Anyone who knows me knows that caffeine is something dear to my heart
And it’s been the one hold out in my life that I never really felt like I had control over
But I didn’t care
I love coffee- I love everything about it, the smell, the taste and the jolt of energy you get from it
Being a non-drinker I also like how sociable it is to go out for coffee with friends
But I started to have a nagging voice in my head telling me it was the root of some not so nice problems
Acid reflux, digestive issues, anxiousness and sleeplessness
Still, the good outweighed the bad for a while and I just ignored that little voice
(unless she was giving me the winning powerball numbers I wasn’t listening)
That is until the blood work came back from my physical and it showed I had very elevated levels of iron in my blood
But why was this happening?
I did some research and found out that both coffee and tea have chemical compounds called tannins which significantly
reduce iron absorption
- tea can reduce it by as much as 60%
- coffee by as much as 50%
And the only thing I was doing consistently, I should say overdoing consistently was drinking coffee
Elevated iron levels can put stress on your liver- and for extended periods of time it’s not good
I broke up with coffee.
I was sad, I fought it for a while, and it took multiple rounds of going back to it only to say NEVER AGAIN!
My relationship with coffee was as dramatic as a highschool romance
But when I quit some magical things started happening!
I was less moody (I’m sure Carrie can attest to that!)
I was less anxious and I slept better
Like really slept!
Not only did this revolutionize how I felt during the day but it blew my mind to know how much caffeine was affecting me.
The warning from my inner voice was confirmed this month by
The book club book we’re reading right now called Sleep Smarter by Shawn Stevenson
It has a whole chapter on caffeine and sleep
Here are a few gems on caffeine and sleep:
– caffeine has a half- life of around 5-8 hours, so if you consume 200 milligrams (or 1 to 2 cups of coffee) after 8 hours you still have 100 milligrams of it left in your system, after another 8 hours you have 50 mil.
* what this means is having a cup of coffee even 6 hours before bed will still cause significant sleep disturbances
– one study used a sleep monitor and a sleep journal to track participants sleep disturbance. It found that people who had significant sleep disturbance did not measure that when they wrote in their journals
*this means that you may think you’re sleeping through the night but in reality you’re not getting into deep sleep mode (which is where all the good stuff happens)
– caffeine doesn’t just affect your nervous system, it affects your endocrine system too- it stimulates your adrenal glands to produce the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol (which are also anti- sleep hormones)
* this means that after the huge spike in energy from these hormones, we experience the crash and actually go below where we started before the caffeine meaning we’re even more tired!
This is not to say you have to quit cold turkey!
>>But nutrition and lifestyle habits make up a significant part of our experience in the world and to ignore that fact is just silly!
Especially if you’re experiencing trouble sleeping, energy spikes, anxiety, and caffeine cravings, it’s worth looking into
Just another reason why we have the Organic Fitness book club!
Knowledge is power
P.S. Here is the link to Sleep Smarter
It will change everything you know about sleep
P.S.S If you’d like to be in our book club but you’re not a member at the gym, it’s okay! Our book club is open to the public and you can find out about meeting times and books when you like our page here.