Tuesday, April 13, 2010

5 Ways to Quit Caffeine

Caffeine. A drug that our nation depends on entirely.
90% of Americans consume it in one form or another every single day.
84% of those Americans are drinking it in the form of soda or coffee. Why do people think they need it? Easy....they're addicted to it.

Not only does soda cause dehydration (from choosing it over water when thirsty) but it also has been linked to ingestion, heart disease and bone loss. For Diabetics especially, it not only causes diabetes from sugared soda's from the pancreas not being able to support how much sugar is actually being swallowed, but for those that have Type 1, it damages there Kidney's even more than they already are because it sucks the glucose out of the kidney's as well so your body can try and support this awful drink . If Diabetes doesn't scare you enough, soda has been linked to cancer. Soda causes you to burp, and burping from soda brings acid up to into your esophagus, causing lesions, and lesions become cancerous.

So why do we do this to ourselves? Why is it our first option to reach for a coffee or soda to get our day started? It goes beyond it "tasting good". Caffeine alters the brain's natural state, and stimulates it in a manner similar to the amphetamines cocaine and heroin. So you literally have no control and it becomes a need instead of a want.

One of the mechanisms that caffeine addiction, cocaine addiction, and heroin addiction share, is that they block an adenosine's ability to slow the nerve cells' activity in preparation for sleep, and instead increase the speed of their activity and of the neuron firing in the brain. Which of course people can over due if they are drinking it through out the day, leaving you not only wired and unable to think clearly, it keeps you up at night, which we all know how important our sleep is.

So I've found 5 simple strategies to help us rid caffeine from our systems and start over with a fresh new outlook on how to get our lives back on track to health and control. Simple steps that may make a HUGE impact in our every day well-being.

1. Timing is Everything.
Start by choosing a time when you are most relaxed, such as a long weekend.

2. Take Baby Steps.
Make a commitment to try 3 caffeine-free days, and see how you feel afterwards.

3. Be prepared for side-effects.
Be prepared to experience tiredness, irritability and a very back headache, especially after avoiding caffeine for 24 hours. Prepare for these side effects by keeping yourself busy: take walks, spend time in the garden, or do other light, soothing activities.

4. Be aware of your surroundings.
Avoid anything that may aggravate a headache, such as prolonged tv watching or reading in low light. These side-effects will eventually diminish-and are worth it in the long run.

5.Alternative ways to quit.
Or, consider weaning yourself off caffeine by gradually reducing your intake. Substitute Soda, tea or coffee and drink water or fruit juice mixed with sparkling water in lieu of cola. Breathing exercises, physically exercise and a diet rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables may also help reduce the severity of side-effects.

(Sources from Phlant.com, mindconnection.com, and uthealth.com)