Coffee tastes great and is a great pick-me-up, but what a lot of people don’t think about is how powerful the stimulant effect can be. It’s important to remember that coffee is not just something that you consume to stay hydrated. Some people might warn that coffee is a drug, and they’re right. It’s a strong stimulant and one that you should use sparingly.
Coffee and The Effects of Caffeine
Coffee contains caffeine, and it is caffeine that has the psychoactive effect. If you use it sparingly it promotes wakefulness and perks you up, helping you to concentrate. It can even enhance the mood of someone who is slightly depressed (but it is not a replacement for proper treatment for depression), and it helps to stimulate the release of dopamine.
Used to excess, though, it can cause anxiety, exhaustion, and insomnia, and if it is taken in massive quantities it can cause an irregular heartbeat and palpitation. Some people manage to use caffeine successfully to regulate their circadian rhythm, by drinking a cup in the morning. If you drink it later in the day, though, it can make it hard for you to sleep at night. You should try not to use coffee too much to combat fatigue. Don’t rely on coffee alone, because it can leave you with adrenal exhaustion if you do that for too long.
The adrenal glands are there to regulate your body’s stress response, and when they become exhausted they can make it hard to respond to stress because they do not produce the hormones that you need in the right amounts. Essentially, they burn out. You can end up with anxiety, depression, hypertension, headaches, and other unwanted symptoms.
It is easy to unconsciously consume too much caffeine. What a lot of people don’t realize is that coffee isn’t the only thing that has caffeine in it. Cola, tea, chocolate, energy drinks, pre-workouts, and other supplements may all contain caffeine. So, even if you start trying to limit your caffeine intake by drinking less coffee you might find that you are still taking in far more than you thought you were.
Weaning Yourself Off Coffee
If you feel like you are drinking too much coffee, then you should try to reduce your intake over a period of time, if you have an online coffee bean subscription from somewhere like Tank Coffee, then it’s time to review that subscription. Going cold-turkey is likely to leave you feeling pretty bad at first, so it’s often better to reduce your coffee intake very slowly, in steps a week at a time, swapping out the odd coffee here and there for teas that contain less, or no, caffeine. If you find that you are really struggling with your mood, then try supplementing some Tyrosine, because this can help to support dopamine in the brain.
Treat coffee as a drug, rather than as a beverage, and you will respect it more. Don’t drink it mindlessly. Use it when you are struggling to be productive, and you will find that it works better and that you focus far better. You should also find that you get much higher quality sleep, and this will help you to concentrate during the day without even needing to drink coffee.
Remember, also, that coffee is a diuretic. While people build up a tolerance to it quite quickly and will reach a stage where they are able to cope with the diuretic effect, if you are not a regular coffee drinker then the diuretic effect could actually leave you feeling dehydrated when you drink coffee. If you’re drinking it with the intent of quenching your thirst then this is less than ideal. Tea could be a better alternative.