Tuesday, February 21, 2012

how much caffeine do you need?

coffee | photo: seriousfun
Yet another caffeinated product has made it's way onto the shelves.  Mostly found in coffee, caffeine can also be sourced from tea and cocoa.  It is often consumed as a beverage.  There is a new caffeinated product which is available as an inhalant.

Seriously?  I've said it before but I'll say it again.  How much caffeine do people really think they need?  And if they think they need that much they should be looking at what's going on in their lives to re-evaluate.

Sure caffeine can be enjoyable in moderation.  But for many people it causes a whole host of issues.  According to Trudy Scott, CNC, in her book, The Antianxiety Food Solution caffeine can cause not only physical symptoms such as an increased heart rate, tremors, and an inability to sleep, but is also linked to anxiety and panic disorders.

And yet manufacturers keep looking for new ways to deliver caffeine.  We are being pressured to feel that we need to live life at a faster pace and to push ourselves beyond the limits of health.  Caffeine is touted as the way to accomplish that need for more energy.  Through marshmallows, gum and mints, popcorn, lollipops, beef jerky, lip balm, soap, stockings, hypercaffeinated shots and beverages (thankfully the caffeinated alcoholic over the counter drinks were banned),* and more it's everywhere.

I was stunned recently to read in a Good Housekeeping magazine the suggestion that instead of drinking a grande coffee one should simply have several espresso shots throughout the day to keep you pumped up.  This is not a good idea.  The potential to become seriously ill from all of this overconsumption of caffeine is a strong possibility.  I am baffled to understand why we are being pushed so hard to consume a substance which, for many, is so bad for you.  Again I want to state that for those who can consume coffee without ill effect it can be okay in moderation.  However, moderate users are, I believe, far fewer than those who over-consume.   And many do not do well with caffeine at all.

One young many that I am working with gave up his three Monster a day habit.  Reluctantly.  Eventually he began to notice that he felt much better, both physically and emotionally.  His anxiety was reduced, his thoughts weren't racing as much, and physically he was beginning to feel better than he had in a long while.  All very positive things.  One day he was out with friends and they were all drinking Monsters, so he had one too.  Within a very short period of time he felt his heart racing, his mood changing and, in his words, "I felt like crap."  He was stunned at his body's reaction and wondered how he had ever managed to handle three monsters a day.  The answer is he wasn't handling it, he just thought he was.

Be wary of these products, avoid them.  The "energy" you think you gain comes at a price.

*I have not linked to these products as I do not wish to promote them.  As of this writing however, they are all real products which are, sadly, easily available.


KarenLangston said...

I am so glad you posted this! I can not believe we now have an inhalant??? Seriously?? I truly believe that if you have to inhale your caffeine to get a fix of energy and adrenaline then you have issues that you need to deal with on an emotional and physiological level. It is one thing to enjoy a great cup of Java but an entirely different animal to just sniff your caffeine... sorry to say but this looks like to me a legal cocaine... both are addicting and both cause horrible long term side effects and completely burn out your adrenals and so on.... enough is enough!

Annika Rockwell, CN said...

Yes, caffeine is such an addictive drug! I'm not surprised about the new inhalant. I see a lot of sleep deprived clients who complain about poor quality sleep. They don't realize their caffeine intake even 12 hours prior DOES affect their sleep! It's not until they cut out the caffeine for a few days that their body can readjust. Bottom line is remove it from your system for a week to see the difference!

Trudy Scott, Food Mood Expert and Nutritionist said...

Inhaled caffeine is just another way to get your "drug of choice" and I agree is crazy! So many of my anxious clients hold on to their coffee because it is so addicting but once they do quit, they too cannot believe how good they feel. Often we have to address the underlying reason they are so tired (adrenals, thyroid, anemia etc)and drawn to coffee.

megan blogs said...

Wow, i didn't realize it now came in inhalant form. Scary.

I do drink tea every day, and when i go without, i get the telltale caffeine headache (more properly named "lack of caffeine" headache).

To date, i've been fine with my sleeping and all that. Now sugar is another matter altogether. It seems just a little bit of that white stuff gets me jazzed, and i feel everything about me speeding up.