My name is Mel and I am a recovering caffeine addict. I don’t use the word recovering lightly either, I have suffered some serious health blows due to this addiction. For a decade now I have been addicted to the energy caffeine gives me, it started with Tim Horton’s double doubles in the morning, proceeded to Monster Energy drinks (I assume the green ones are liquid crack), then I found the all time greatest thing ever 5 HOUR ENERGY! I remember thinking “I can get the same amount of caffeine as those big drinks but with 5 calories, no carbonation and no crash”? Sign me up – In fact I’ll take a case, and I did. After years of this abuse I began getting dizzy when I stood up, more so noticable after workouts. I had my blood checked and my blood pressure was a little on the low side, I tried eating a bit more food before my workouts, nothing changed. I got my iron levels checked which were a bit low, I corrected that with a raw iron supplement, I felt better but still was getting dizzy. Nothing was working and I was getting sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Finally I went and saw a woman who changed my life and my health years ago, Maureen Fontaine. Maureen does the live blood analysis out of Well Beings in Murrayville, she looks at your blood under a microscope and tells you what’s going on inside your body and it’s bloody cool! (Pun intended) Years ago I went to see her cause I was overweight and extremely tired eventhough I was eating well and working out. She prescribed a few natural supplements to me (cayenne pepper, spirulina and Recovery to be exact) and I felt better. Years later I needed her again, and she came through. After looking at my blood I told her my issue with being dizzy all the time and how I seemed to be more stressed than usual. That’s when she told me about adrenal fatigue – my body wasn’t responding to stress properly and releasing cortisol as it should and it was keeping me from feeling great, it was also keeping a nice little tire around my mid-section. The spike and crash from caffeine was a big part of the problem. I immediately began to cut back on caffeine, though I will be the first to admit that being in customer service is a lot easier when you have a synthetic buzz going on. I also began to supplement with vitamin C – did you know your body won’t absorb Iron efficiently without Vitamin C? Look it up! Instead of drinking cold water throughout the day I have been drinking plenty of Licorice Root tea (Traditional Medicinals) which helps support the adrenals and I can proudly say after two months I am finally feeling better! I still have my days but they are becoming few and far between, I have to make sure I’m eating well and very soon after a good workout to restore my energy levels.
My recommendation with regards to caffeine is to slowly cut back. I realize life can get hectic but you may be doing more damage than you know. Try taking a good greens supplement in the morning, this can give you a nice healthy bout of energy. I sometimes take those Ener-C or Emergen-C powders in some water as they are chalked full of vitamins and make me feel great after. Most of all if you don’t feel like you have the energy to make it through the day without 3 cups of coffee you should look at what you are eating. Can you pronounce all the ingredients in your food? How do you feel after you eat? If it’s not what you are eating then look at your schedule – are you over committing to things? Spreading yourself too thin and setting yourself up to have to reach for that 3rd cup of coffee to make it all work? Life can get crazy but we shouldn’t be catering to the craziness at the expense of our health.
For the record I drink and adore the Traditional Medicinals line of tea, there’s a tea for all your ailments and they sell them pretty much everywhere now – actually I’m going to pour myself some Eater’s Digest right now, its great for upset tummys and salt retention