Adrenal fatigue detox challenge
DAY 2 - the caffeine detox
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Why should you even care about the reason you're tired as hell as long as your caffeine buzz kicks in?
I get it. Coffee addiction is your badge of honor (just like it was mine!) and as long as you have that cup of joy in your hands, you can at least function. Cool.
Except you really can't function for long, because you're crashing hard every afternoon, can't get to sleep at night despite your extreme exhaustion, and lord knows you can hardly peel yourself out of bed in the morning when your alarm goes off.
Your pants keep getting tighter, adult acne is a cruel reminder that your hormones aren't exactly optimally balanced, your hair might be thinning or falling out altogether, and holy sh*t (all puns intended) you are making waaaaayyyyy more urgent trips to the bathroom than ever before.
Believe me, I get it.
Back story: Just two short years ago, although I was deep into my holistic nutrition certification training and I had made some pretty significant changes in my family's nutrition and lifestyle, I was still chugging coffee every morning like a machine. And I loved it. I was holding onto my identity as a tired-but-wired-busy-mom-of-young-children-on-the-go as tight as I could, and if I'm being honest, I was effing exhausted. Helllloooooo.......ADRENAL FATIGUE!
So, I weaned myself off of coffee a bit, and I tried drinking decaf in the mornings. I was trying, I really was, but I was still going for coffee dates and drinking black tea and basically getting my fix at other times of the day and in sneaky ways, because I just didn't want to quit, dammit! So, let's be honest, I remained exhausted but I was making enough of an effort to delude myself that I was actually taking steps to healing my adrenals. (Sound familiar?)
The problem was that I wasn't really healing my adrenals or helping my fatigue at all.
What I was doing was pumping caffeine into my body to cover up the symptoms of my adrenal fatigue, which were severe.
There are 3 critical ways that caffeine destroys our body's ability to handle stress and keep us energized:
Our sleep is disrupted by caffeine even if we don't realize it because we fall asleep just fine at night. I can feel you rolling your eyes right now, but it's true: According to this awesome book on adrenal fatigue that I highly recommend, caffeine consumption interferes with the formation of the alpha rhythm in the brain necessary for sound sleep. Simply put: even if you fall asleep, you may not be getting restful sleep due to caffeine's subtle effect on your brain.
Like I mentioned earlier, detoxifying caffeine from our body once we've ingested it is a stressful process, and it takes precious resources away from other bodily functions like regulating and expelling excess hormones, which leads to disrupted hormone levels in addition to sub-par adrenal function. #doublewhammy
- Lastly, and this is not an exhaustive list but rather my top three biggest reasons to avoid caffeine when dealing with fatigue, is because caffeine often gets mixed in the ultimate addiction / destruction combination imaginable: with sugar. I am talking about sugary coffee drinks like frappes or mochas, caffeinated sodas full of sugar or corn syrup, and sugary energy drinks with caffeine.
Ingesting those combos is like the ultimate addiction combo for our brains, and while our brain is thinking it just got a line of cocaine (seriously...sugar affects the same area of the brain as cocaine), our pancreas, liver and adrenal glands are working overtime trying to bring blood sugar levels back into a safe range before we die.
The adrenal glands have a big role in keeping that frappe from killing you, and constantly spiking blood sugar levels is a major contributor to adrenal fatigue in the first place, so one of the worst things you could do for your energy levels or hormones is to further deplete those adrenal glands with sugar and caffeine.
So now that I got that all out of my system, let's figure out what we can have INSTEAD of that damn coffee fix! (Because you know I'M not going to just leave you hangin'.)
My favorite coffee substitutes:
- Dandy Blend (tastes GREAT!!!)
- Good ole' decaf, of course
- Caffeine-free herbal teas
- My collagen hot chocolate
Adaptogenic herbs to balance cortisol levels and make the caffeine detox suck (a little) less:
- Rhodiola Rosea
- Holy Basil
- Find these in Tulsi Tea (another great coffee substitute!)
Some other ideas for lessening the withdrawal symptoms of caffeine include LOTS of h20 (with a pinch of sea salt for added minerals), rest, detox baths (epsom salt + essential oils) and turmeric/curcumin if headaches persist.
Seriously, though...you've got this!
Today ends the "tough love" of this detox, and you are going to be happy you kept going!
Make sure to watch today's video lesson for the "why" on detoxing caffeine to deal with adrenal fatigue symptoms, as well as a little more information on what is happening in our bodies when we're experiencing those symptoms.