Saturday, 12 April 2014

Are you relying on coffee?

We all like to think that we eat and drink healthily. Maybe your paleo or clean eating.
We no longer drink soft drinks or power drinks filled with caffeine, we no longer use sugar as a stimulant to get us through day to day life.

Is Coffee your crutch or stimulant? 

But at the same time we still have the same inclination. We want to be the most awake, the most alert and the most productive. In the past we have used sugar to constantly pep us up, to keep us going and wired.

Addictive substance rehabilitation centres often report that drug addicts come off hard drugs but often then replace their habit with a sugar habit.

Well from my experience we can continue the same habit and inclination on the Paleo diet.
I think that the substance that we use is coffee. When going Paleo I cut out all soft drinks and dilute drinks, not to mention fruit juices. Now I drink a lot more water. But I found that I was drinking a lot more coffee. Probably because of the reduced amount of drinking choices. Coffee is a good tasting drink!

How much coffee do you drink?

But if you count up the amount of coffee that you drink would you be shocked or surprised?
How much caffeine are you having in a day? Maybe the best idea is to make a coffee diary and count the amount over an average day. 
I would have 5-7 cups in the day. Subconsciously I was using coffee as my crutch. It was what I was using to put the pep in my step.

As we know though, too much caffeine can tire our adrenal glands, and anything that gives us that lift will ultimately drop us worse than we were before. Instead we should try to let our body find its natural level. We need to find an even keel and then be happy with our bodies level of performance. Your caffeine intake could be giving you a false high of energy or spirits only to drop you afterwards. Are you overly tired, moody and fatigued? One of the reasons could be adrenal fatigue. There are other reasons of course but beware of boosting a tired body with caffeine. 

Are you tired when you get to three o clock in the afternoon? Instead of a strong brew of coffee to pump up your system, how about a 5 minute nap or relaxation routine? That can leave you far more productive and naturally rested.
How about getting outside for some fresh air and some sunshine for ten minutes as you relax? Perhaps close your eyes and try to clear your mind.
If your extra tired could your body be telling you that you need extra sleep, that you are deficient in some micro nutrient or need to change something about your lifestyle?

But I love my coffee!!!

Me too! I like my coffee. What I have done as part of a transition is switch to decaffeinated coffee. It doesn't quite taste the same, but I've found a brand I like. Don't be fooled though that you can drink as much Decaff as you like, it still has roughly a fifth of the caffeine as regular coffee. Experts seem to differ but it seems a safe number. So if I still have my 5-7 cups depending on my day, by having decaff I'm having roughly the same caffeine as 1-2 cups a day.

Give it a go. You might be relying on coffee and caffeine more than you think. Don't hide your natural signals, instead harness your body for best performance in the long run.

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