In my Provision, Panic No More, I wrote about the life-sustaining rhythm between stress hormones like adrenalin and rest hormones like melatonin. In nature, the two work together to keep things in balance. Unfortunately, there’s much in the modern world that works against this rhythm, beginning with the vast extension of waking and working hours due to electric power. In the old days, people worked from sun up to sun down. Nowadays, people start from before sun up to long after sun down. It’s a formula for exhaustion, anxiety, and illness.
Another factor that works against this rhythm is the growing use of artificial stimulants like caffeine. Everyone knows about the natural sources, like coffee, tea, and chocolate. Now, however, caffeine is being added to drinks and foods such that scientists are warning against new phenomenon: caffeine intoxication. The health risks are significant including nervousness, anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, gastrointestinal upset, tremors, rapid heartbeats (tachycardia), psychomotor agitation (restlessness and pacing) and in rare cases, death.
The worst offenders are the so-called “energy drinks” which can have up to 14 times as much caffeine as a soft drink such as Cola. To put this in perspective, consider the following examples:
- Cup of Tea: 15-40 milligrams
- Can of Cola: 30-60 milligrams
- Cup of Coffee: 80-150 milligrams
- Can of “Energy Drink”: 400-570 milligrams
There’s no way the body can keep up with such an overload of stimulation. Talk of caffeine as energy booster ignores the fact that caffeine eventually becomes an energy drain. It literally burns out the body’s ability to replenish itself. Then, thinking we need more energy, we go back to the caffeine. It becomes a vicious circle with significant health-risk impacts.
If you like to start your day with a cup of regular tea or coffee, there’s probably no real danger to that. Beyond that morning cup, however, it would be good to avoid additional caffeine stimulation. That’s one more way to Panic No More.
Coaching Inquiries: How much caffeine do you drink? What signs, if any, do you have of caffeine intoxication? How could you cut back on your consumption of caffeine? How would you describe your rhythm between stress and rest hormones? How could you get in better balance?
May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.
President, LifeTrek Coaching International, www.LifeTrekCoaching.com
CEO & Co-Founder, Center for School Transformation, www.SchoolTransformation.com
2010-2011 President, International Association of Coaching, www.CertifiedCoach.org
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