Friday, February 16, 2018

Caffeine Kicker

It’s no big secret that Americans consume too much caffeine in the form of energy drinks, sodas, coffee, and [sweet] tea. Why do people consume so much caffeine? How does caffeine effect the body?

When you’re stressed to the maximum, your adrenal glands become overburdened. This is known as adrenal fatigue.

When a person is suffering from adrenal fatigue–tired for no reason, trouble waking up in the morning, cravings for salty or sweet foods–the “go-to” source for energy is caffeine. Caffeine stimulates the adrenal glands causing an outpouring of adrenaline and a boost in energy.

Adrenaline enhances mental and physical energy by increasing the amount of glucose to the brain and muscles. If the person is under emotional or physical stress, cortisol is released to combat the stress. Cortisol’s first function, like adrenaline, is to increase blood sugar so the body has more fuel to deal with whatever is causing the stress. Too much adrenaline combined with an imbalance of cortisol and insulin is a condition called adrenaline dominance.

There may be a link between caffeine and mood disorders. Several studies have shown that depressed patients tend to consume higher amounts of caffeine. There are two types of depression: reactive and endogenous. Reactive depression is related to some negative event in a person’s life. Endogenous depression comes from within. The person is depressed but doesn’t know why. Endogenous depression may be caused by excess adrenaline.

High adrenaline levels are the most common cause of anger problems. Anger is a powerful emotion. People release their anger in different ways–hitting a wall or yelling–while others hold it inside. When anger is unconsciously suppressed it can manifest as depression. People who are depressed are nine times more likely to develop an anxiety disorder.

High glycemic foods–potatoes, corn, and refined sugar–along with caffeine can worsen the effects of adrenaline dominance since they both stimulate the adrenal glands. Eating a low glycemic diet is the foundation for healthy adrenal glands. Many health experts advise adrenal fatigue sufferers to cut caffeine completely from their diet.

Rather than depend on caffeine for adrenal fatigue, it is best to address the stress head on. We cannot eliminate stress but there are ways to cope with stress. I recommend a stress outlet. Exercise is great because it burns off excess adrenaline and cortisol. Relaxation techniques–such as prayer–combat the negative effects on stress. Set aside five or ten minutes each day for relaxation. There are nutritional supplements that help fight adrenal fatigue and stress. Vitamin C and pantothenic acid are two essential nutrients for the adrenal glands. There are several amino acids that can help reduce stress. Bio-identical progesterone can also reduce excess adrenaline and stress.

by John Connor, CNC

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