Caffeine

Melissa Powex • 11th June 2017

 

So – as a child I didn’t need coffee and somehow had more energy than Mr Motivator (yup – true story). Apparently I was the type of child that would find interest in something shiny take it apart and take it to an adult and ask how it worked. I was active in mind and body – running around every day.  

So – why and when did caffeine become so needed in my life?!

I grew up in more of a coffee than a tea house, but never really liked the smell.

However, somehow alongside other grown up tastes, I think I developed a LOVE for coffee…but not any coffee. A GOOD coffee.

When I studied Psychology for my first degree, I always remember this study - the ‘spider web drug study’. You can google it with the word caffeine in and it will pop up quickly and see the concept. The idea is that if a fly (not alive) was injected with various substances such as cannabis, LSD, speed and caffeine, you can then see the web that the spider weaves. Most of them seem to reflect what you would see in the kind of behaviours that people might display if they had taken the drug. Caffeine for me is the most interesting as I think most people would think that they can think more clearly with coffee – when actually the spider web looks much more hectic to me.

I always had this in the back of my mind however, I have drunk coffee religiously every morning for over 10 years now, despite when I was a youth worker, I used to preach to young adults taking exams that caffeine was not the best way to stay awake to study for exams (which it’s not).

As I’ve become more sensitive to foods and had to work out what I can and can’t eat, I was then alerted to some further nutrition advice that coffee increases your cortisol levels. Cortisol is a healthy hormone that is related to the stress response, however too much cortisol can really affect your stomach and bodily functions. Specifically, I was alerted by a qualified nutritionist that, increased cortisol from coffee can affect fat storage and weight management.

I therefore gave up the coffee with a holiday goal in mind and wanting to feel tippedy top in a bikini (which I have never felt).

And the results came in…no coffee for 14 days. I feel bloody great. I don’t crave a coffee and now realise that my coffee drinking days led to me feeling very acidic in my stomach – which I’m sure did not help my digestion. I believe that extended high levels of cortisol affected my gastrointestinal tract and led to my intolerances and I would do anything to avoid further problems.

My mind is clearer – even when I’m tired, I don’t start to feel like my mind is darting. I don’t feel as dehydrated (mainly because I’m not drinking coffee, which does dehydrate you and I’ve increased my herbal tea intake).

Exact weight loss and fat storage results are still to be seen, but so far the benefits of being caffeine free already outweigh any pros that coffee side effects made me feel.

All in all – 4 days of EXTREME tiredness and high levels of ‘don’t talk to me’ – I would encourage you to try cutting out coffee for the wide spread positive health benefits.