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How To Wake Up And Stay Alert Without The Help Of Coffee

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- The alarm goes off, you stumble out of bed, and go directly to the coffee machine. Or perhaps you just aren't a lover of the java.

Either way, If you're not a fan of coffee, or think you might be too reliant on it, John Shumway has some great advice for you.

UPMC Magee Women's Hospital Dietician Karen Kubas says some people just aren't coffee drinkers. "The caffeine can be an irritant. And it can also cause some dry mouth."

So if that's you, Kubas says there are alternatives, starting with good old water.

"After a night's sleep, you're likely dehydrated. We know if we're dehydrated and a lot of times, we do feel sluggish or we feel weak, we're tired, so getting that water in, or another beverage that you enjoy drinking will help you to be more hydrated, will help you to become more alert in the morning."

Some people like to mix up some lemon water.

Kubas says, "Well, the lemon helps the taste of the water for sure, but then it does have some of the antioxidants in it."

Kubas, who admits to a morning cup of coffee, says green tea is her second choice.

"It does have some caffeine in it, but not as much as coffee, so sometimes people prefer that for that reason. And it has that theanine, which is also supposed to be helpful and calming, having a calming effect at the same time increasing your alertness."

If its your taste, beet juice can have the positive effect of "opening up your arteries so to speak, so that your blood flow is greater. So if you're getting more blood flow to your brain, that might help with your alertness level."

Orange juice, apple juice, and all the fruit juices get a thumbs up from Dietician Kubas and she adds, "Some people like to make smoothies in the morning with fruit and yogurt or milk, again that's another way to get some carbohydrate and protein to get you going in the morning too."

She is skeptical about using hot chocolate as a morning drink.

Kubas points out the calories that come with that jumpstart, but she says it is a warm drink that might get some people going.\

Kubas says most of the research that have been done about morning drinks have been done on animals, so your results may vary.

But the key, Kubas says, is to get some liquid into your system to get your brain working.

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