Does Caffeine No Longer Energize You?  Here’s Why…

Do you love drinking coffee?  Or, maybe you’re more of an energy drink type person?  Before workouts are you constantly downing a pre-workout just to get yourself through your workouts?  If this sounds like you, it’s only a matter of time before you start feeling less of an effect from caffeine.  That’s not to say that the caffeine you’re taking isn’t “legit” – it simply means you are becoming tolerant.

Let’s use an example to paint the picture I’m trying to get across.  If you habitually drink caffeinated beverages on a daily basis (as a placeholder we will use coffee), did you ever get to the point where you drank one cup of coffee and were still yawning hours after drinking your magic potion?  What do you do?  You start drinking two cups every morning.  Eventually, you don’t feel energized from two cups each morning.  See where this is going? You eventually go down the rabbit hole of consuming an entire pot of coffee in 24 hours.

Not only are you tired….but so are your adrenals

After consuming caffeine for any duration of time, your body becomes tolerant of it and you will need more and more just to feel the same affects you once got.  Stimulants have a way of suppressing your adrenal glands – this is often referred to as adrenal fatigue.

When you consume caffeine, it creates neuron activity in your brain.  These neurons then call up your pituitary gland and tell it to ask your adrenal glands to release adrenaline into the system.  Adrenaline is obviously what creates energy and puts your body into somewhat of a fight or flight response (the same sensation you get when you are scared or frightened).

When you consume caffeine (in any form) consistently, your body is constantly in that fight or flight mode – even without you knowing it or feeling it.  What this means is that the same sensations and affects you got from your caffeine source will no longer yield you the same result because it will take a higher amount of stimulants (caffeine) due to fatiguing effects on the adrenal glands and their job to pump out adrenaline.

How can you get back on track and firing on all cylinders?

There’s no way to sugar-coat this, you’re going to need to reset your adrenal glands.  In order to do this, you will need to do one of two things:

  • Gradually lower your intake of caffeine per day 
  • Stop using caffeine altogether (cold turkey method)

Things are a little more complicated though.  If you are using high amounts of caffeine each day, you will want to gradually wean yourself off to allow your adrenals to reset to the point where you can start feeling the benefits again from stimulant use.  If you consume high amounts of caffeine and decide to cut it off cold turkey, you will probably find yourself faced with some caffeine withdrawal symptoms that could be avoided if you slowly lowered your intake each day.  

Some caffeine withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Sleepiness
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Lack of concentration
  • Anxiety
  • Brain Fog
  • Dizziness

If you aren’t consuming high amounts of caffeine, you can probably get away with removing caffeine from your diet completely and all at once.  Depending on how your body reacts, you may still find yourself feeling some of the caffeine withdrawal symptoms mentioned above.  

There are a few tricks you can use to get through the rough patches without any or minimal amounts of caffeine while you reset your adrenals and system.  One is to start over the weekend where you’re allowed to be a little more tired than you would during a workday where you are expected to be extremely productive.  If you’re too tired, you can take a nap or simply veg out on the couch.   

Another way to ease the blow of reducing your caffeine intake during your reset is to consume foods that provide natural energy to get you through.  Complex carbohydrates are a great way to achieve lasting energy without a crash.  You should also keep yourself well-hydrated by consuming water regularly throughout the day.

The last tip for easing the blow of removing caffeine is by simply treating the symptoms you experience during the caffeine withdrawal.  If you get a headache, take some aspirin.  If you are moody, stay inside and work through it rather than trying to be a social butterfly.  Other symptoms can generally be managed by taking a nap during the day and allowing the body to naturally reset itself.  The key is to simply allow the process to take place versus giving in and consuming caffeine to stop the withdrawal symptoms.  Caffeine is considered a drug and should absolutely be controlled.

Once you reset your system, you will once again be able to take minimal amounts of caffeine and yield the most benefit from it including the boost of energy and mental focus you were probably looking for in the first place.  Regardless if you are feeling the effects of adrenal fatigue or not, it is still a good idea to get off of stimulants every once in a while, to allow your body the ability to naturally reset itself. 

When you feel better without the inclusion of caffeine in high amounts, slowly add a little bit at a time – such as one cup of coffee per day.  Don’t jump right back into it by consuming a pot of coffee in the morning or you will have some adverse effects.  Keep your health at the top of your priority list and do not abuse caffeine and stimulants.  

Article Courtesy Of Matt Weik