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March - National Caffeine Awareness Month

25.03.2015

Do you drink more than 4 cups of coffee each day? Do you drink several cups of tea washed down with a number of soft drinks a day? Do you find yourself irritable, depressed or disorientated after drinking caffeinated drinks? When you don’t consume caffeine, do you find yourself experiencing headaches, drowsiness or insomnia?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then according to the Caffeine Awareness Association, you may well be addicted to caffeine.

For the majority of us, a cup of tea or coffee is a ritual that is so deeply embedded that it has become an automatic behaviour that we no longer question. This daily unwavering habit can make envisaging alternatives somewhat difficult.

Caffeine Awareness Month presents an opportunity to think differently about your daily caffeine habit and to begin incorporating alternative options and habits.  

 

How caffeine effects your body:

Caffeine causes your heart to speed up, your muscles to tighten and your pupils to dilate. It will likely disrupt your sleeping pattern, no matter what time of day it is consumed. Caffeine also affects the ability of the nerves in your brain to take in a chemical call adenosine, which causes sleepiness. It has a half-life of approximately 6 hours, this means that if you were to consume a cup of coffee at 4pm that contains 200mg of caffeine, there will still be 100mg of caffeine in your system, affecting your ability to fall into a deep and restful sleep.

 

How tea/coffee is decaffeinated:

‘Naturally decaffeinated’ is a statement that is often seen, and most likely misinterpreted. There is nothing natural in how caffeine is removed, nor is it ever entirely removed.

There are several methods in which caffeine is extracted, but the most commonly used method (due to the coffee or tea retaining it’s full flavour), is through the use of methylene chloride. Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the compound for use, this is an unnatural process and therefore should be taken into consideration when consumed.

 

Does decaf pose any risks?

Many people drink decaf due to have a sensitivity to caffeine. However, the majority of people think that decaf means no caffeine whatsoever. Rules and regulations state that decaf drinks only need 3% or less or the original caffeine value. This means that decaf drinks can have some of the same effects on the body as caffeinated drinks. They too can cause heartburn, stimulate the nervous system and briefly boost blood pressure in those unaccustomed to caffeine.

 

Caffeine Awareness Month is an opportunity to experiment with the introduction of a different routine. Perhaps switch that morning espresso with a mug of green tea, or maybe skip the drink altogether and go for a 5 minute jog. Caffeine is an artificial stimulant that can be skipped altogether. Having some fresh air, a good nights sleep and a diet based on real foods are generally all we need to have in order to feel at our most awake and alert.

 

Click here to read more about about significant energy and afternoon slump improvements.

How to improve your sleep by avoiding caffeine, alcohol and processed foods.

If you are part of a company and would like to find out more about our healthy eating services please call 0845 533 5302.

If you are an individual and are interested in our 12 week online healthy eating programme you can find out more - here. When you're ready you can login to My Healthy Eating Programme using the login button at the top and entering the code VIP10 into the register now box. The cost of the 12 week programme for an individual is £49.99 and we have corporate rates available upon request. 

 



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