Can Coffee Drain Your Energy Levels?

Published: 16th January 2007
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Many Americans drink one or more cups of coffee a day yet complain of fatigue. What's wrong with a coffee habit if it lure's you out of bed every morning?

The answers lies in coffee's effect on the adrenal gland. Caffeine, the active ingredient in coffee, forces your adrenals to secrete energy and stress hormones even when your body doesn't have much to offer. If you drink three or more cups of coffee per day your body is an constant state of "flight or fight". Coffee, that little substance you thought was giving you an energy boost all day, is actually depleting your energy levels to near zero in the long run. Overstimulating the adrenals leads to depression, weight gain, insomnia, anxiety and fatigue.

Caffeine also forces the liver to release an increased amount of glucose into the blood stream. This blood sugar high is often followed by a quick blood sugar crash. This in turn, could make you sleepy or want to drink more coffee. Finally, caffeine has long been known to be a kidney stressor.

Caffeine is a drug you can become addicted to. Sudden withdrawl from coffee often results in very bad headaches because it acts as a vasoconstrictor in the brain. There is also the fatigue and tiredness your body feels when it trys to find it's old caffiene driven pace.

The good new is that you can come off coffee slowly with few side effects. Simply reduce the number of cups slowly over a 2-3 week period. Near the end you might try half caffeinated and half regular coffee.

While you are reducing your coffee intake you can start a more adrenal friendly diet. Cut back on most stimulants, sugars and alchohol and add foods that are rich in potassium. Some herbs such as ginger, ginseng and cayenne are also excellent adrenal builders.

Too much coffee can be a bad thing. It targets several organs which can leave your body in a depleted energy state. Everyone reacts to caffeine in different ways. If coffee is draining your energy the good news is you can reduce your intake slowly and get back on an even keel
Dr. Lanny Schaffer is an Exercise Physiologist and the President of The International Fitness Academy. For more nutrition and fitness ideas go to

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