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Ten Weeks of Wellness - Week 4: Lose the Caffeine!

Posted: January 30, 2013
By: Dr. Drew Rubin

Is everyone feeling affirmed!  Keep on reciting those affirmations and let us know how a positive attitude is changing your life.  And remember to keep that positive outlook as we move into this weeks challenge...going caffeine free!

Week 1 (Jan. 7): Posture Pod Exercises
Week 2 (Jan. 14): Sleep
Week 3 (Jan. 21): Affirmation
Week 4 (Jan. 28): Caffeine Free
Week 5 (Feb. 4): Walking
Week 6 (Feb. 11): Random Acts of Kindness
Week 7 (Feb. 18): Gluten Free
Week 8 (Feb. 25): Sunshine and Meditation
Week 9 (Mar. 4): Dairy Free
Week 10 (Mar. 11): Gratitude

It's not an easy task, but we think you're up for the challenge.  The benefits to giving up caffeine are numerous. Caffeine is a stimulant, meaning it speeds up the way your body works.  This puts stress on your nervous system. And consider the fact that most of us lead incredibly stressful lives already so you're getting double the dose of stress hormones coursing through your blood, causing your heart to beat faster, your adrenals to work harder and your muscles to tense.  These are all 'fight or flight' responses of the sympathetic division of your nervous system.  To complicate matters further, when your sympathetic nervous system is in overdrive, it's counterpart - the parasympathetic nervous system - is shut down.  This can affect your ability to 'rest and digest'.  Stop and think about some of the ways you feel when you are really worked up about something - now realize that this is what you're doing when you drink a cup of coffee!

Make sure when you do come off your caffeine to do it slowly!  We often forget that caffeine is a drug so we need to treat it like one! Caffeine withdrawal can cause headaches as blood vessels to the brain spasm (another effect of messing with the sympathetic/parasympathetic balance), so if you drink 3 cups a day, try going down to two, then one, then zero.  Drink plenty of water to aid in the process - and to rehydrate!
You deserve a reward for all of this, so here's how you can earn your tickets this week:
  • Cutting caffeine for the week - 1 ticket
    A great place to start would be to 1/2 your intake (4 cups to 2, 2 cups to 1, 1 to 1/2)

    ·         Try coffee substitutes-
    Aside from caffeine-free tea, there are lots of great coffee substitutes. Cafix, Teeccino, and Pero are all brands we have tried. 
    ·         Use non-dairy creamers like Silk brand for an even healthier treat!

  • Commenting on the blog or our Facebook page - 1 ticket
Good luck and we can't wait to hear how much better you feel!
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