For some of you, having coffee each day is as important as eating, drinking, breathing (lol), exercising and socialising! Some of my patients call it the "no-go" zone. As a naturopath, I am not allowed to direct these patients to stop drinking coffee. No matter how fatigued or how sick they are!
In recent times, my view and understanding of both coffee and caffeine has changed! Good news for all you coffee connoisseurs, addicts and lovers! Haha!
Just for the record, I personally don't drink coffee. It's not that I don't like it. I do. When it's organic, and brewed to perfection. My body is extremely sensitive to caffeine. It literally keeps me wide-eyed and zappy, well into the early hours of the morning.
The thing is, coffee is a wonderful, beautiful bean created by God. Coffee contains numerous beneficial phytonutrients. Long-term coffee consumption has been linked with lower rates of numerous diseases. Simply put, the most important thing to remember about coffee, is how OFTEN you drink it.
Drinking coffee the right way, makes you more energised, enhances your mood, and is proven to enhance your mental and physical performance. Cool huh!
Coffee contains a stimulating chemical called caffeine. Caffeine blocks the effects of adenosine. Slow down Heidi. What is adenosine? It's another chemical made by the body that shuts everything down, so we feel rested and prepped for sleep. Biologically speaking, it is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. This is great while sleeping, though you don't want loads of adenosine floating around your brain during the day. Ya goin to be feeling tired!
By blocking the effects of adenosine, caffeine increases blood flow to the brain and muscles and boosts energy! Though, there's a catch...
Drinking coffee on a REGULAR BASIS has NOT been shown to increase energy!
When it comes to coffee, it is all about timing. All about frequency. If consumption of coffee is something you do on a daily basis, multiple times a day, or on more days than not - you may want to rethink your coffee consumption habits!
Most coffee drinkers will say, "but hey, coffee DOES boost my energy!" The fact is. Even though this is how you may be feeling it is NOT true reality.
A constant sea of caffeine in the blood stream signals the brain to UP-REGULATE the amount of adenosine receptors. Which in turn, increases the effects of adenosine = increasing tiredness/fatigue! It actually lowers your baseline level of energy, your baseline mood, and your baseline level of cognitive and physical performance. In other words, it changes your new state of normal. When you drink coffee, your energy increases to the level of energy experienced by NON-COFFEE DRINKERS! Scientifically proven so.
What does this mean practically? Drink coffee for two days, then have a break for two days. Drink coffee for a week then have a weeks break :)
So there you have it! Regular coffee consumption leads to a lowered state of energy, and is not beneficial for health, infrequent coffee consumption leads to an increased energy state, and is beneficial for health!