In a fast –paced world full of endless to-do lists, deadlines, and the pressure to get as much accomplished in the shortest amount of time possible, it’s no wonder stress is the leading cause of most major diseases in America. Not only do we encounter stressful, day-to-day situations, we often don’t stop to consider the extra hidden stressors in our foods and beverages. We’ve been conditioned (thanks to the media) to believe if we reach for a midday coffee, a caffeinated soda, or energy drink, it will give us the power we need to conquer the day. Although a temporary surge of energy may occur, too many of these caffeine highs will eventually lead to an all time low. Stimulants keep our body in stress mode and when the body is in a chronic state of stress, it’s impossible to heal, and function properly.
Caffeine is a dehydrator, and since many of us struggle with the challenge to drink more water in an effort to stay hydrated, it’s counter-intuitive to our overall wellbeing. According to health experts, we should be drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day. Water helps regenerate our cells, organs, tissues and aids in flushing toxins while maintaining other bodily functions. As we lose water through breathing, sweating, and digestion, it's crucial to rehydrate. When we’re dehydrated, the body’s ability to absorb water is limited, and it begins to pull fluid from our bones and organs. If not addressed, this may lead to more serious health issues.
Skipping the sodas and energy drinks, as well as minimizing your coffee intake is a positive step in the right direction towards optimal health.
There are mixed studies about the good and bad side effects of coffee. One common fact is that it acts as a temporary stimulant increasing energy metabolism throughout the brain, while at the same time decreasing cerebral blood flow.
The quality of additives we put into our coffee also plays a critical role. If we’re adding processed sugars, chemical-laden creamers and artificial sweeteners, chances are we’re keeping our bodies in stress mode and high on the blood sugar roller coaster. (Blood sugar spikes high then falls dramatically after consuming too much sugar.) If you wish to keep coffee consumption a part of your diet, try substituting a natural sweetener like Stevia in place of sugar, or drink it black.
Eventually switching to a green tea or hot lemon water is most beneficial (plus you’ll be adding to your daily water intake quota). Studies have shown drinking green tea to stabilize energy, increase fat burning, improve brain function and lower risk of Alzheimer’s. While drinking hot lemon water on an empty stomach is known to maintain the body’s pH levels, it also promotes digestive health and weight loss (to name a few).
6 Negative Side Effects of Too Much Caffeine:
2. Constricted Blood Flow to Brain
4. High Blood Pressure
6. Rapid Heart Rate