It’s wake up time! And if you’re like another 85% of adults in America, you know what that means: it’s also caffeine time!
It typically goes without saying that coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks, and even chocolate are all sources of caffeine that can switch us from “slow” to “GO” when we feel that need for a boost.
But how does it work? Is it a good thing? Are there downsides? What kinds of caffeine should I be consuming? How many shots were in my morning latte??
Let’s take a deep breath and dive in together.
Caffeine and Me
Just like vitamins, sugar, alcohol, and essentially anything else we consume, each of our bodies handle the intake of caffeine just a little differently.
Overall, caffeine works by blocking a sleep-inducing compound from reaching its receptors. So without this compound connection, BAM – we are left feeling energized for a period of time! The caffeine then heads to the liver where it is processed and eventually worked out of our systems.
But as always, this process is not just a “one size fits all”, direct and simple equation. All along this route are small (but significant) differences in how caffeine is processed from person to person. Based on factors like genetics, metabolism, tolerance levels, and nutrition, the same cup of coffee that seemed to have no effect on your pal could leave you feeling like the Energizer Bunny.
But is that bouncy, laser-focused feeling a good thing?
Is Caffeine Good or Bad for You?
Psyche! Almost no substance is 100% “good” or 100% “bad” for you. (And be wary of lists and web pages that tell you differently!)
It’s all about your lifestyle, your level of intake, and your body. And sometimes this comes with a trial period of learning what caffeine options (if any) leave you feeling like your best and brightest self.
So What Kind of Caffeine Should I Drink?
Here’s where we get to dive into the wonderful world of subjectivity. Is a highly praised and glorified cup of piping hot matcha tea still the “best” for you if you recoil at the taste, spending every sip yearning for a vanilla latte instead?
We don’t think so!
Maybe you have been drinking coffee black for years because that’s what you have been told is healthiest. Conversely, maybe you have been opting for a daily high-sugar caffeine drink simply out of habit, even on days you don’t really “want” it.
Things to keep in mind when opting for a caffeinated option:
- The “best” option is the one that brings you joy and that you can look forward to having as a balanced and mindful part of your day.
- You don’t have to have the same exact option each day. We are not robots! Some days your body may be asking for something different than your “usual”, and that’s okay!
- While caffeine can feel almost like a magical elixir sometimes, it should not be replacing other sources of fuel in your life – balanced meals, hydration, and solid sleep.
It can really be tough to learn to trust what our bodies are asking of us. And even harder when the internal conversation is focused on a substance like caffeine, which can result in a built-up tolerance level within our bodies. But finding peace with these cues is possible.
If exploring your own personal body cues around caffeine or any other substance is something that resonates with you, book a discovery call to learn more about working with us!