Kill them with caffeine.

29 Jan

Caffeine, specifically coffee, and I have been friends for a long time. I started drinking coffee in 7th grade to stunt my growth because, as a gymnast, I was getting to be on the taller side. Let’s just say if it did stunt my growth, I’m thankful because I’m 5’8″! And ever since 7th grade, I’m pretty sure there hasn’t been a day that has gone by that I haven’t had multiple cups of coffee…

Now let me just say that coffee is not the problem; coffee contains heart healthy antioxidants and recent studies have shown it can help prevent type II diabetes.  Even caffeine is beneficial, when used moderation, promoting alertness and mental clarity. Keyword: moderation, AKA a dietitian’s favorite term.

Each and every day, the very first thing I do is pour a 16 oz cup of coffee into my mug. Since I’ve obviously guzzled that down while getting ready for work, I refill for the drive. Then at work, I easily get 2 more 8oz cups of coffee before 1pm. That’s a mild day. If I’m extra tired, at home or meeting up with a friend, I’ll easily have another 16oz cup. That’s a minimum of 6 cups of coffee per day.

Another (not-so) fun fact about me: I’ve been going to different doctors for about 6 years because of fatigue. I just always fill drained. I’m definitely Type A, so I like to have a long “To-Do” list, but each and every day it’s a struggle to keep my legs moving and my eyes open.  In that 6 year time period, I’ve been diagnosed as depressed (wouldn’t you be if you felt like crud all the time??), tried multiple supplements from a Naturopath (and I am NOT a supplement advocate) and been diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Tried all three prescriptions for hypothyroid and none made a difference. In the last few months, I’ve discovered that my digestive issues resolve when I don’t eat gluten. So I thought that cutting out this intolerance would improve my energy levels as that often does for people…. not so far. I’ve tried many other things, but needless to say, I’m DESPERATE.

So in the last few months, I’ve started making my coffee 1/2 caf  and I’ve been choosing decaf coffee after my home-brewed coffee for the most part also. So I figured, with the low amount of caffeine in decaf, I shouldn’t be addicted to caffeine still, right?

Well, I randomly decided to stop drinking any coffee (like I said, desperate) last Tuesday. And let me tell you, I felt like I hit a brick wall the first few days! Here we are on day #5, and while I’m still tired, I may actually feel a tiny bit better than normal! And I must say that I do enjoy my Vanilla Chai steeped in almond milk with stevia for my creamy morning treat. So I’m obviously still drinking tea, which also has caffeine, but not as much as regular coffee and I’m not drinking the same quantity.

I feel like it’s worth keeping up for a week or two to see if there is any improvement.. in the meantime, I also plan on cleaning up my diet a little and see where I could be lacking. More to come on this and my coffee-free journey as well.

Question :: Anyone found a cure to constant fatigue???


2 Responses to “Kill them with caffeine.”

  1. Lorrie Wells March 26, 2011 at 8:51 am #

    I love your ennthusiasm for healthy living! In answer to your question about chronic fatigue I highly recommend a balanced life: 8 hours for working, 8 hours for family and relationships and play, and 8 hours for sleep and regeneration. When any area gets out of whack, all areas are affected. As a RD you recommend balance in nutrition right? Balance in life is just as important! ;=)

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