According to LiveScience’s caffeine info-graphic, as Americans we are the top consumers of coffee. Drinking caffeine has many benefits such as decreased risks of head and neck cancer, avid coffee drinkers have a slightly smaller likelihood of developing depression than those who avoid consumption, and most of all it boosts our mood and provides us with the energy we need to keep motivated throughout the day.
As a traveling nurse you know how important it is to beat jet lag and keep your mind and body in top shape! It takes about one day for each time zone crossed for our core temperature to adapt completely. And sleep is very likely to be difficult for a few days. However, as a travel nurse you most likely only have a few hours before arriving at your destination and starting your new job and it is very important to keep yourself energized while working with patients.
No coffee, no problem.
The strong aroma of coffee and its dreadful stains may not sit well with everyone. If you’re not a fan of coffee, don’t lose hope and even if you do love coffee, you may just want to change it up. There are a lot of conflicting reports about whether coffee helps or hurts us. Such as, how the caffeine in coffee increases your stress hormones, which frequently increases insulin and inflammation causing you to feel shoddy. While on the contrary, it’s believed that coffee is the single best source for antioxidants– minus all the sugar and milk.
Substitutes for caffeine drinks that offer similar focus and wakeful results are as follows:
- Green Tea– contains slightly less caffeine than a standard cup of Joe but gives you just the boost you need without the coffee jitters. Green tea is also packed with disease fighting benefits and is great for lowering your cholesterol.
- Smoothies– Nuts are filled with protein and fiber, so mix it up and have a nutty smoothie made with healthy alternatives such as almond milk, protein powder, and nut butter, like almond or pecan, to help keep you blood sugar levels from dropping.
- Black Tea– It’s packed with antioxidants and has more caffeine than the above green tea alternative. Some different blends of black tea include “Awake,” “Focus,” and Organic Chai”– made by Tazo.
- Wheatgrass Juice– it’s a natural energy supplement and is known as a liquid shot of essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Whether you like the taste or not, there is no denying that it’s one of the most nourishing juices.
- Chai– it’s smooth, creamy flavor tricks your mind into thinking that it’s coffee. Commonly made with black tea, milk, and a variety of nutritionally beneficial spices such as cinnamon, ginger, or cardamom.
- Iced Lemon Water– the cold water will kick-start your metabolism and the energizing effects of zesty lemon will stimulate your senses immediately making you feel more alert.
Not Thirsty? Try some energy boosting snacks!
Along with changing up your morning caffeine intake, you can continue to raise your motivation throughout the day with some healthy snacks. Snacking keeps your metabolism kicking and is a great way to boost your energy–if done correctly.
Always keep these nutritious energy boosting snacks handy!
- Fruits– such as bananas, apples, and oranges. They are easily portable and loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber. Any fruit is great for times when you need a little lift!
- Yogurt– it’s packed with protein which keeps you fuller for longer and gives you a bigger energy boost with healthy carbs. Change it up and add some cereal on top for some crunch.
- Nuts– such as almonds and walnuts are essential. They’re a great source of good fats, helping you to stay fuller for longer. They are also packed with fiber, and nutrients like selenium, vitamin E, and some omega-3s! Here’s a Tip: for the perfect serving size, fill an Altoids tin (about an ounce).
Kick start your new career.
Hopefully these healthy alternatives for coffee and other snacks will help ease some of the effects of jet-lag and get you moving. Continue to keep your mind and body energized while staying in top shape so you can not only enjoy your job but also your surroundings while traveling!