Listen, I’m not going to come down on you. Millions of people have been drinking coffee for hundreds of years. Nothing makes my morning better than a fresh cup wafting through my kitchen while I get my a.m fill of the news!
Coffee is not necessarily the health albatross so many news reports have made it out to be. In fact, coffee, in moderation, is considered safe. After reviewing numerous studies on the effects of caffeine on human health, researchers at Health Canada reached the conclusion that for the average adult, a moderate intake of caffeine is not associated with any adverse effects.
It’s the ‘moderation’ that can be the tricky stitch in North American culture. Many of us don’t have a cup or two of java a day do we? In a society where you can order a light roast with a double shot of espresso poured inside, we too often teeter on the edge when it comes to inviting the potentially dangerous effects associated with coffee.
Here’s the bad news – excessive caffeine intake has been connected with; such as osteoporosis, elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, infertility, fibrocystic breast disease (FBD), breast cancer and even miscarriage. I’m not saying this to frighten you into giving up your favorite ‘pick me up’. I just want to advise you not to depend on it so much, that it becomes a means of survival just to get through a day.
When you’ve had your cup of java, and you’re still finding that your lids droop at the drop of a hat, here are a few other tips to keep you on the level!
Eat 4-5 Small Meals A Day
Blood glucose is by far one of the most important factors when it comes to your energy levels. If you only eat lunch and dinner, your body is going to have huge spikes followed by large crashes in energy. Digestion requires a lot of energy. If you’ve ever felt sleepy after a big lunch, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Splitting up meals smooths out your blood glucose levels and eases the drain from digestion.
Hate To State The Obvious But – Sleep
This should be pretty obvious. Most of the restorative work in your body happens when you sleep. This includes repairing damaged tissue and replenishing energy stores.
So, it stands to reason that, if you are chronically sleep-deprived, you end up less-restored, less-replenished and less energized. This is a massively oversimplified description of the physiological processes, but in a society of workaholics, it’s no huge surprised that we need to be reminded to get a little shut eye.
In essence the fatty acids in omega-3’s are very similar to the fat found in the human body. It is actually in a phospholipid form which can be used immediately by the cells. The two very critical types of Omega 3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA are essential to healthy brain function. Omega-3’s provide a simple way to boost DHA ad EPA levels in the brain that result in increased energy, attention and focus.
While fish are an incredible source of omega-3’s, unfortunately the pollutants and contaminants now invading our water systems, are preventing them from being the safest way to supplement omega-3 intake. Omega-3 supplements can be found everywhere. Just be sure to do your research, and seek out the crème of the crop to ensure you are getting optimal benefits. I personally recommend a krill oil supplement. There are many reasons behind my choosing krill oil as my principle omega-3 supplement, the sustainability of krill being of the reasons I hold closest to my heart because of my own environmental principles.
Vitamin B deficiency has been linked to low energy levels, among other things. In fact, mood changes, poor concentration, and depression can all be signs of a vitamin B deficiency. So if you’re feeling tired regularly, try popping a B-complex vitamin. Another option is to take a multivitamin, which will help ensure that you’re not deficient in other minerals or nutrients.
Seriously. Drink 8, 8 ounce glasses of water daily. Our bodies are mostly composed of water and need an appropriate amount to properly function. Even the smallest amount of dehydration can make you feel tired, moody, clumsy and even anxious.
Tough Out A Cold Shower
Hot showers are amazing for winding down. But if your goal is to do the opposite, consider changing the temperature. Cold water stimulates your system and promotes circulation, causing your heart to get to work and boost you up. Don’t want to give up the soothing heat completely? Try taking a regular shower, then cooling it down for the last few minutes. It’ll still do wonders for your mental awareness. If you just can’t get into a cold shower, try splashing cold water on your face for aquick refresher midday.
I don’t expect this article to change your life – or push you into a health spin where you can’t even imagine coffee being an important part of your day. It’s just a little food for thought. When you’re in line for your third espresso of the day – and it’s only noon…just know there are other effective options out there, that won’t leave you jittering your way through to next Tuesday!
On that note, I’m prepping my French press for the morning’s dose!