If there's one day that you want to be alert, energized, and ready to rock and roll, it's on your wedding day. But be wary about chugging back-to-back mugs of coffee, soda, or energy drinks while you're getting ready, as experts warn that there are more drawbacks than benefits to drinking too much caffeine on the wedding morning. Just like alcohol tolerance, caffeine tolerance varies greatly among people. "Someone who seldom or never has any foods or beverages with caffeine will have a very low tolerance for it, with even just a little bit causing jitters or hyperactivity," explains Roger E. Adams, PhD, personal trainer, doctor of nutrition, and owner of eatrightfitness. "On the other hand, someone who has copious amounts of coffee or energy drinks throughout the day will likely not be that sensitive to caffeine's effects."
It's important to keep in mind how much you're drinking. The average cup of coffee has anywhere from 50-150 mg of caffeine, but tea contains much lower amounts, usually 50mg per cup or less. The safest range, according to Dr. Adams, is about 400g per day, or the amount typically found in a Starbucks "grande." But if you don't consume much or any caffeine in the first place, even this amount may not be tolerable. Also, it's important to keep in mind that caffeine stays in your system for four to six hours. For this reason, Josh Axe, D.N.M., C.N.S., D.C., founder of Ancient Nutrition and DrAxe.com, explains that it's easy to consume too much caffeine throughout the day and not even notice until you start to develop symptoms of excessive consumption, which can include everything from headaches, nervousness, restlessness, and irritability, to excessive urination, increased blood pressure, anxiety, upset stomach, and even muscle tremors.
Bottom line: It's likely safe to drink one or two cups of coffee (or another caffeinated drink you like) on your wedding day, assuming you usually consume caffeine and tolerate it well. However, if you don't usually drink caffeine and aren't sure how your body will react, experts recommend avoiding it altogether and sticking to these alternatives instead.
It's so important to stay hydrated on your wedding day, and this can even be accomplished by drinking flavored and even carbonated water if you're not a fan of regular H20. "Don't wait until you feel thirsty to drink a glass of water—that usually means that you are already dehydrated and will feel fatigued any minute," says Dr. Axe. He recommends adding natural flavor enhancers to your water to make it more drinkable, including fresh watermelon, lemon, mint, cucumber, ginger, or berries. "You can even add one or two drops of a high quality, pure grade peppermint, lemon, orange, or grapefruit essential oil," he says.
If you're looking to increase your energy levels without the help of caffeine, Dr. Axe recommends drinking a green smoothie infused with nutritious ingredients like kale, spinach, and flax. "These nutrients and antioxidants will not only boost your energy levels, but will help keep you satiated, too, especially if you add a scoop of protein powder," he says. "Try a combination of leafy greens (like kale), apple, cilantro, ginger, and fresh orange juice."
While green tea contains some caffeine, the amount is far less than what you'd find in coffee or black tea. Plus, green tea offers a slew of additional health benefits, including the phytonutrient theanine, which has relaxation properties, adds Suzanne Dixon, a registered dietitian with The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com.
Instead of relying on caffeine, Dr. Adams recommends consuming small amounts of protein throughout the day (trail mix, veggies, hard-boiled eggs, or peanut butter) to keep energy levels up without adding stimulants to an already taxed bridal nervous system. "This will keep stomachs settled, energy constant, and won't have any side effects from too much caffeine," he adds.