Starting your morning with a nice cup of Joe is second nature to many of us. In fact, for most, the day is impossible to face without it. If you’ve ever missed your morning caffeine fix, you know all too well the headaches and fatigue that can follow. Despite these withdrawal symptoms it might be wise to revisit and revise your morning coffee ritual.

Caffeine is similar to adenosine. Adenosine is a chemical that links to cell receptors in the brain and creates a feeling of tiredness. In fact, they are so similar that caffeine can easily slip into receptors instead and completely block them off. Over time, ingesting caffeine can alter the chemical composition of the molecules in the brain. Big deal, right? Oh but it is. This can lead your brain cells to grow more adenosine receptors in order to maintain an equilibrium in the face of so much caffeine. Now that your brain has more adenosine receptors, it will take more caffeine for you to get your energy boost. This is exactly how people become addicted — more adenosine receptors mean an increased feeling of fatigue which can only be fought with more caffeine, which is met with the production of more adenosine receptors. And round and round we go.

Another thing to keep in mind is that caffeine is highly acidic and can cause your teeth to yellow, no matter how vigilant you are with your oral care routine. If you are worried about your skin, coffee is not your friend. Daily excessive caffeine intake can also prompt acne outbreaks!

If you’d like to kick your habit, start slowly. As with most addictive substances, going cold turkey may be too much. Try to cut your daily intake by 25% a week and within a month, you will be free.

Start your day with a big glass of water and 5-30 min of quiet self meditation or yoga. This will give yourself a natural energy boost. And before long, you will notice you’re sleeping better at night and feel more refreshed during the day.

Think of what you can accomplish if you aren’t depending on chemical energy!