In The Free Dictionary, caffeine is said to stimulate the central nervous system, increase alertness, and decrease drowsiness. It comes in many foods and drinks, such as sodas, teas, coffee, and chocolate. Caffeine also comes in the form of pills and tablets, such as pain relievers. Here are a few reasons why I am cutting back on caffeine:
I want to give up caffeine because it affects my sleeping pattern greatly. I work second shift at a manufacturing plant, going in as early as 1:30 p.m. and sometimes getting off as late as 2 a.m. In addition to that, I live 30-45 minutes away from my job. The long drive is even more tiring to the point that as soon as I get home, I just want to drop as soon as I unlock the door! With my stomach growling, I even raid the fridge for anything to eat and drink, but I know now that late-night cups of Pepsi and Sprite do not help with my sleeping problem at all.
Caffeine can also have a negative impact on your daily intake of vitamins and minerals. Vitalia Natural Medicine states that caffeine can hinder your body’s absorption of iron and calcium, thus leading to diseases such as osteoporosis and anemia. The diuretic effect of caffeine can cause your body to lose other key minerals and vitamins, such as potassium, zinc, and Vitamin C. This effect can also cause kidney stones. For children, caffeine-filled drinks can disrupt the minerals and vitamins needed for their growth and development.
Caffeine can also affect your nervous system, causing jitters, nervousness, anxiety, and tremors.
For physically active people such as me, caffeine can become a problem when it comes to your fitness and health goals. Your cardiovascular system can be affected in the long run. Caffeine can raise your blood pressure, leading to hypertension, atherosclerosis, and heart disease. It can also give you an irregular heartbeat and increase your heart rate. If you like to jog, sprint, or play fast-paced sports such as football, caffeine needs to be cut from your diet for these reasons and risks. Caffeine will only slow you down and, in some cases, cause you to cramp up. Sports drinks (Powerade, Gatorade) and water will sustain you a lot better.
In order for my personal goals to be met in the gym and for my health, certain cutbacks and sacrifices have to be made. I’m cutting the caffeine loose.