How bad is caffeine for our health?
Do we love the taste.?…Or do we rely on the caffeine boost? Many people swear they can’t get through the day without a coffee, or several, as people feel physically tired and mentally foggy without it. How can a reliance on this be healthy? It is a drug, so like any drug there are perceived benefits that we all like to focus on but we ignore the fact that it’s so detrimental to our health. Caffeine actually alters the way your brain works, and can cause temporary changes in your behaviour and mood. The main culprits to inject us with the heroin of the beverage world are thing like fizzy drinks, coffee, energy drinks, black tea, green tea and chocolate.
Ok.. Some Of The Bad Stuff…
Coffee, in addition to caffeine, contains pesticides, fungicides and herbicides, which all have a cumulative effect in the body. Coffee is the most heavily sprayed food ever grown, conventional farmers apply up to 250 pounds of chemical fertilizers per acre!! So when you sip on your non-organic morning brew, you are also sipping on pesticide residues…Nice! Aside from the damage coffee alone can do, pesticides are contributors to a wide range of health problems, including prostate and other cancers, Parkinson’s disease, and miscarriages.
The risk increases by 200% if you drink more than 160 mg of caffeine per day while pregnant, it can also be transferred trough breast milk AND stays in your body – and the body of your unborn child, who has no way to detoxify this drug.
Caffeine raises acidity levels in our blood, to explain here’s a quick recap on chemistry for you… The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral, 6.9 and less being acidic, and 7.1 to 14 being basic, or alkaline. Our bodies function best when in an alkaline state of 7.365. Pouring caffeinated drinks into your body flushes out the minerals that balance your ph levels, decreasing your ability to absorb calcium, magnesium and other precious minerals our bodies are friends with. So…our bodies remain in an acid state which alarmingly causes calcium to be pulled from your bones and teeth for use leading to increased chance of osteoporosis. When I learned this, I had a WTF moment!!
When you drink caffeine it triggers neuron in your brain that causes an “emergency response” in the body, more commonly known to us as Fight or Flight. This is ideal when we fall into danger and have to act quickly, but not when we are sitting in an important meeting at work! So what happens when the adrenaline wears off? We become tired, sluggish, moody, hunger cravings for sweets later…. and so we reach for another coffee. A vicious cycle.
You get a short term boost, and your reward is long term fatigue. Overworked adrenals and a blood sugar imbalance means your body isn’t as effective at its other jobs including boosting your immune system, regulating blood pressure and producing hormones.
Addict or Habit, Friend or Foe?
It is quite possibly both, but every habit you have is a result of repeated thoughts and actions that become planted on your subconscious mind – that’s how it becomes a habit. Your subconscious picks up what you regularly do and think, then you automatically follow what is now a habit. Makes sense right?!
You drink your coffee a certain way because you’ve formed a habit, whether it be as soon as you wake up, or when you stop at the services, or after dinner.
TIP: Be aware of habits that don’t serve you and recognise the original thought that creates the habit.
Revitalise tips to reduce your caffeine intake:
- Wean yourself off gradually by switching to decaf, or watering it down more.
- Drink green tea as it still as a caffein hit but much subtler.
- Try raw cacao powder and add it into a smoothie, it only has a trace of caffeine and I love it!
- Eat a healthy breakfast. Having lean protein in the morning gives you energy for the day and this will reduce your need for other stimulants.
- If you do insist on drinking it, switch to organic coffee, and avoid having it with milk and/or sugar.
- And finally…this is a big one….Mental strength! Achievement in anything is in the mind, if you think you can’t, then you can’t. If you want to stop, and believe you can, you can!
Much love and Peppermint Tea