Effects of Caffeine                                                          Photo credit: Chevanon Photography

 Caffeine is a stimulant that if discovered today would not be approved by the Food & Drug Administration because of its interaction with our systems. Why then has it become so socially acceptable to take coffee? One cup of coffee can cause people to feel shaky and jittery, yet the effects of caffeine are considered harmless simply because it is so widely used. We’ve desensitised ourselves to what’s really happening within us when we continue to flood our cells with coffee. Did you ever check in to notice how you really feel during and hours after your cup of coffee? During my PhD studies, taking coffee was definitely a regular part of my lifestyle. Now that my career has shifted to 100% focused on health and wellness, I’m changing all of those once ‘normal’ habits quickly. Let's take a look at the effects of caffeine - how bad could it be? Here are my top 3 reasons for avoiding coffee.

  1. Caffeine fuels anxiety

Some substances trigger anxiety and caffeine is one of them. The effects of caffeine is to cause adrenaline to be released from the adrenal glands to prepare you for vigorous or sudden action. It causes increased heart rate, increased blood pressure and alters the body’s metabolism so as to maximize the glucose levels, mainly for the brain. You feel alert for a short time after taking coffee, but it’s an alertness that is linked to agitation. Adrenaline is running through your blood and you are in a state of heightened tension. Can this really be described as ‘energy?’ Stephen Chernsike, a pioneer in the field of anti-aging has counselled more than 9000 patients in his clinical practice. Of all the recommended health changes including diet, exercise and stress-management, he found that caffeine reduction had the single greatest impact on restoring health. Cherniske reported that 90% his patients suffering from depression who gave up caffeine completely for 2 months, reported that their depression went away!

  1. Caffeine disrupts sleep

Deep sleep is a state of sleep where the body restores and heals itself. The kidneys clean the blood, the organs detoxify, cells are repaired, new cells are generated, wounds heal and muscle tissue builds up. The effects of caffeine includes preventing us from reaching a deep sleep state. Even if you refrain from taking coffee after midday, the caffeine remains in your system for up to 12 hours. You might be getting sleep but you might not be getting adequate deep sleep that is critical to good health. Without sufficient deep sleep, your immune system weakens. Over the long term, you can suffer from fatigue, apathy and depression.

  1. Caffeine affects nutrition

Malnutrition is a known side-effect of habitually taking coffee. One cup of coffee can reduce the absorption of iron from our food by 75%. Research, published in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, found that caffeine increased potassium loss by nearly one-third. Mineral loss is accelerated when caffeine is mixed with sugar. Caffeine appears to impair the kidney's ability to hold on to calcium, magnesium, zinc and other minerals. The effects of caffeine has also been shown to impair digestion causing bloating, pain and indigestion. Toxins can stay in the gut and get absorbed back into the bloodstream. 

A caffeine-free lifestyle

It’s ironic how the things you thought could be obtained from caffeine can only be obtained by coming off it. Imagine every cell in your body operating at a higher level of efficiency, including your immune system, brain and nervous system. You can experience the exhilaration of peak vitality that’s reportedly a joy of a caffeine-free lifestyle. If you stopped taking coffee today, it would take 60 days for all traces of caffeine to be eliminated and before you really see the benefits of living caffeine-free. During this adjustment period, Ginger Herbal Tonics can help you greatly as most people require something tangible to replace their coffee ritual. ÍON tonics are ready-to-drink herbal tonics made from freshly pressed organic ginger root, organic ginseng and organic liquorice. They are created to boost energy levels by working in harmony with the body. Rather than stimulating the release of hormones from the adrenals as coffee does, ÍON tonics protect and support the adrenal glands, causing an increased capacity to cope with stress or to overcome fatigue. This is due to whole pressed ginseng which is an adaptogen herb that enables you to adapt to the demands of your body, whether it’s for more energy or more relaxation.

Ginger Herbal Tonics

According to a recent review in the Irish Mirror, these tonics are offering a definite increase in energy levels. An energy drink without caffeine, guarana or sugar is uplifting, refreshing and internally it will make your cells and organs thrive. One month's programme will greatly help you on your way to a caffeine-free lifestyle. The cost of one month's programme is €60 with free shipping right now to the UK and Ireland. See Ginger Herbal Tonics for more information. I’m always amazed at how such simple advice of reducing or omitting coffee has such a positive impact on people’s symptoms. Take the challenge and see for yourself! It definitely is a challenge, but one that comes with great rewards.