whether yerba mate causes (or is associated with) cancer in countries where they use a lot
I've tried Adderall, but it is way too powerful for me. You have to have a bogus diagnosis of ADD (I suspect almost all diagnoses of ADD are misguided), and a prescription to get Adderall anyway, and I don't recommend it. It's an amphetamine. I am a zombie for three days after taking one 10 mg Adderall, time-release type. The first day I'm a humorless machine cranking out work tirelessly. They say the side effects, as well as the positive effects of any amphetamine diminish with use, but look at the side effects of (the related drug) methamphetamine and tell me that the side effects of such similar drugs go away completely. I don't believe it.
Guarana is another substance I've tried. It supposedly contains caffeine plus theophylline and theobromine, which are chemicals similar to caffeine. I found it has a longer "up" than caffeine in coffee and black tea. Maca Root is another thing to try. It has no caffeine and is said to give increased mental alertness. I've tried it once since I've been off caffeine and I thought it woke me up a little, but I drank a bunch of fruit/vegetable juice with it, so it might have been just a sugar rush. Ginkgo Biloba is another possibility. I took it for years and found that it definitely helped my memory. I don't think it had any effect on staying awake or alert, but I'll have to give it another try now that I'm off caffeine. I stopped taking it because it seemed to cause venus stasis in my legs (poor return of venus blood), but that might have been the combo of caffeine plus ginkgo biloba. It's the real thing, though, if you're just interested in memory improvement.
There are vitamin B12 shots, also. I took B12 pills for years and didn't notice anything, but the first time I got a B12 shot, it was a strong stimulant. I've been taking a shot every month now for six months and don't feel any boost from the shots anymore. I was probably low in B12 to begin with. Ginseng? Nah. I never felt any boost from ginseng. Some say they have, though. One web site says you have to get a specific type or it's no good. He was selling it, though, so you can't believe a word he says. Not one word, OK? Use your head. Would you trust a stock broker or commissioned "investment counselor" from a big trading house to guide your investments? No. So don't trust an internet alternative herbal drug pusher when it comes to the "health investments" they're selling. Anyway, hope some of this helps.
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