|Posted by Holistic Organic Wellbeing Pain and Health Wellness Center on August 29, 2017 at 6:00 PM|
Caffeine is a good stimulant. It helps us to feel awake, alert, and ready to go. But some people do react differently to caffeine. Some hardly notice it at all. Others can be hyper all day from just the tiniest amounts. So why do so many people drink so much caffeine and often hardly get much from it?
Folks who consume quite a bit of caffeine each day may not notice a boost as much as their body has become accustomed to it. Oh they may know that if they don’t have any that they feel tired and run down. But that is different. We should not have to rely on caffeine just to keep us going. It should be a boost beyond just getting through the day.
One thing that can cause you to not feel energized from caffeine is hydration levels. Caffeine actually dehydrates us. When we are dehydrated we feel tired. Many people are actually chronically dehydrated. With many caffeine users, their solution to feeling tired is more caffeine. That is the wrong answer. Try drinking 2 glasses of water first and wait 15 minutes. If you notice a difference, then you were simply dehydrated and did not need caffeine. Water is a natural energizer. It can increase energy levels and metabolism by 3% each day. It can also make you feel more awake and alert. This is in part due to the fact that a higher percentage of our brain is water than the rest of our bodies are.
Being dehydrated is why we experience sugar crashes too, especially with something like energy drinks. We get the initial boost from the sugar but if we are dehydrated then when the energy from the sugar runs out we crash. Especially when sugar is combined with caffeine. Since caffeine dehydrates it worsens our hydration level. So when the sugar wears off even the caffeine can not keep us going for several hours like it should.
So how much water do we need so we don’t overdo the caffeine? Well, as a base we need half of our body weight in ounces of water each day. That old saying of 8 glasses (8 ounces each) of water each day is actually inaccurate. However, if half of your body weight is less than 64 then that is when you will actually default to the 8 glasses. Now on top of this base we need to add 8 ounces for every 20 minutes of exercise or heavy activity that we do. To offset the dehydrating effects of caffeine we need 1 more ounce for every 5mg of caffeine. For those that drink alcohol more water is needed as it dehydrates us too. Then if it is hot we need extra water too.
Another critical thing we need to focus on is sleep. Oh, healthy people can go a few days without much sleep and still function pretty well. Staying hydrated and caffeine use can help when we don’t get much sleep. If we go more than a few days without enough sleep, anything we do to boost our energy will have minimal effect. There simply is no replacement for sleep at all. We should be getting 7 – 9 hours of sleep each night.
Lastly caffeine also depletes our bodies or potassium, thiamine (B1), biotin (B7), and inositol. All of these are used for energy or sugar transfer to our cells. It is ironic that a stimulant would deplete us of other nutrients we need for energy. This is one reason why I think energy drinks have an edge over coffee. Energy drink makers put extra stimulants in their products, which include potassium and B vitamins. Plus coffee has more caffeine than energy drinks do.
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