How to Cope Without the Coke
Some other tips from the trenches of life with reduced caffeine:
- Eat a protein-rich breakfast in the morning to maintain energy throughout the day.
- Buy cans of carbonated, flavored water. Whenever the urge to have a soda hits, pop open a can of carbonated water. At least you get to hear that "pop" sound and have the fizzy mouth feel!
- Although chocolate has caffeine, it is much less than what's in coffee, so try drinking a hot chocolate instead of a coffee-based drink.
- Put more milk in your coffee so that the same amount of coffee stretches out to two cups. (Plus you get the added calcium from the milk!)
- Because caffeine stays in your body for several hours, drinking caffeine in the afternoon or evening can disturb your sleep, leaving you wanting even more caffeine the next morning. Break the cycle by eliminating late-day caffeine first.
- Go slow—reducing caffeine intake too quickly can cause withdrawal symptoms like headache, nervousness, restlessness, and fatigue.
- Don't beat yourself up. Stress caused by unreachable goals or overly tight restrictions may be just as harmful to your well-being as a cup of coffee!
It may help to keep the goal in mind—a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. Cutting back in the preconception period will help you when you do become pregnant, because the US Food and Drug Administration recommends an even lower intake (no more than 150 milligrams per day) during pregnancy. That's about one cup of coffee!