Does the following scenario sound familiar to you? You wake up in the morning, and the first thing you do is shuffle to the coffeemaker. You are still tired when you get to work, so you have another cup of coffee. Around mid-morning, you grab a soda to give you some extra energy. As the afternoon rolls on, you eat some candy or chocolate, and then have some more soda when you get home. By the end of the day you are exhausted, but you can't fall asleep. What the heck is going on?
Caffeine is what's going on! Caffeine can really do a number on your body, and Americans drink and eat way too much of it. And with all the extra-large drink sizes available, most people aren't even aware of how much caffeine they consume throughout the day. And did you know that caffeine can be found in a lot of food, too? It's even in some alcohol!
What is caffeine? It's an organic compound that has a stimulating effect on the nervous system, as well as a diuretic effect. Caffeine is not good for you, especially when you consume too much of it.
Excess caffeine consumption can cause:
- Stiff muscles
And if you are a person who leads a stressful lifestyle, either at work or in your relationships, Duke University has shown that caffeine can exacerbate your stress levels. Great, another thing that adds to our stressed out lives.
If you reduce the amount of caffeine you eat and drink, your body will be so grateful...and healthier!
Cutting back on your caffeine consumption can do wonders for your sleep - imagine getting a good night's rest and waking up feeling energized and refreshed! Easing up on the coffee and soda can also help bring your anxiety levels down, not to mention reducing heartburn. Tired of your head always hurting? Put down the coffee! Do you want strong bones and strong teeth? Put down the soda! And the candy!
Numerous studies also suggest that women who avoid caffeine during pregnancy and while they are breastfeeding tend to have healthier babies as opposed to women who eat or drink a lot of caffeine while they are pregnant.
Listen, I know how hard it can be to completely eliminate caffeine from your diet. I really enjoy my organic coffee (without any artificial sweetener!) in the morning, and I know a lot of other people do too. If that is the case for you, try to slowly reduce your caffeine intake. Going cold turkey can cause some pretty intense withdrawal symptoms.
My suggestion is to have no more than 2 cups of caffeine per day, max! Because I promise, reducing your caffeine intake will really help you feel better.