What you NEED to know about your caffeine habit

What you NEED to know about your caffeine habit

Can you relate to this story??


Your alarm goes off in the morning and you wake up tired (again). You feel as though you have barely had any sleep. You force yourself out of bed, and with an almost immediate reaction you turn to the quick cup of coffee to wake you up. The buzz from the coffee sets in and you feel as though you are ready to face another day.

 Mid-morning, the buzz from the coffee has long gone, and you are feeling a slump in your energy levels. The solution to the problem….More coffee! This pattern continues throughout the working day to maintain your energy levels and focus, or maybe the coffee is substituted for energy drinks, sugar or chocolate to gain this buzz.

You use these substances again to stay up late at night so you can do that extra bit of work or study, ignoring your body’s need for rest.


What if I told you that caffeine and energy drinks are actually the cause of your tiredness and lack of energy and not the solution? Unfortunately most people don’t realise the damaging effects too much caffeine has on the body. Within the body caffeine stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, or otherwise known as the “fight or flight” mechanism, resulting in the release of adrenaline and stress hormones. This is what happens in the body:

 

  • The liver releases sugar into the bloodstream, as the body believes it’s in a stressful situation and needs lots of quick energy to escape. Blood sugar surges into the bkodtream, which is causes the "buzz" effect. 

  • Elevated insulin levels occur to deal with the high amount of blood sugar, which is quickly stored in the fat cells particularly around the abdomen.

  • Major disruptions to blood sugar regulation eventually resuls in low blood sugar or the “crash” effect from excess insulin secretion, calling for more caffeine/sugar to regain the energy buzz.

  • The alertness and focus experienced after consuming caffeine is due to the "fight or flight" cascade of hormones, which also elevate heart rate and breathing as the brain believes danger is around.

  • Fat burning, digestive function and immune regulation functions are all inhibited during and after caffeine consumption.

 

This perpetual cycle can eventually exhaust the adrenal glands resulting in adrenal fatigue, infections, and other disease processes. Caffeine creates a STRESS RESPONSE within the body, and too much stress is counterproductive to our attempts of gaining optimal health and fitness. 


Moderation is the key, however this is very individualised and if you are your goals are anything to do with changing your body or getting healthy than its best of to let this habit go because it is not helping you to your goals and may be further inhibiting your results. Unfortunately caffeine has become a crutch for the population. Everyday stress and increasing demands in our working lives are causing us to have an energy deficit that is driving us to consume caffeine and energy drinks in concerning amounts. For the health of your body it is wise to nab this dependency in the butt by implementing the following tips.

 

5 Tips to break the Caffeine Cycle

1) Reduce of eliminate your caffeine intake.

Caffeine should not be a substance that we rely on and become addicted to just to wake up and function throughout the day. When our bodies are in prime health we don’t need substances to give us energy, the healthy food we eat and the invigorating exercise we do will create this energy.


Note: If you are weaning yourself off coffee, make sure you don’t have coffee after 1pm. Caffeine has a half life of 6 hours, therefore if you have coffee at 3pm then half the amount of caffeine will still be in the body at 9pm, disrupting your normal cortisol rhythm and affecting your sleep cycle.


2) Get a good nights sleep.

Sleep is so important, but too many people today do not respect their bodies need for a restful 8 hours of sleep. Getting a good amount of sleep will ensure the resting and repair of our biological systems so that we are prepared for the next day. Be in bed by 10:30pm. Avoid bright lights, using computers or watching TV right before going to bed as this will affect your nights sleep.


3) Incorporate healthy fats into your diet.

Healthy fats in the form of meat and dairy from pasture raised animals, organic free-range eggs, seafood, coconut and coconut oil, butter, avocadoes, raw nuts, and cold-pressed olive oil are important in the healing of our hormonal system, hormonal production and optimal functioning of our biological systems.


4) Drink plenty of filtered water.

It is recommended that each person aim to drink 0.033 x their body weight in litres of water per day.


5) Stress less.

Relaxation is a good way to wind down after your day. Relaxation exercises before bed, such as thoracic mobilisation on a foam roller and the shoulder spine integration movement will promote a restful night sleep and also have postural benefits. Daily meditation for 20 minutes in which you clear your mind, breathe and re-centre yourself if ideal to help disappate the built up tension from our daily lives.

 

About the Author

Kristy Emmett is a Personal Trainer at Enliven Fitness, a Holistic Health Coach and Registered Nurse. Kristy understands first-hand the healing and enlivening properties of good quality organic nutrition, living a balanced life and exercising regularly, and has used these principles to overcome her own health ailments including adrenal fatigue, hormonal imbalances, and digestive issues. 

 

Kristy is passionate about all things health and diet related, and inspires her clients to make positive life-long changes to their life, take care of their body, mind and spirit; and to become their healthiest self-possible.

 

Kristy's ultimate aim is to empower individuals to not settle for mediocre with their health and their life in general, but to strive for a body, mind and life to be proud of.

 



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