Caffeine is one of the most commonly used substances in modern society, especially since people tend to drink a cup or two of caffeinated liquids to start their day. Coffee, tea, energy drinks, and soda all have significant caffeine levels that help energize those drinking them. Nowadays, you will seldom see anyone who does not start their day at a coffee shop or with freshly brewed tea in the morning.
The benefits of caffeine help keep us awake and alert as we work through a society that values fast-paced individuals capable of tackling large projects. As a result, caffeine has become essential to those who need the extra boost to keep up with challenging environments.
Unfortunately, caffeine is far from perfect and can adversely affect our health. We have become so accustomed to caffeine's role in our lives that most people do not stop to consider the ramifications of its use. Those that do will find that caffeine does not last as a stimulant and can seriously affect our overall health.
Too much caffeine can cause the consequences to outweigh the benefits and make it more trouble than it is worth. Some people are concerned enough to want to find tools that can counteract the effects of caffeine outright. Whether that is possible is an important question.
Risks of Excess Caffeine
Despite the benefits of caffeine in coffee, soda, etc., there is such a thing as too much. Caffeine is a powerful psychoactive stimulant that hardwires the body and mind to operate beyond their normal capacity. The best analogy would be overclocking a computer. The computer might work faster and have more power with the overclocked part, but the longer it is overclocked, the quicker it will wear out.
Caffeine overclocks your brain and body, forcing them to keep working and ignore exhaustion. Stimulating the body like this carries an inherent risk that makes excessive caffeine consumption extremely dangerous.
One of the main issues caffeine consumption presents is insomnia, preventing us from falling asleep because our bodies are still stimulated. Even if it is hours past when you normally go to bed, drinking coffee too soon to your usual bedtime will prevent your body from relaxing long enough to trigger the drowsing process. This drawback, while important, is not the most serious. The biggest issue with caffeine is that it can lead to cardiovascular health complications that might be fatal if you consume too much.
The good news is that you would have to drink a significant amount of coffee to come close to the amount of caffeine necessary to trigger cardiac arrest. That said, research indicates that drinking 5 or more cups of coffee a day is the starting point for potential cardiovascular health complications from caffeine consumption.
Cardiac arrest is an extremely dangerous medical issue that can lead to death, depending on the severity of the attack. The lethality of cardiac arrest increases depending on your medical history and age, meaning chronic caffeine consumption increases your overall sensitivity to cardiovascular conditions. This risk is part of why some people are trying to counteract the caffeine consumed to diminish their risk levels. Unfortunately, the answer to that question is a little more complicated than you might have hoped.
Can Caffeine Be Counteracted?
Caffeine is a stimulant, meaning it actively energizes us and helps us focus in situations where we would otherwise be drained. This stimulating effect has endeared caffeine to us and made it a staple of how we go about our days.
While caffeine's effects have become crucial for some, for others, it has become an issue that might impact their health or quality of life. Caffeine consumption's most obvious drawback is that it prevents us from falling asleep since our body is so energized that the drowsing process cannot begin. This is usually overcome after the caffeine wears off and we "crash" from the sudden energy loss. Unfortunately, this process is time-consuming and might interfere with our normal schedule.
Sleep issues are only one of the potential issues that caffeine consumption produces, with others being more serious. This has led many to try and find remedies for caffeine that shorten the length of the effect or neutralize it entirely. While it might sound like counteracting the effects of caffeine is as simple as taking melatonin or a similar drowsing medication, the reality is disappointing.
The truth is that there are no remedies that counteract the effects of caffeine, and we must endure the effects until it wears off naturally. Afterward, the only way to avoid a recurrence is to avoid caffeine consumption.
This might not be the answer you were hoping for, but it is the only one that exists. While you cannot counteract caffeine directly, it is possible to use certain tools to mitigate the side effects that caffeine consumption generates. While this will not prevent the effects caffeine is known for, it will help minimize the less desirable side effects so you can stay as healthy as possible while under the effects of caffeine.
Avoid Dehydration by Drinking Water
Caffeine provides several beneficial effects that help us get through the day, but caffeine is not a substance known for singular effects. Caffeine produces multiple side effects that are essentially costs for employing caffeine for its beneficial effects. One of the main side effects of caffeine is that it is a diuretic, meaning it reduces the amount of water in the body.
Additionally, caffeine is a bladder stimulant that induces urination, causing us to expel more water. Essentially, caffeine, especially caffeine consumed from coffee, causes us to lose water faster than normal. While this is harmless in small doses, the average caffeine intake has people losing water at an almost unrealistic pace.
Diuretics and bladder stimulants compound with each other and can drain our overall water levels to almost nothing. Over time, this can lead to dehydration, which comes with a range of deeply unpleasant symptoms and pose a risk to our lives depending on the severity. While it is unlikely that you will die of dehydration from chronic coffee consumption, the symptoms of dehydration can be debilitating and make it impossible to function normally.
Dehydration symptoms include, but are not limited to:
Dehydration is a serious issue with only one effective treatment. To counteract caffeine's diuretic and bladder-stimulating effects, you should drink plenty of water. On average, men are supposed to drink 3.7 liters of water a day, while women are supposed to drink 2.7 liters. Meeting this minimum is a great start to stave off dehydration, but you might have to increase your intake to compensate for caffeine's effects.
Use Adaptogens to Calm Down
Among the more obvious of caffeine's side effects is the hyperactivity it produces in most people. It is no secret that drinking coffee or energy drinks can make people anxious and overly energetic. This is usually characterized by excessive movement of the extremities like legs or hands. This extra energy is not necessarily harmful but can distract you from completing delicate tasks.
While this is an expected consequence of caffeine consumption, it is not one that we have to endure without exception. Most people are unwilling to give up coffee, and it is unnecessary to quit drinking coffee altogether. However, you might consider adding adaptogens to your morning coffee to take the edge off.
A handful of natural substances can mitigate the effects of caffeine that over-energize us. By adding one of these substances to your morning coffee, you can enjoy the alertness that caffeine provides without the overabundance of unused energy. One of the main adaptogens capable of mitigating caffeine rushes is a plant called Withania somnifera, commonly known as ashwagandha. Like all adaptogens, ashwagandha can help protect us from mental stress and associated conditions like insomnia. This is because ashwagandha has been linked to anxiety relief that enables us to relax and rest. This effect can be retrofitted to alter the effect caffeine has on us.
While ashwagandha, or any other adaptogen, cannot neutralize the effects of caffeine, there is evidence supporting its ability to prevent energy buildup. Ashwagandha, in particular, was used in a placebo-controlled study that assessed the effects of adding ashwagandha to a daily dose of caffeine for the subjects in the test group. The study determined that caffeine blended with ashwagandha enabled the subjects to enjoy the effects of caffeine gradually rather than all at once, thereby reducing or eliminating excess energy buildup.
Another useful adaptogen to add to your morning coffee is Lepidium meyenii, colloquially known as maca. Like ashwagandha, maca is a plant that offers several health benefits to those who consume it regularly. Unlike ashwagandha, maca does not relax the body and instead elevates mood and energy. You might be wondering what an energy-boosting adaptogen has to do with mitigating caffeine side effects. Maca's use is less about neutralizing side effects and more about minimizing the amount of caffeine you need in the day.
Coffee drinkers rarely stop at a single cup and have more throughout the day to cope with the inevitable crash. Despite the excess energy issues associated with caffeine consumption, people return for more coffee to ensure they are energized enough to get through the rest of the day. Adding maca to your coffee can eliminate the need for a 2nd cup. Maca has natural energy-boosting qualities, as evidenced by a study from 2016.
A group of 175 subjects living in different altitudes was separated into 3 groups:
- Test Group A: Group A received 3 grams of red maca daily for 12 weeks.
- Test Group B: Group B received 3 grams of black maca daily for 12 weeks.
- Control Group: The control group received a placebo.
When the study ended, the subjects in the test group demonstrated greater energy levels and elevated moods. Conversely, the subjects in the control group showed no change when the experiment was complete.
Adding maca to your coffee provides a natural, less intense energy boost that will keep you going for longer without needing a pick-me-up later. Combining the maca and coffee blend with ashwagandha helps divert the excess energy and prevent buildups. Adaptogens can help you adapt your coffee to suit your needs and prevent you from suffering the side effects associated with caffeine consumption.
Keep it All Natural!
Caffeine consumption will not end anytime soon, especially with how dependent some people are on it. Fortunately, caffeine consumption can be done safely, and you can adapt your caffeinated products to minimize the more frustrating side effects. Combining your morning coffee with adaptogens and ensuring you drink plenty of water are some of the only viable options for mitigating the side effects of caffeine.
Unfortunately, the stimulant is powerful enough to overpower home remedies and interacts poorly with most medications. Nevertheless, it is possible to exert limited control over the side effects so they do not control you. This does not mean you can never drink coffee again, but rather that you should try to locate a healthier coffee variant with fewer additives. Considering the amount of sugar and syrups used in coffee from stores like Starbucks, homebrewing might be in your best interest.
We at Bella All Natural can help you have the healthiest coffee experience possible. Since our founding, we have maintained that natural ingredients are the best tools for improving health. That is why we have made it our mission to produce and sell natural supplements and products you can use to enhance your lifestyle.
Among the products we offer is our Skinny Iced Coffee, which will help you get the healthiest coffee brew possible, but we also offer Golden Ashwagandha powder and Maca powder or capsules you can mix into your coffee and ensure the adaptogens are present. If you are concerned about the effects of caffeine, we encourage you to visit our website and try our products, and if you've tried them already, be sure to let us know your thoughts! Regardless of your decision, remember always to keep it All Natural!