Are you a fan of caffeine? Caffeine is a source of energy that many people rely on to start off their mornings and get them through their day. Light to moderate doses of caffeine on an occasional basis can be very effective for uses ranging from bumping up wakefulness to fighting off migraine headaches – but what happens when someone overuses caffeine?
A Google search can produce countless hits discussing the positive and negative effects of caffeine on the mind and body. A case could be made both to support or discourage caffeine use. Your own bottom line is drawn by taking a personal inventory and assessing how caffeine use is affecting you personally.
Here are some warning signs that caffeine may be a culprit for your fatigue:
- You struggle to fall asleep
- Your heart races
- You feel anxious
- You have high blood pressure
- You are experiencing digestive trouble
- You fluctuate between extreme highs and lows of energy
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, caffeine may be the culprit. The good news is that it is relatively easy to test this hypothesis and see if reducing your caffeine intake reduces your symptoms.
Consider these options:
- Limit or cut-off your caffeine intake after lunchtime.
- Reduce the amount of caffeine you consume each day.
- Keep a journal describing your caffeine intake and note how you feel one hour after taking it for one week and look for patterns.
- Monitor how often you need to use the bathroom after drinking caffeine.
- Pay attention to your cycle of feeling energized after consuming caffeine and how long it takes to crash after.
Most of us are familiar with the most obvious products that contain caffeine. Soda, coffee, tea, and energy drinks are main sources of caffeine in our daily lives. However, there are plenty of sources of caffeine that many people don’t often consider. Taking multiple doses of caffeine from multiple sources can magnify its effect and leave you at risk for negative side effects.
Here are some hidden sources of caffeine:
- Protein bars
- Flavor-infused waters
- Hot chocolate
- Weight loss supplements
- Pain relievers
The effects of caffeine are magnified when they are combined with substances like sugars. The combined effect can cause a spike in your blood sugar and you end up with an eventual crash, causing a rapid loss of energy and mental focus. Being aware of how much caffeine you are putting into your daily diet is essential to your wellbeing.
Test out the effects of caffeine on your body and make modifications to your habits if you feel you are consuming too much. You can get support from your physician to help curb the cravings for caffeine or diminish some of the side-effects that come from breaking the consumption habit. Over time, you will find you function better without – or with less – caffeine than you did each time you harshly jolted your system. Caffeine is a short-term solution to a long-term problem. Cutting down on caffeine and honing in on what else you can do to increase your energy in a healthier way is a superior plan to leaning on manipulating your body chemistry into burnout.
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