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Caffeine - should I or shouldn't I?

I LOVE coffee! Any kind of coffee will do, but I really like it when it's strong and bitter, with just a hint of milk.

I like instant coffee, filter coffee, coffee that's got extras in it, little coffee's, big coffee's. Anything goes really!

The problem is I don't think it loves me, which is a shame because I am constantly battling with myself on whether I should or shouldn't drink it! 

So what is it about coffee that messes with my body? In a nutshell its the caffeine. That tasteless, nutritionless ingredient can cause a whole host of problems and it can be found in lots of other things like food and some medications.

Okay I can hear you switch to decaf... yes I have tried, and I will no doubt try again but it does fall short of giving that really full bodied coffee taste that I love so much.

The problem I seem to have is how Caffeine affects my body. Now everyone is different, we can all tolerate things differently, so this is my perspective on how I feel. I'd love to hear other views though so please do message me!

For many years I have reduced the amount of coffee I have to no more than 2 cups a day. That isn't even near the standard recommended daily intake for caffeine (which is 400mg - approx 4 cups of coffee). I rarely have a cup after 2 pm as I know it can affect my ability to get to sleep.

On the face of it this doesn't seem like a lot but let me tell you how these 2 daily cups affect me.

I start my day with a large strong coffee, it gives me a boost, really wakes me up and lets me push on with my to-do list each morning.

I usually have my second cup mid-morning.  Again its that energy boost to keep going. 

Then I notice a headache, just small niggling one, not harsh enough to stop me in my tracks but annoying enough to make me wonder why I have a headache!

My energy levels gradually begin to drop and I wonder (most days) if going to bed earlier will help (like 9 pm is too late!)

Then, I start to procrastinate, I feel like my brain has fogged over and the ideas just don't flow and I struggle to complete even the simplest of tasks with any enthusiasm.

How do I know that caffeine is the culprit? By listening to my body that's how!

This week, a mentor I am working with set me a challenge to go at least 3 days caffeine free... I am on day 5.

  • I feel less tired.
  • I have managed to complete SEVERAL full days of work rather than snatched moments between fog.
  • I haven't had a daily headache yet.

However, I do feel a little irritable, and I still have an all-consuming craving to taste that lovely, bitter, deep coffee flavour! I know these will pass in time.

But for me, the benefits of avoiding caffeine far outweigh the small tasty hit of a 'proper' coffee.

I shall continue my search for a decent decaf alternative and expand my herbal tea chest even more!

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Healthful Hands Health Coaching

Located in Radcliffe, near Bury, Healthful Hands is ideally located to provide personal health and nutritional coaching and support in the following areas: Ainsworth, Bolton, Blackburn, Bury, Chorley, Farnworth, Haslingden, Heywood, Little Lever, Manchester, Prestwich, Radcliffe, Salford, Swinton, Westhoughton, Whitefield, and throughout Greater Manchester, Lancashire and the North West of England. Plus the rest of the world via online media.