— A lifestyle problem
We all have this preconceived notion that caffeine gives us energy but the reality is that caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, causing increased alertness which gives most people a temporary energy boost and improves moods. Or so you think!
Caffeine may give you a high in the short-term, but it also stimulates the nervous system meaning that caffeine can contribute to increased levels of stress.
Caffeine also increases cortisol and epinephrine levels both at rest and during periods of stress. High amounts of caffeine can lead to negative health effects associated with prolonged elevated levels of cortisol such as elevated blood pressure, increased sugars (glucose) in the bloodstream, suppressed immune system, amongst other physical effects.
If you are a frequent reader of our newsletter, you would know very well that we highly recommend that you manage your stress levels in order to maintain continuous optimal body performance. So, if you don’t currently have a recovery strategy in place in order to reduce your stress levels, consuming any drink with caffeine will only make your stress levels rise. Remember, stress is cumulative until we put strategies in place to manage these stressors properly.
We tend to believe that our bodies are just like computers, needing to be at optimal performance at all times no matter what the situation. We expect to work all day, go home to our friends and families, have a lovely evening and then sleep perfectly to recover our energy. Truthfully, how often does that actually happen?
Unfortunately, we are not computers. We are human individuals that need to help our bodies understand the real value and challenges of our current lifestyles. With all our current, everyday stressors, caffeine won’t be of much help if we don’t have recovery strategies. In fact, using caffeine as a stimulant will work in the opposite direction and worsen our stress levels.
This unnatural way of keeping our bodies alert eventually takes a toll. Our natural way of functioning gets disrupted due to our constant intake of caffeine and impacts how we feel and behave. There are other options out there that are worth exploring that can increase your energy levels and awareness without increasing your stress levels. Some options include breathing exercises, walking, physical activity, meditation, etc… Just to name a few.
Don’t get us wrong, we all loooooove a good espresso but such a treat should not be abused.
Our belief at Balanced Rebel is based on awareness. When you are aware, you can both indulge and control your health. So ask yourself, what is the value of my coffee? Is it emotional? Am I just looking for that additional energetic rush? Is it just to socialize? Whatever your findings, remember there is no right or wrong answer. Just ask yourself if that habit fits the purpose you are looking for without compromising your sleep, eating habits, rest & recovery and ultimately your health.
At the end of the day, it’s all about you and what works for you as an individual.