Caffeine & Stress
An Unhealthy Cycle
Calling all caffeine addicts and even caffeine dabblers, this article is for you. Today we’re tackling caffeine and highlighting the ways it can affect your stress and anxiety levels. Caffeine is such an interesting topic as it’s so widely used and normalized by people all around the globe, so much so that it’s often referred to as the ‘most popular drug in the world’. Chocolate, tea, a variety of sodas, and even other drugs contain caffeine. A lesser-known, fun fact: There are over 60 plants on our planet that contain naturally-occurring caffeine. Take a walk and you’ll find a coffee shop or cafe on most street corners - getting your stimulant fix is easier now more than ever. With caffeine surrounding us, we have to wonder if our intake is directly related to our growing stress levels. Have we overvalued stimulation and productivity and along the way, paid for it with more stress and deeper anxiety? Science says yes.
We’ve all been there, you’re 3, 4, 5 cups of coffee deep and find yourself feeling tense and plagued with jitters that roll into a night of tossing and turning. It’s here that we ask ourselves, what toll does caffeine take on our bodies?
Image by: Johnson Tsang--Lucid Dream II Here and There
Let’s start off with how caffeine makes us feel awake. We wake up, pour ourselves a cup of tea or coffee, caffeine enters the bloodstream through our stomachs, and temporarily makes us feel more alert by blocking sleep-inducing chemicals while increasing adrenaline and cortisol. If you’re prone to anxiety or stress pre-caffeination, your body is likely already experiencing an imbalance in the cortisol and adrenaline departments. From the moment caffeine hits our bloodstream, our hormone balance is thrown off making it more difficult to create balance for ourselves. The temporary buzz you feel is partially due to adrenaline but also due to dopamine being released by a stimulant. These feelings are generally great upfront but typically lead to energy lulls later in the day if we don’t refill our cups with further stimulation.
Wild fact: most people feel noticeable effects from caffeine 1-6 hours after consumption but it can be found lingering in your bloodstream for up to 24 hours after partaking! Science also points to a long-term disruption of your circadian clock. When our biological clock is off, we experience the effects widely throughout our bodies. We might find ourselves feeling sleepy at the wrong time, awake when we should be asleep, or suffering from side effects like poor digestion, heightened anxiety, and low immunity. All of these side effects pave the way for further stress, anxiety, and even depression. To address the real issue at hand, many people find themselves over caffeinating to keep up with work (guilty) or just to cope with the lack of healthy balance that each human needs but rarely has. Our modern culture doesn’t exactly place a high value on health and wellness but it does tend to reward success and productivity. It’s this very (common), deep-rooted issue that birthed our Good Day formula which is meant to help your body naturally fight stress.
So! If you’re reading this and still thinking, what’s the big deal with my biological clock being a bit off sometimes? To put it simply, let's liken it to a crack in your home’s foundation. When things are running smoothly we have the desired chemical balance, a proper sleep cycle, and a strong immune system. It’s in this space that we can focus on happiness, clarity and balance. Over time, a delayed circadian rhythm can lead to numerous chronic illnesses, high blood pressure, weakened immunity, weight gain, low sex drive and so much more. If we really sit with ourselves and face the potential of these issues, over-caffeinating is no longer on the table. It’s a short-term fix with a steep long-term price.
When considering your caffeine habits, it’s important to note that weight, age, and genetics can all play a part in how significantly caffeine affects us. Focusing on things like exercise, healthy eating, and meditating can provide support for our biological clock while promoting a healthy chemical balance. As we mentioned above, if you’re prone to anxiety or hormone imbalance, caffeine can really kick your chemicals into overdrive by causing the overproduction of adrenalin, cortisol & other hormones. If you simply can’t imagine your life without caffeine (or even if you can), rest assured that various cannabinoids and herbs are known to reduce the negative side effects caused by caffeine (while supporting your natural sleep cycle). We created our Good Day formula to align us with our natural energy flow throughout the day using adaptogens and nervines to respond and fight the effects of stress on the body and cannabinoids to reduce stress & anxiety for immediate in the moment relief. The result is a lesser need for caffeine, higher cognitive function, and reduced anxiety. Good Day works in tandem with our Good Night formula, which provides a healthy night of rest by further supporting our biological clock. Both formulas were created with the above research in mind. Fewer bandaids, more healing, and support for our deserving bodies.
Thank you for coming to our candid ted-talk on caffeine + stress. We’ll leave you today with one question, do you place more value on productivity or balance? Let your answer guide your next self-care moves.