According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, there are 100 million Americans who consume coffee every day. Due to hectic schedules and a natural increase in tiredness as the day goes on, more and more people are jumping on the bandwagon headed to caffeine land. Caffeinated coffee makes sense for the average employee, as a boost in energy and alertness can increase job productivity. However, have you ever stopped to think about the consequences of being so reliant upon a substance?
Perhaps workforce rules and hours will not change anytime soon—society’s expectations of its workers may be too grand a problem. Nevertheless, it’s worth thinking about whether the substance that gets you through the day could be making your life harder.
Changes in serotonin
Like dopamine, serotonin is a chemical in the brain that signals to the rest of your body that you are in a happy or relaxed state. Consequently, sharp alterations of serotonin levels in the brain can lead to symptoms of depression. For those who already suffer from depression, caffeine can have particularly significant effects.
For example, if you take medication for depression, then caffeine will likely alter your serotonin levels. In depressed individuals, serotonin levels are commonly low, leading to anxiety and uneasiness. Some studies claim that caffeine lowers your amount of serotonin over time, potentially leading to an increased need for SSRIs or other medications.
Meanwhile, those who suffer from depression and yet don’t take medication may find caffeine helpful in combatting common symptoms like lethargy and lack of motivation to perform daily tasks. However, although these individuals might enjoy the increased functionality that comes with coffee, they may still struggle with the sharp decrease in stimulation once the effects wear off.
The word “coffee” certainly has positive connotations—it can conjure up memories of waking up to a wonderful smell in the morning, along with the sense of being ready for the day. However, how many cups of coffee or coffee-related products do you consume each day? How many do you feel you need to consume to function?
Regularly drinking caffeine is a far cry from abusing hard drugs, but the feeling of dependency on a product can still feel discouraging. Knowing that you cannot be your best without a 5-Hour Energy drink or coffee in the afternoon can lead to resentment of your work hours or your health.
Also Read: How To Brew The Best Coffee At Home
Some people seem to have more energy than others, so it’s worth talking to your doctor about any underlying medical causes if you’re consistently feeling lethargic. Some Eastern medicine doctors also test the adrenal glands to determine that even the smallest of organs are functioning properly.
Explore healthy alternatives
Coffee has a lovely aroma and flavour. If you happen to love the taste of coffee, then try drinking it in moderation. Further, decaffeinated coffee remains a suitable alternative to caffeinated coffee. Some people may miss the physical and mental effects of coffee, and if you’re such a person, you might want to try green tea. It has large amounts of caffeine but also provides a huge range of health benefits. Even protein bars can provide you with much of the energy you need to get through your day.