Caffeine Junkie? If you're like me and you're struggling to keep up with work, house, a social life (if you're lucky), and small kids, you're probably reaching for a Cup o' Joe before you're able to fully peel your eyes open in the morning.
But is it good for you? I was once asked by a homeopathic doctor when I went for a general referral how many cups a day I consume, and I answered "too many". He asked how many would that be, and I said "about two to four". His answer stunned me. "That's not so bad...".
Coffee and caffeine are such an ingrained part of our society that the negative side effects are swept under the rug, or simply ignored. We all know coffee isn't really that great for us, but how bad is it?
Depending on the type of coffee you drink, and the way it's cooked or processed, caffeine levels vary. Caffeine in essence is a drug. Yes, just like tobacco, it's one of those things that entire countries were built around and no one bothers to regulate. Caffeine enters your blood stream, quickens your heart rate, increases blood pressure, and acts as a diuretic. High consumption can lead to insomnia, stress, anxiety, and stomach/gastro issues. Caffeine in your system reduces your absorption of calcium and iron
If that's not enough to get you, Duke University did a study showing caffeine consumed in the morning can affect you throughout the day, increasing stress levels, as well as blood pressure and adrenal levels. Continuous caffeine consumption over several years might also increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.
In addition, caffeine "users" might even be at risk of miscarriage and infertility.
So what's the alternative?
When I was young and not as careful about my energy intake, I used to doze off between 2pm to 4pm, right in the middle of classes, and had a horrible inability to focus between those times. During that time, I took a Psychology class and the teacher discussed a study (whose name I can't remember at the moment) done on the biological clock [check out this great article on human circadian rhythms]. The study found that internal body temperatures during that time of the day were generally higher, causing people to feel drowsy and actually shorten their days (they were locked away in a room with no clock and no window to tell time). It seems our bodies are telling us to take a break. So yeah, a short siesta if you can fit it in, and of course more water, more exercise, meditation, and of course scheduling your day correctly.
And then there was Spirulina!
Spirulina has a load of nutrients, vitamins and other powerful properties that aid in a myriad of ways. Specifically, spirulina contains polysaccharides, pycocyanin, carotenoids, fatty essential acids in the form of lipids, all of which contribute positively to heightened energy levels and your body's ability to maintain that energy. Not only that, while coffee is a nice way to relax, it doesn't provide even half of the other benefits http://purestandard.com/pages/spirulina-benefits spirulina does.
So the next time you automatically reach for another Cuppa, try a handful of Spirulina Crunch, or a chilled raw spirulina shake with blueberries and mint (yumm! - recipe coming soon!).