Dear Raw Girl: Caffeine or No Caffeine?

November 4, 2011

Dear Raw Girl,

What’s your take on caffeine? Coffee, green tea etc? I feel like it depletes me and makes me dependent on it for energy...

I still have flashbacks to the caffeine breaking point for me. It was years ago, when I was in college and really into Chai tea. I never really drank coffee but somehow I got hooked on Chai, especially when I was sleep deprived. I remember sitting there in my Physics class trying to concentrate on the law of relativity after downing a 16 oz. cup full of chai and realizing my eye was twitching on its own. That was the last day I got down with caffeine. Now when I am in a bind, I grab a Yerba Matte tea, or drink a smoothie, juice, or kombucha with Spirulina (blue-green algae). Spirulina always energizes me, and least it doesn’t come with the annoying side affects of caffeine (in my case unattractive eye twitching). At the end of the day you have to ask yourself if you want to live a life where you are dependent on a substance to get you through the day. Did you know that caffeine is the most commonly used psychoactive drug, and that 90% of adults consume it daily?

Most of us don’t actually know when their bodies are tired, because we spend our time ignoring our bodies natural rhythms, and over-drugging ourselves to stay awake and stay energized. If you are drinking caffeinated beverages, and need to break your habit, try starting your day with a green juice, a green smoothie, or a Spirulina smoothie. The more you get stuck on that natural high, and honor your bodies needs, which include adequate sleep, the more likely you are to be energized, naturally. Trust me, it works. I have so much energy I don’t know what to do with it sometimes. When I went raw not only did my energy soar, but I found that I needed less sleep to function optimally.

If you decide to break a caffeine habit, you can experience withdrawal symptoms as your body finds balance such as: headaches, tiredness/fatigue, depression/mood swings, or difficulty concentrating. A moderate caffeine intake which may not be too harmful for an adult is 300 mg or less. When you take in 350 mg or more, caffeine has the potential to cause dependency and also nutrient depletion. Not only can it interfere with nutrient absorption of essential minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, and B vitamins, it can cause depletion of vitamin B6. This may be exactly why you feel depleted after having it. No surprise that a grande cup of coffee at Starbucks has over 350 mg, just enough to get people dependent and coming back for more.

The other interesting thing to note is that caffeine has creeped its way into unsuspecting products such as energy drinks, energy water, breath fresheners, ice cream (chocolate/coffee flavored mostly), weight loss pills, and other energy supplements. So, if you are aiming to cut your caffeine intake remember that it’s found in other products beyond coffee, tea, and soda. Surprisingly enough, caffeine is also in decaffeinated products, so you’ll have to avoid those as well. As hard as it may seem to live a caffeine-free existence in our fast paced, sleep deprived world, it is possible. Where there’s a will, there’s a caffeine-free way. -XoXo Raw Girl


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: