Coffee is beloved by our entire community, but when you get to that fourth or fifth cup, you start to feel pretty blah. Or worse, it loses its effectiveness and you need it to simply function, rather than get a little boost when you need it. So what do you do to keep going on shifts when the long hours and high-stress situations are draining your batteries? Here are some caffeine alternatives to try.
* Get in some exercise - You don't have to do any hard cardio, but when you've been stationary for a while or you're starting to get a bit spacey, take yourself for a walk around the block (or around the floor if you can't leave). Do some of those stretches you always recommend to patients and get the blood flowing.
* Bring snacks and water - You're a nurse, so you know how important it is to stay hydrated! Your body needs fuel to keep going, so be sure to pack high-energy snacks like fruits and nuts that'll give you all the protein, good carbs, and sugars you need to perk you up. This is the important time: make sure you carve out the breaks you need to grab a quick bite! Keep an eye on your energy level and try to make it part of your routine.
* Fine tune your metabolism - You probably already know this, but in case you didn't: the caffeine in coffee can screw with the detoxification process of your liver, making it more difficult to maintain proper drug and other metabolism. Since caffeine is a stimulant, your body treats it like a drug, which means addiction and withdrawal is a concern. Instead of chugging coffee, try ice cold water or Vitamin B12.
It can be tough to kick the coffee habit, we know, but trust us when we say decreasing your intake will actually improve your overall energy levels. Give these alternative a try!