Hello, friends!! Happy Thursday! I just got back from the gym… and let’s just say that workout was less than stellar…oh whale– we all have those days. I got it done though.
So the other day, i asked Instagram (if you’re not following me, whatyoudoin?? Go follow me: @ohh_lkelly) what the topic should be of my next blog. Either “All Foods Fit” or Caffeine…
and the winner, by a narrow margin, was CAFFEINE.
So that is today’s topic… Caffeine. What brought up my interest in this topic was the fact that i recently have cut out *almost all* caffeine sources. Now… if you know me… this is A BIG FREAKEN DEAL. I love coffee. LOVE. I love Starbucks, i love pre workout, i love energy drinks. Aka i have a slight addiction.
But, about a little over a month ago, i noticed that I was no longer feeling the effects of caffeine. I wasn’t feeling energized, i wasn’t noticing the effects of my pre workout, i was always fatigued… I could have honestly drank a Starbucks Venti Americano (aka like 4-5 shots of espresso) and taken a nap right after… LOL not ideal, folks.
Now, fun fact y’all, caffeine is NOT just found in coffee. It can be found in coffee, tea, sodas, “energy drinks”, fat burners, chocolate, and even some cold/flu medicines, as well.
So in an effort to feel and experience the effects of caffeine once again, i decided to DRASTICALLY cut back on all caffeine sources… except my pre workout. The preworkout i use, helps me sweat at the gym which I NEED… this girl loves to sweat y’all. So except for that, i cut out all regular coffee– i switched to decaf (which still has a little caffeine), i steered clear of energy drinks and diet sodas with caffeine-and just quit those COLD TURKEY.
And you know what? … I SURVIVED!! I’m pretty surprised too, tbh. You hear a lot of horror stories about people’s experiences when they cut out caffeine- I.E. headaches, irritability, feeling ill or flu like symptoms, etc- and honestly, my symptoms were pretty minimum. I did feel a slight headache the first 2-3 days, but after that, those symptoms went away.
So it has been a little over a month now, and for now, we are going to continue to ride out this low caffeine intake. Even though, I have cut out a lot of my caffeine sources, there is without a doubt MANY benefits to caffeine, such as:
- Increased energy.
- Increases feelings of alertness.
- Boosts memory.
- Mental Clarity/Focus.
- Improves training intensity in the gym.
- Protect/lower risks of certain diseases.
- Appetite surpressant.
The recommended daily intake of caffeine appears to be around 300-400 mg of caffeine, per day. (A cup of joe typically has around 100 mg of caffeine, for reference).
TOO MUCH caffeine, on the other hand, can lead to:
- Trouble sleeping.
- Chronic fatigue.
It is important to remember that everyone has different tolerance levels when it comes to caffeine. You may not feel much from one cup of coffee, while Miss Sally over there could be shakey and overstimulated after half of an energy drink. Those who are older (we are talking grandma and grandpa age), have hypertension, and/or are pregnant/breastfeeding should pay close attention to their caffeine intake and it’s recommended they have <200 mg/day.
*If you are curious about the right/safe amount of caffeine, FOR YOU, specifically- i 10/10 recommend consulting with your physician. I am not a doctor and just wanted to share some information that I found interesting and what I have experienced myself.*
If you are someone that drinks a lot of coffee, energy drinks, and/or uses a pre workout, take a minute and evaluate exactly HOW MUCH caffeine you are intaking on a daily basis. Ask yourself “How am i feeling? Am i feeling the effects of that cup of joe or am i feeling my pre workout like i have in the past?” If the answer is no, and you are experiencing any of the negative side effects i discussed earlier, maybe it is time to CUT BACK on your caffeine intake. Whether that be for a week or two, a month, you choose to cut out caffeine cold turkey or ween yourself off slowly, i promise it will be worth it.
If you are looking to cut back on your caffeine intake, here are a few suggestions to make the transition a little bit easier:
- Choose your method. Either ween off caffeine OR cut it out cold turkey. Weening obviously takes a little more time to cut out the caffeine completely but can result in less withdraw symptoms. Cold turkey is a faster alternative but the symptoms can be far more noticeable. Pick your poison.
- Find an alternative. Whether that be decaf (yes, decaf still has a little caffeine-about 10 mg) or hot tea to help curb those cravings.
- Load up on macronutrients. Vitamins and minerals will help your body *feel good* when cutting out caffeine feels less than good.
- Choose caffeine free alternatives to your go to beverages.
- Tell people what you’re doing. Coffee is often times a social thing. So letting those around you know that you are not drinking caffeine can eliminate those circumstances where your BFF, Jill buys you your morning cup of joe.
- Rest. Take naps if possible to help your body feel more recovered.
- Start on the weekend. You may feel like crap the first few days, so having the day off from work/responsibilities may be ideal when you are feeling crappy, irritable, and have a headache. It’ll give you time to adjust before heading back to “the real world”.
I know that I am not the only one who LOVES caffeine… So leave me a comment and let me know what’s your FAVORITE source of caffeine. How much do you drink daily and tell me if perhaps, you think YOU SHOULD eliminate caffeine for a week or two. OR if you have done a “caffeine detox” – what was your experience?? Any negative symptoms?? Let me know!
As always, thanks so much for taking the time to read my blog. Please make sure you are “SUBSCRIBED” if you aren’t already and keep checking back for more.