Having suffered form chronic headaches a couple of weeks ago, I decided to remove coffee, and all other caffeinated beverages (such as black and green teas) from my diet, as they would have been dehydrating my body when I actually needed to hydrate it to help it get rid of the headaches.
Little did I know that completely removing caffeinated beverages from my life would have such a positive impact on the way that I feel in my body and particularly on my relationship with food and by that I mean my cravings of carbs and sugar.
What’s the relationship between coffee and carbs you might ask.
Well, in order to answer this question, we need to first understand our adrenal glands.
What are our adrenal glands, and what role do they play?
Our adrenal glands are small organs located atop of each kidney. When we encounter a stressful situation, our adrenal glands release hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones put our bodies into high alert fight or flight mode, or what we also call the sympathetic system.
When drinking coffee, a similar situation occurs, where the caffeine stimulates the adrenal glands in the same way a stressful situation does. What this means is that when you consume a cup of coffee, your body is getting ready for a fight, that never occur…
Overtime, the consumption of coffee, triggers the sympathetic system in a way that can cause adrenal fatigue; Where the adrenal glands function below their optimum levels.
What happens when we come down from an adrenal high?
When our glands function properly and respond normally to caffeine, they release adrenaline, which gives us a boost of energy. BUT once that high goes away, all sorts of symptom might occur, from irritability, to fatigue, to lethargy and even headaches.
Those symptoms are often a craving call for more caffeine, which in turns comes with a new craving for carbs/sugars. We then find ourselves craving glutinous and carb rich foods like pizzas, pastas, cookies and chocolates as well as more caffeinated beverages to counteract our moodiness and lethargy.
This vicious cycle of high energy - crash - moodiness- cravings is unfortunately on repeat mode quite often.
If that loop seems familiar to you, like it was for me, trying out a caffeine free lifestyle would be a good way to experiment and see if these mood swings and cravings fade away.
How to do it?
Try removing caffeinated beverages (coffees and teas) from your lifestyle for 2 or 3 weeks (ideally) and see how you feel. FYI- Herbal teas are caffeine free, so you can drink as many as you want. This might not work for you and that’s ok, but how would you know if you don’t try it!