We love a tasty latte on our way to work.
We love an iced cold brew out on the patio in the summer.
Heck - I love my morning coffee with Propello Life's Collagen+ Sweet Vanilla Creamer!!!
Coffee is amazing. The ritual of making it, the sound as it drips through the coffee maker into the carafe, the aroma, and the feeling it gives you to get through your day.
We love it, but do we need coffee for energy?
How much coffee is too much?
And is coffee good for our health or not?
ARE YOU CAFFEINE ADDICTED?
Is this you? Wake up, coffee. Start work, coffee. Mid-day pick-me-up, coffee. Need energy for a good workout, caffeine. Are you turning to coffee and caffeine to get through your day?
Has coffee turned into a crutch for ‘false’ energy? When we think of coffee we immediately think of energy. And rightly so, since this is what has been ingrained into us through years of marketing and advertisements.
But coffee and caffeine are not actually energy in the true sense of the word. The energy your body runs on comes from calories we get from food. Caffeine contains 0 calories therefore caffeine has 0 energy. And a typical cup of black coffee has about 10 calories. So coffee isn't really a source of energy either (unless you are mixing in cream and sugar which are both loaded with calories...maybe not the best source of calories, but they do provide energy).
So, coffee and caffeine doesn’t give you energy. It gives you what I call false energy.
WHAT IS CAFFEINE?
Caffeine is synthetic adrenaline. It blocks adenosine receptors resulting in reduced pain and effort perception, as well as enhanced neuromuscular function. So it allows you to push past fatigue to do more.
It tricks you into FEELING alert and awake despite high levels of adenosine that would otherwise seduce you into sleep. That is also why it effects your ability to sleep. See what is happening? You are tired so you reach for a cup of coffee to get through your day, but this ends up making you more tired, because you haven't addressed the real problem for lack of energy - sleep and proper nutrition. This creates a vicious cycle of needing more and more caffeine to compensate for lack of sleep, working too hard, and not eating healthy.
PSA: for those that are “not ever hungry” but easily slurp down a latte, coffee and caffeine-loaded drink…Food is energy.
So, reach for a snack rather than that 3rd coffee.
Maybe the reason you are reaching for that 3rd coffee is that you haven’t eaten breakfast or lunch… your body has no energy to use for what you are trying to do right now.
If you are struggling to get good sleep, having energy dips during the day, or not feeling hungry…try pairing your morning coffee with a meal, and start to reach for more nourishing meals containing carbs, fats, and a protein that helps balance blood sugar for sustained energy! This might be able to reduce your caffeine intake, have more natural energy, sleep better, and start losing some extra body fat by balancing those hormones.
Tips for caffeine consumption:
- keep under 400mg a day (best to keep under 200mg)
- limit intake after 2 pm (best to avoid caffeine after 2 pm)
- consider adaptogens to offset
- drink caffeine with meals, not on an empty stomach!
- if you need an energy bump for your workouts, consider a pre-workout meal (60-90 minutes before a workout for optimal nutrient uptake for energy during workout!)
Don't get me wrong! I love my coffee and I consume caffeine just like many of us. Coffee (and caffeine) is okay sometimes. But knowledge is power and continual improvement to how we feed and treat our body is so important. If you were nodding your head at any of these "too much" coffee or caffeine facts, then maybe try scaling back or swapping in some food in place of one of your caffeinated drinks.
And as always, if you have questions, please reach out!
About the Author
If you are a woman struggling with what direction next to take to 𝐢𝐦𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐯𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐭𝐡, 𝐰𝐞𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭𝐥𝐨𝐬𝐬 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞 no matter what you do - follow along Catarina @catty_lee for tons of content for women’s health and hormones or get weekly emails right into your inbox by clicking here.
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CEO/Head Coach Catty Lee Fitness
Functional Nutrition-Fitness-Metabolism Specialist
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