Usually I use this space each week to talk about quick, easy and relatively healthy foods that working moms can feed to their families. But this article got me thinking about how we feed ourselves – or, rather, the things we put into our bodies in order to accomplish all that needs doing each day. The article’s called “Caffeinated Moms Drink Up to Keep Up” and it’s about how moms are drinking huge amounts of caffeinated beverages. According to the National Sleep Foundation, more than 65 percent of moms rely on coffee, soda and energy drinks just to make it through the day.
“I can definitely say without a doubt that I am addicted to caffeine,” says Sarah Kripal, mother of two from Lincoln, Nebraska. “I need about four energy drinks, three cups of coffee and a six-pack of soda every day.”
Um… ouch. I hope she’s exaggerating, because my heart is racing just thinking about that! Now, I enjoy coffee, but I’m not addicted. A mocha at Starbucks is more of a treat every other day or so. If I’m getting addicted to anything, it’s a glass of wine before bed to help me wind down. (OK, I realize I just made it sound as if I’m a budding alcoholic, but I swear it’s just a little yummy Cabernet, and not every night – it’s not like I’ve got a bottle stashed under the bed or anything.)
I can always use an energy boost, however, and my method seems to be pigging out at lunch and dinner, then riding a carb high until I crash in the middle of the afternoon or evening. Then I’ll reach for a soda to help drag my butt to the finish line. Healthy, right? Great for the waistline, no? Yeah. It’s going to catch up with me sooner or later, but filling yourself to the gills with Red Bull and Americanos isn’t healthy, either.
The article suggests proper diet and exercise can help boost our energy levels naturally, as can taking time out each day to refresh and rest. But I suspect many of us wouldn’t be looking for a caffeine fix if we felt we had the time to eat better, exercise more and take a few minutes of “me time” each day.
So I’m curious: What do other moms do to get a bit of extra energy on a hectic day when a jog or a nap is out of the question? Any special snacks you keep in your desk drawers? Have you discovered an all-natural energy drink? It’s OK if you want to admit you’re a Starbucks junkie or that you’re strung out on Diet Coke and Smarties. Commiserate or offer advice–I’m cool, either way. I’m just looking for something that won’t leave me resembling Jabba the Hut by the time I retire.