Can I Drink Coffee and Still be Healthy ?
I get this question all the time and when working with clients, they plead, ' Please don't take away my coffee!'
First, I ask these questions - Do you physically need the coffee to start your day? Do you feel tired and sluggish until you have a cup of Joe or soda? Do you find that you need more and more to get the same buzz?
If the answer is yes, then lets go a little deeper and look at your sleep or lack of sleep. What could be happening is you either have worked up a tolerance to the caffeine and/or you are not getting enough or enough good sleep. This could be a vicious cycle.
Caffeine has a half-life of 12 hours. What is a half-life? It is the amount of time it takes for Caffeine to leave your body completely. You may not ‘feel’ the effects or think you feel the effects but it is still in your body and may disrupt your sleep. So, then you NEED caffeine to wake up, but it disrupts your sleep and so on.
So, stop drinking caffeine 12 hours before you slumber just to be sure you are not sabotaging your sleep with caffeine.
Or other things may be interfering with you getting enough sleep. Could be stress, alcohol, work, habits (staying up late), anything really. So, do some recon into the factors that may be causing your sleep deprivation. Because without enough good sleep, you will be chasing that caffeine buzz to get you through the day.
Secondly, what might be happening is you have worked up a tolerance to caffeine. Meaning the buzz you use to get from one cup now requires 2 or 3. The dependency is real and can be very harmful. Dependencies on Caffeine can lead to elevated blood pressure, speedy heart rate or irregular heart beats, and dehydration. While a cup or two can have health benefits and help you be more focused, too much is too much. A possible plan would be to eliminate it for a week. That is how long it will take to cut the dependency. Work on getting enough sleep during this week and then reintroduce a cup or so back into your routine.
On the other hand, if you are like me and love, love to get up in the morning, get a cup of Joe, head out to your deck or meditation chair (yes, I actually have one, I don’t meditate on it but it is comfy to just chill on and my dog, Izzy loves it.) And enjoy the quiet first minutes of the day with your friend coffee, then you love the ‘ritual’ of coffee and you don't need it but I like it. Then I give the thumbs up.
Bottom line, if you have to have it, look at your lifestyle and specifically focus on your sleep! Once you get that in order, you most likely will not need caffeine.
Some alternatives to that morning or afternoon buzz are actually nutritious and will give you the focus you need. They include, taking a walk, I know not revolutionary but highly effective. Or grab some high protein food, such as nuts, avocados, whole-grain items like quinoa, oatmeal, or whole-wheat bread, and, of course, fruits and vegetables.
But if you love the ritual of your morning coffee like I do, BUT do not actually, physically need it to wake up or get you through the day. Enjoy!