Let’s talk caffeine. These are dreaded words for the caffeine addict. Caffeine is a compound found especially in tea and coffee plants and is a stimulant of the central nervous system. The ups and downs of that caffeine causes on your body include dehydration, raising blood pressure, gastrointestinal problems and adrenal exhaustion. Many people feel that caffeine raises stress levels and anxiety.
Caffeine causes blood sugar swings and may cause sugar cravings to become more frequent. Type 2 diabetics should be aware that caffeine may potentially impair insulin’s action, causing a detectable rise in blood sugar levels.
Simply put, caffeine puts your body on a roller coaster much like sugar, and when you crash, your body wants more energy – usually in the form of more caffeine or sugar.
By the way, it’s not all bad news as far as caffeine is concerned, and more studies are showing that moderate consumption of caffeine has been shown to help prevent diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Caffeine can also help with alertness and concentration and contains antioxidants.
What is the answer? Is it ok to drink coffee and tea? For some people – it is, in moderation. Our bodies all handle caffeine differently. Take a look at how much caffeine you drink in a day. Is it one cup of coffee or tea? Or do you drink coffee and caffeinated tea throughout the day? Do you ever feel side effects like stomach cramps or anxiety?
For most people, I recommend keeping it to one cup of coffee or caffeinated tea per day – OR eliminating it entirely.
Here are some replacements for coffee:
*Decaf coffee (cold-processed, organic)
*Fruit infused water (my favorite combo is fresh mango with mint)
*Sparkling water with fresh lemon or lime
*A glass of water
Take a look at how much coffee you drink every day. If you drink more than 1 serving of caffeine per day, start to wean yourself down to one cup. Doing this gradually will help you avoid caffeine withdrawal symptoms. Also, a lot of people find drinking a large glass of water in the morning helpful to not crave caffeine. Sometimes when we crave coffee in the morning we are really just dehydrated.