Caffeine is the most commonly used stimulant drug in the world and according to U.S. FDA 80 percent of U.S. adults use it every day! However, to get its desired benefits and maintain well-being, caffeine must be used in a very surgical manner and not consumed routinely.
Our bodies have a built-in natural cycle of neural activity and sleep and wake patterns that have evolved over hundreds of thousands of years. Caffeine artificially interferes with this natural cycle to increase neural activity. Adenosine is a naturally occurring powerful neural transmitter in our bodies. It naturally controls our sleeping and waking cycles by regulating neural activity in the brain and increasing blood flow throughout the body. Caffeine tricks receptors in our brains to block adenosine absorption and thereby increases neural activity. This results in the mental alertness, diminished desire for sleep and feeling of “high” we feel when consuming caffeine.
In essence, if you drink several cups of coffee each day, your nervous system has been taken over by the effects of caffeine. If you want to know the extent to which caffeine takes over your body, try giving it up for 1 to 2 weeks. You will have awful withdrawal symptoms and will fall badly ill. You will have tremendous body ache, runny nose, headaches, high anxiety, inability to focus and high fever like symptoms. Be prepared to take several days off work!
So what can you do to transition from consuming caffeine routinely to surgically? Here are some key tips:
- Bite the bullet and give up caffeine cold turkey. Allocate a week’s period to do this when things are slow at work. You may need to take a day or two off to cope with the withdrawal symptoms.
- Best use of caffeine is surgical, when you truly need it. Think of it as an over the counter drug that you use for special needs.
- When you are feeling a bit down or sluggish and need to get back in gear (e.g. Sunday evening syndrome), drink a cup of coffee. The “high” from caffeine will make your mood upbeat for a couple of hours.
- Avoid drinking coffee/tea before any major presentations or speaking engagements. The caffeine will send you into overdrive and ruin your body’s natural nervous alertness when public speaking.
- When you have a headache or strongly feel like there is one approaching, drink a cup of coffee.
- Remember that decaf coffee technology has come a long way and it tastes just as good. You can have all your favorite coffee based drinks as decaf. Trust me, Starbucks will make you a perfectly fine cappuccino or latte with decaf espresso!
- Bear in mind that caffeine is not only in coffee and tea but in several other products such as sodas, certain chocolate drinks, etc. Read the labels and avoid or minimize the consumption of these as well.
- Once you wean off caffeine, you will feel your body maintain its natural neural cycle with adenosine. You will enjoy how you naturally fall asleep and wake up!
- This is how your body is meant to be, in a very natural state of sleeping and waking. You will feel immensely Joyous in this state!
- Once your body is completely weaned off caffeine, and you surgically consume caffeine only on special occasions, its effect will be even more pronounced. You can enjoy this “high” and reserve it only for special circumstances!