In today’s society caffeine is becoming commonly used as a drug, a stimulus, energy hit. Teas, coffees, flavoured milk, protein drinks, green juices, detox juices, chocolate bars, energy drinks all have a common pick-me-up included in them, caffeine.
So is it an everyday necessity or an occasional treat. Personally, a Latte in the morning is a necessity, a morning ritual I have been doing for over 15 years. Nevertheless, whichever way you prefer to consume caffeine, there are both health benefits and drawbacks to consider. Caffeine affects everyone in different ways so you must take responsibility for the way you look, feel, sleep, and perform.
- Faster Effects of Medication – Caffeine constricts blood vessels and helps the body absorb medications more quickly
- Diabetes Prevention – Coffee contains minerals and antioxidants which help prevent diabetes
- Antioxidants – Antioxidants in caffeine help stabilise free radials and stop them from doing damage
Caffeine is actually a stimulant drug, which makes the central nervous system in your body speeds up the messages to and from the brain. So when is the best time to drink coffee? I always kick start my day with a coffee but because we are guided by a 24 hour biological cycle or more commonly referred to as your circadian clock. So when you first wake up in the morning your brain is already flooded with cortisol, a natural chemical that helps you keep alert, so you probably don’t need caffeine?!
So let’s your cortisol time as 8.00am – 9.00am and have a coffee at 9.30am. It takes 10 minutes or so for the caffeine to kick in and another 30 minutes to reach its maximum levels, making you most alert after 45 minutes and your body might feel the effects of caffeine for 3 to 5 hours. Cortisol time then repeats around 12.00 – 1.00pm then you have between 1.30 – 5.00pm for another coffee.
If you are tired, irritable, lethargic, fatigued, stressed and have problems sleeping and you are living off caffeinated drinks I think you might consider ways to reduce your intake. Like everything, I like caffeine (particular coffee) in moderation, but I feel that many of us consume too much caffeine on a daily basis, not only in drinks (teas, coffee, energy drinks), but also in the food we eat. This overindulgence may lead to other health problems.
So my advice is to perk up with the FREE STUFF first, water. Many of us think we are tired, fatigue and or hungry but we are in fact dehydrated. If you’re a regular exercisers, then protein is another good alternative as studies have showed it can not only improve your mood and concentration skills it will help maintain your energy levels. If you are still struggling in the absence of the good stuff, ‘ caffeine’ then some alternative options like herbs might also be an option. I know my wife swears by Naturopaths so I am sure they could help you with your caffeine craving by suggesting a few herbs, possibly including ginseng, guarana, purple willow bark, cayenne pepper and ginger.
If you would like any more information on caffeine or have some remedies yourself please contact the Health Bloke, firstname.lastname@example.org, I’d love to hear from you.