I am a daily coffee drinker but am wanting to replace that energy with something healthier.
What are some foods I can add to my breakfast to give me energy for the day? Or what foods should I stay away from or add to my daily diet in order to feel more energized?
Caffeine makes your heart pump harder raising blood pressure and adrenaline levels (fight or flight response). Half the effect lasts for 6 1/2 hours. So the total effect of caffeinated beverages lasts 13 hours. There are about 100 milligrams of caffeine in 8 ounces of coffee and around 60 milligrams in 1 ounce of espresso. Compare that to the 16-ounce grande container with 200 milligrams of caffeine that you may be drinking.
Tea contains half the caffeine of coffee with about 50 milligrams of caffeine in 8 ounces but it will depend on how long you steep the tea bag. Customary steep time is 3 minutes.
Many people rely on coffee to wake them up in the morning. However, if you get 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night, you may not feel the need for a caffeinated beverage.
Have you considered drinking green tea for breakfast? It has caffeine, but also has health benefits. A variety of green teas are available in your grocery store and looks like a tea bag of green tea leaves which usually produces a green colored tea.
Have you heard of matcha? It is finely ground green tea leaves. While it contains caffeine (30 milligrams caffeine per teaspoon of powder), it contains antioxidants that bind free radicals which cause cancer. Matcha powder (1 teaspoon) is dissolved in 8 ounces of boiling water and stirred briskly with a whisk to dissolve the fine powder. Try matcha made with steamed milk instead of water. BTW, there are 3 grades of matcha – culinary (used to make green tea ice cream and cooked in foods), universal (middle grade for making tea), and ceremonial (used in Japanese tea ceremonies). You are most likely to find matcha in an Asian grocery store.
One research study talks about matcha reducing stress by an amino acid theanine (which is in protein) and tension with increased calmness. Another study found matcha improved attention and memory while reducing distractions. Another study concluded that matcha increases fat burning in women who walk briskly for 30 minutes.
Depending on how much coffee you drink in a day, If you were to gradually replace 1 cup of caffeinated coffee with decaffeinated coffee, you will find that instead of the highs of caffeine after drinking coffee and the lows of caffeine wearing off matcha becomes a smoother energy experience.
Since you didn’t mention what you currently eat for breakfast, try some whole grain bread or cereal with fruit, milk and a cooked egg for some protein. Or a whole grain slice of bread with old-fashioned nut butter (only ingredients nut and salt) and a 4-ounce glass of fruit juice. Or a whole grain slice of bread and a slice of cheese with fresh fruit. There are no rules as to what to eat for breakfast. You could eat a sandwich or leftovers from a previous meal.
Eating a large meal at breakfast may make you sleepy as your blood will be pooling around your intestines to absorb the nutrients from your meal. (Sleepiness will not be the cause after decaffeinating.) This pooling of blood diverts blood away from your brain which is what causes the sleepiness. Protein will help keep you awake to start your day.