Re-Energize By Taking a Caffeine Vacation
Caffeine is the most popular and most consumed wake-promoting drug in the world. In sports, it is considered the #1 legal ergogenic aid. What's an ergogenic aid? It is a substance that can increase mental and physical work capacity and accelerate healing. Consumption of caffeine has been shown to improve endurance, work capacity, and pain tolerance which are a definite benefit to any hard competing athlete.
For the rest of us, that morning cup of coffee is a must if we are expected to be productive.
But, with all good things, there can be drawbacks and side effects.
There is a catch-22 with habitual caffeine consumption; most people who need their morning cup of coffee are also those who are sleep-deprived. One of the side effects of caffeine consumption is insomnia; so the wonderful drug that wakes you up is the same drug that may keep you from getting a good night's sleep. Caffeine becomes a crutch that eventually loses its wake-promoting effects.
All of the pertinent research shows that those who are not regular users of caffeine experience the greatest performance and alertness benefits. This is not the case for the habitual caffeine addict. The more frequent you consume caffeine, the greater your tolerance to caffeine. In order to keep getting the mental boosting effects, you must steadily increase the dose of caffeine. This can lead to overconsumption which can be problematic and can cause irritability, insomnia, digestive issues, anxiety, elevated blood pressure and heart rate and even more serious side effects.
Take a 1 week caffeine vacation every month. So, after 21 days of intermittent or daily caffeine consumption, take 7 days off. That means NO, NONE, NOT ANY kind of coffee, tea, soft-drinks, chocolate (really, no chocolate), or over-the-counter caffeine-containing medicine for an entire week. Why 7 days? That gives your system enough time to come back up to peak energy levels.
You may experience withdrawal symptoms (headache, fatigue, depression) 12 to 36 hours after eliminating caffeine intake. Drink plenty of water, follow a good paleo-type diet and consume plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables; this can decrease the withdrawal duration.
What's the benefit of the caffeine vacation?
- Improved sleep quality which can translate into greater natural energy levels.
- You will give your adrenal glands a break which may further improve you natural energy levels.
- You will once again experience the productivity-enhancing benefits when you resume caffeine consumption.
Give a try and share your experience.