Why I stopped consuming caffeine

I grew up drinking a lot of soda as a kid, and as I stopped drinking soda because of ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, I switched over to drinking coffee, as most of the population do. There are several Starbucks in my hometown, just around every corner for your convenience to help you keep up with this rat race of a culture. The problem is that long term, caffeine is actually making you more exhausted and burnt out.

Yep.

I am highly in tune with my own body and how it reacts to different foods, drinks, medications, herbs, and so on, therefore I started to notice that when I would consistently consume caffeine, I would have a migraine for two days straight by skipping the coffee on the weekends when I didn’t feel I needed a boost of energy. That unease brought me to reducing my intake of caffeine down to a couple days out of the week drinking a cup of coffee. As my tolerance to caffeine went down considerably, I noticed that on the days that I would drink coffee I would feel some anxiety and jitters. Eventually, I became pretty sick of moderating my mood and energy with this external source of stimulation and completely stopped consuming it.

That’s when I began to notice that I have more energy than ever before, and it’s consistent. After doing some more research, I found that the reason is coffee causes your adrenals to overproduce adrenaline. This is the hormone responsible for the fight or flight response, and exactly the reason I noticed feelings of anxiety after drinking a cup of joe.

Another hormone that’s becoming affected from the adrenals because of coffee intake is cortisol, most of you may know as being the stress hormone. After drinking coffee you artificially elevate your cortisol production. Your body then reduces its on natural production of cortisol as it becomes dependent on coffee. What does this mean? Well, cortisol is naturally used in the body in order to help wake you up in the morning, as the adrenals produce majority of the hormone as you begin your day. So, now skipping one day of drinking coffee you will feel depleted as your natural mechanism of awakening is disrupted. This can cause insomnia, and metabolic issues.

With overproduction of both hormones in your adrenals, the body is feeling very plagued with work and in time you experience adrenal fatigue and burnout.

I know, as a culture we have certainly grown to be attached to our morning cup of coffee, but I ask you to question this and ask if that’s really working for you personally. Perhaps limiting your intake and reducing your tolerance can help to slow the affects of adrenal fatigue for you, or maybe doing as I do by either drinking hot tea in the morning, or decaf coffee with a nut milk creamer.

Give it some thought. But, mostly just do what your own body responds best to.

Wishing you wellness,

Mindy Sheppard

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