In an ideal world, you’re an entrepreneur who clocks 8.5 hours of solid sleep every night, wakes up naturally and never checks your phone right away, and you even have time for a five-minute skin regimen and ten minutes of meditation before settling in for your work day.
The reality is far from it. Every day there’s a new article on the pros or cons of caffeine, how to kick the coffee habit or learn to brew a better pot, and basically a non-stop war on the battle of caffeinated coffee.
If you’re a coffee drinker and an entrepreneur, it sounds like a nice idea to cut back on the caffeine—but are you really going to do it? Is it really bad for you, anyway? More than likely, you’ll stick with your morning jolt.
What you might want to consider is that there’s more than one way to get your caffeine fix. Coffee might seemingly have a corner on the market (kind of like Starbucks) when it comes to caffeine, but there’s a myriad of foods that also offer this must-have ingredient.
Whether you swap out a cup for one of these treats or complement it with them, try out these alternative caffeinated foods for your next pick me up:
This one is by far the most widely known, but bear in mind that the darker and purer the cacao, the more caffeine you’ll get. Plus, the darker and purer you go, the lower the sugar content and better the health benefits are, anyway. Most new, genuine chocolate eaters start at around 80 percent cacao and go up to around 90 percent. Only the seriously hard-core chocolate lovers get to the near-100 percent mark, and just a square or two per day will do the trick (Bonus: It’s the perfect accoutrement to coffee).
Obviously, teas have caffeine too (although not as much as coffee). However, swap out one cup of java per day for a cup of green tea and you’ll still enjoy your caffeine jolt—but with fewer teeth staining and some added benefits. Green tea is one of the few means of preventing both dementia and arthritis. You can’t overdose on tea, so if it delivers the caffeine you need and you love the taste, you might even slowly transition from coffee drinker to tea drinker.
3. SumSeeds Sunflower Seeds
You can’t pick up just any pack of sunflower seeds and expect an energy rush, but the SumSeed brand has infused their seeds with caffeine. They also come with natural energy boosters including ginseng, lysine, and taurine. Naturally, sunflower seeds are brimming with vitamins and they don’t have any sugar. One serving of SumSeeds offers 140 mg of caffeine, which is the same as having four cans of Coke!
4. Pain relievers
Taking even over the counter pain relievers can be dangerous, especially if you’re also drinking or mixing them with other medications. You should never take painkillers for the energy boost alone, and should always check with a doctor if you find yourself taking any kind of medication on a routine basis. However, many OTC painkillers are infused with caffeine since it’s a natural means of numbing pain. Just be aware if you have both a tension headache and a craving for caffeine that popping an Advil and foregoing that cup of coffee might be all it takes
5. Perky Jerky
Is your craving for caffeine on par with your craving for protein and meats? Perky Jerky is the ultimate snack that offers less sodium, calories, and fat than other beef jerky. Plus, it comes with 95 mg of caffeine per serving, which is the same as a can of Red Bull. If you love your caffeine but it does a number on your stomach, fill up with a healthy protein-rich snack while simultaneously getting your buzz on.
Being an entrepreneur is no easy task, and you need all the help you can get. However, cup after cup of coffee can get old. Find a new way to get energized before your next big pitch or project.