OK, so first things first. The only thing that creates energy in your body is the food you eat and the air you breathe. Energy drinks and specifically the caffeine that is supposed to “boost” your energy do nothing to actually create energy in your body (technically speaking, drinks with sugar in them will provide a source for energy production, but as we know, there are much better sources of energy than sugar and the amounts of sugar in some of these drinks can be staggering). In fact, the only thing that caffeine does is to trick your body in to thinking you have more energy than you have! It does this by blocking adenosine receptors in your brain. Normally when there is a lot of free adenosine floating around the brain, these receptors fill up, signaling the brain that we are tired and need sleep. By blocking these receptors, we are signaling our bodies that we can continue to work even though we do not have the energy to do so! This alone can cause health problems. We are simply asking our bodies to do more than they were designed to do. Think of it like putting nitrous oxide in to your car engine. Sure, you are going to get outrageous performance in the short term but how much are you going to reduce the life expectancy of the engine!
There are other things that caffeine does in the body that can affect your health as well. This study shows that caffeine impairs blood glucose homeostasis, and this can affect both your appetite and your mood. Ever wonder why you reach for that sugary snack when you are crashing from your caffeine fix. Ever wonder why you get irritable a few hours after your favorite pick me up. Add to this the fact that some energy drinks have up to 20 teaspoons of sugar in them and you get a perfect metabolic storm for everything from obesity to diabetes to heart disease. And how about sleep. “Oh, the caffeine wears off after a few hours” Wrong! The half-life of caffeine can last two and half to ten hours depending on how you metabolize it but that is only half of the caffeine. It can take your body over a day to get rid of all the caffeine. So, if you are having trouble sleeping, look no further than the bottom of your coffee cup as a starting point.
Poor sleep, poor diet, running our bodies ragged...hmm, seems like a recipe for most if not all our “diseases of civilization”. If you are having any of these problems and your health is suffering because of it, we can help. By regulating the body and helping with detoxification, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can help you function better without the use of stimulants and stop the roller coaster effects that come with dependence on “energy” drinks. Call today for a consultation and start down the path to a better and healthier you!
Princeton Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
Our patients know just how effective treatments are for these and a host of other problems. Steven Hoffman, a New Jersey Licensed Acupuncturist and Diplomate in Oriental Medicine, will provide you with a thorough intake and evaluation and a clear, comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan that will insure that your goals are met or exceeded. Do you want to move past these or other problems? We will help you thrive not just survive!