Natural caffeine equals a healthy life

Grace S.

Assistant Editor

In the world of health standards and fitness, caffeine has been a staple in keeping people all around the globe energized and awake. Most human beings start their mornings with a cup of coffee to wake them before work or school. Students around Woodstock agree that a caffeine boost is an absolute must to start the day. However, the chemical caffeine is becoming more of a problem for some rather than a solution, as genetically modified or enhanced caffeine chemicals can cause an almost addictive side effect. No fear students of WHS, there are many natural alternatives to caffeine.

Caffeine is very bad for the human body. Yes, caffeine provides benefits such as being more alert and giving a quick fix for having to pull an all-nighter or for waking up early in the morning. However, caffeine is naturally generated by the human body through a natural process in which hormonal adrenalin is produced by the adrenal glands. If someone were to take a quick caffeine boost, that person would be tripling the amount of work the adrenal glands already put forth. The extra boost of caffeine leads to overuse of the glands that lead to the body not being able to have a healthy balance of neurotransmitter serotonin, a hormone in the brain that can upset the mood, sleep, and appetite cycles. The unbalanced production of this chemical can cause the body to not listen to the signals sent by the brain, which tell a person to eat or sleep.

If a person were to take natural substitutes for caffeine, there would be less harm towards the body and a better peace of mind when it comes to what is in one’s body. Junior Isabel Horta says, “I never drink coffee, but I still want to have the caffeine boost without all the side effects.” Natural caffeine methods are a new opportunity to those who never really have coffee or energy drinks, but still want to have the experience of a caffeine boost. All of these organic methods provide a small, natural dose of caffeine that will help a person stay energized without overworking the caffeine production already going on in the human body.

Ginkgo biloba is an herbal extract from a tree. Used by the Chinese to stimulate, the herb increases blood flow to the brain and extremities. Studies show that ginkgo biloba provides better focus and agility when used. It can be taken in the form of herbal tea, vitamin pills, and liquid. Melody Jacobs, a patient at Children’s HealthCare of Atlanta, says “My mom introduced this to me awhile ago because I always tend to be sluggish and tired in the morning; so far I love it!”  However, the Ginkgo biloba has a very bitter taste and sometimes is off-putting to users.

If Ginkgo biloba is a no-go towards one’s taste buds, an alternative would be ginseng. Derived from the ginseng root, ginseng has been known for its healing and energizing effects on users. This form of caffeine would be beneficial for those who hate coffee and energy drinks. Usually the ginseng is taken in the form of herbal tea and vitamins. Ms. Jacqueline Vance, English teacher, says she loves having a cup of herbal ginseng tea in the morning rather than coffee because it helps her wake up and start the day.

While many people have searched high and low for the perfect caffeine substitute, most experts say that ice water in the morning with the vitamin pill B12 is a great substitute towards genetically modified caffeine. B12 is known for its mentally-clarifying and energy properties. There is also a melatonin property within the vitamin that helps with the sleep cycle by balancing a healthy immune system with natural processes that can wake a person up without having that unnatural caffeine. Vitamin B12 is an extract that is normally found in water, soil, or certain plants. Tracy Hilmore, a citizen of Woodstock, says, “I love the benefits of the B12 vitamin, and I like how easily accessible it is to people.” She is right about how easily vitamin B12 is found; just simply go to the local grocery medical section and pick up a bottle!

There is another simple product to keep a person awake in the morning: an apple. An apple a day keeps the pain away, according to studies across America. Recently, surveys and scientific studies show that eating an apple can provide awareness, mobility, and an energy boost that will last better than caffeine brand name drinks such as Mt. Dew, Coca-Cola, or Starbucks coffee. Senior Emily Nevitt says, “I do not like to drink soda or coffee, so being tired can be challenging at school. However, the idea that an apple can wake me up during class seems promising.” That is why eating an apple should be a good substitute for caffeine.

As for other sources for natural energy, try searching the internet for creative substitutes for caffeine. There are many of blogs, websites, and books dedicated towards helping others with issues regarding food or drink substitutes. Also, there are Pinterest boards with people having the same struggle as others, working together to make these substitutes delicious as well as beneficial towards one’s body.

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