I recently stumbled upon another benefit… You know how when you have a a cold or flu (I mean really bad… like you can’t even get out of bed for a drink of water). I was recently battling a cold. I didn’t feel feverish or stuffy any longer, but my head was THROBBING… so much that I couldn’t get out of bed to take an ibuprofen for my headache. At about 2pm, I forced myself out of bed and made myself a cup of coffee. After about an hour, my headache went away. It dawned on me that I hadn’t had a cup of coffee in about 36 hours, hence, the headache! So I thought I was still suffering from my cold symptoms when I really had a caffeine hangover! Hardly worth the extra day I lost in bed thinking that I was still sick!
We can blame our caffeine consumption partly on genetics. Research shows that people with a certain genotype near the AHR gene consumed about 20 milligrams more caffeine in a day than those with with another genotype and 40 milligrams more than people with a third genotype. The rest is behavioral and can be controlled with a little trickery.
Cut back. If you are drinking more than one cup of coffee in the morning, cut back to just one for a few days. Avoid drinking caffeinated beverages the rest of the day. Try hot herbal teas or hot water with lemon as a replacement.
Switch it up. Swap your cup of coffee for a cup of green tea. Many green teas still contain caffeine, but at least you’ll benefit from the antioxidants in the tea.
Challenge yourself. For me, my morning cup of coffee is more about the ritual. I always liked stopping off at Peet’s in the morning, and saying hello to my favorite employee. It kind’ve lifted my spirits to treat myself in the morning before jumping on the freeway for a less than pleasant commute. SO, I didn’t give up my ritual! I ordered peppermint tea instead of my usual coffee, and I didn’t feel like I was sacrificing anything.
So challenge yourself… even if only for the sake of curiousity! Try giving up caffeine for two weeks and see how you feel. In my wellness plan questionnaire, I ask clients how many caffeinated beverages they consume on a daily basis. Someone answered “mainline IV!” Even SHE took a break from caffeine for two weeks and noted that by the sixth day, she felt more rested, less sluggish AND woke up before her annoying alarm told her she had to. I consider that a huge benefit!