You + Caffeine = ?

Coffee mug full of caffeine

So many of us are reliant on caffeine for that morning and mid-afternoon energy boost. But it might be causing us more harm than good! So how do you know if you need a break?

Some of us (yes me!) can experience

  • Mood swings after the energy boost (depression, anger, fatigue)
  • Jitters and nervousness
  • Increased anxiety (this is a very common)
  • Hormonal symptoms worsen (such as PMS)
  • Poor sleep and digestive issues
  • Weight loss resistance

When you’re reliant on caffeine, you’re not allowing your body’s natural rhythms to provide you with energy.

When you drink coffee, it spikes your insulin and affects your blood sugar levels and it’s important to keep your blood sugar balanced, in order to feel grounded instead of experiencing the peaks and drops in energy that caffeine can cause. These highs & lows are stressful on the body (your adrenals and immune system) and can cause weight loss resistance since the body’s natural response to stress is to hold onto body fat and it becomes resistant to building muscle.

And there’s more!

The increase in blood sugar levels also causes cortisol spikes which creates the dreaded sugar and carbohydrate cravings.

And, cortisol is released by our adrenal glands so if you’re already suffering with sleep challenges, depression, fatigue, an unexplained weight gain, and feel emotionally fragile, adding in caffeine to try and counter these symptoms is only making the problem worse.

Are you thinking, But I can’t survive without coffee!?

There are two things I suggest:

  1. Slowly wean yourself off so that you don’t feel completely exhausted. Decrease your caffeine intake over a course of a week. Swap out your caffeinated drinks (8 oz. coffee has about 108 mg) with less caffeinated options like black tea (42 grams), green tea (25 grams) and finally move to herbal tea (0 mg).
  2. If you’re going to drink something caffeinated, especially in the morning, at least drink it with a complete meal since that provides your body with some protein and fat to stabilize your blood sugar and keep your energy levels more regulated.

If you use rely on caffeine each day, be extra mindful over the next week of your mood and anxiety levels after you have your morning or afternoon pick-me-up. Would love to hear your questions or comments below!