“We drink caffeine to fire us up, sugar to keep us going and alcohol to bring us down” (Dr Marc Cohen). This is the story of modern lifestyle beverages that make your health and your willpower suffer.
Working with countless women and men on weight management, clean eating, detoxification and fasting, I often meet people reluctant at first to give up their daily (multiple) coffees, their frequent glass of alcohol or their habitual soft drinks. And for good reasons: when they withdraw without supervision, their willpower let them down or they experience drastic side effects such as headaches, constipation, agitation…
Let’s see, what’s happening in your body when you consume caffeine day in and day out, or when you rely on it to go through your day?
1- Caffeine is a psychostimulant. It acts on the emotional and pleasure response in the brain that may lead to addiction. Ever tried to give up and end up with lethargy and headaches?
2- Caffeine is an energy stimulant. It makes you feel alert by blocking the adenosine receptors in the brain. Great to feel awake but not so good when you lose the signal it’s time to wind down (because you are stressed, overwhelmed or it’s time to sleep).
3- Caffeine is a digestive stimulant. It raises your stomach acid levels. This can cause heartburn and is not good if you suffer from ulcers.
4- Caffeine improves your focus. However, it may become harder to focus on anything after consuming too much. So you tend to get more for the same effects.
These psychotropic & addictive effects show that moderation is key.
People engaging in our Weight Management or Fasting programs are learning to experience vitality without these external stimulants, through a step by step process. Caffeine beverages are then reintroduced occasionally as a treat. For some sensitive or addictive personality we are working with long-term alternatives.
I invite you to follow the evidence given by your body. Pay attention to how you feel when you drink a coffee. Do you feel good for a short period and then feel irritable or sluggish? Are you more sensitive to pain? Did you notice you need more for the same effects?