We're all guilty of it, leaning on our dear friend coffee as a pick me up. It starts out as a social activity, you text a friend asking if they want to meet up for coffee because lets face it, it's delicious and you're bored. You then find yourself incorporating it into your morning routine, and then re-fuel at the office to keep you on your toes. Eventually, you start sneaking it into your daily schedule as mid-day snack or after dinner compliment.

If you're like me, you eventually get to the point where you feel like you need coffee to perform morning, noon, and night. This is where it gets a little tricky, because simply drinking coffee doesn't give you the surge of energy it once did, and you're finding yourself more jittery than energized after three cups of coffee by Monday afternoon. 

If you're under the impression that you down too much of the magical elixer and want to make a change, consider the following.

Signs you're drinking too much coffee.

  1. You find yourself fiending for it, as if your mere existence depends on it. 
  2. You don't believe you can reach your true potential at work without it.
  3. Your teeth are stained brown because they come into contact with coffee more than they do toothpaste. Also, your teeth whitening budget keeps increasing.
  4. All of your social activities center around it.
  5. When you start gifting people who don't drink coffee gifts related to coffee assuming they'll like it as much as you do (i've done this, the fake gratitude gave it away). 
  6. When the backseat of your car is littered with empty cups. Embarrassing!

How much coffee is too much?

It is believed that an adult should not consume more than 28 eight-ounce cups of coffee per week, as negative side effects begin rearing their ugly heads when you exceed four cups of coffee per day. There are arguments both for and against drinking coffee, but I always lean in the direction that it's the sugar that's really bad for you, not the black coffee.

How to power through the day without caffeine.

Get enough sleep and drink more water. Fiending that extra energy boost? Perhaps trying to get a good nights sleep and drinking the recommended amount of water each day. This combined with eating a well balanced breakfast might give you the natural pick me up you're searching for. I've always struggled to drink enough water throughout the day, but it actually does make a huge difference not only in how I feel, but also how I look.

Get your blood flowing at break time. What do you do on your lunch break? If you find yourself with excess time, fit in a short workout such as a quick run or even jumping rope. Getting your adrenaline pumping will wake you up in a heartbeat.

Craving a cup of coffee? Incorporate tea into your diet, a warm cup of tea with honey can work as a placebo for a steamy cup of joe. If you're a fan of the experience of drinking a nice cup of coffee like I am, this might do the trick for you.

Make sure you're eating enough. For someone who loves to eat as much as I do, it's strange that I can become so busy, that I actually forget to eat until I get home at night. This definitely has an effect on my decision making at work, and being called hangry is only funny for so long. If this is you - perhaps you're lacking some of the important vitamins and minerals that could help you to boost your brain power throughout the day. Take a look at your diet, and make sure you're giving your body what it needs to succeed.

Breaking a habit (any habit) can be a process. Take everything in moderation, aim to stay below the recommended four cups of coffee per day. Imagine how much more work you'll get accomplished when you're not hanging out by the coffee machine all day long.