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Is Coffee Your Mood Maker or Deal Breaker?

By Sandy Schroeder

Many workplaces seem to run on coffee. The day starts with a strong jolt of black coffee and sometimes ends with more cups as a few late hour jobs get pushed through. Up to now, most of us have counted on coffee to keep us up and running.

But now there are questions.

Travis Bradberry, co-founder of TalentSmart, an agency used by many Fortune 500 companies, recently looked at some of the negatives that may arrive with every cup.

Caffeine May Sabotage Calmness

Most of us have powered through tasks with the help of caffeine. But when we need to be calm under stress, coffee can work against us. Caffeine triggers the release of adrenaline and the “fight or flight” response.” When a difficult email comes through, it may be all too easy to fire off a terse reply right back. Later when you calm down, you may wish you had said something else.

Physical/Emotional Caffeine Footprints

Along with a hyped approach, caffeine can trigger irritability and anxiety to undermine the steady balance needed to work with a mix of people and navigate a stream of meetings.

Physically, caffeine also raises health questions. Researchers say large amounts of caffeine can spike blood pressure, overstimulate the heart, and cause rapid breathing, depleting the body’s supply of oxygen.

Caffeine May Steal Your Sleep

That first cup of coffee at 7 a.m. can still be deliver a 25 percent hit at 7 p.m. If you have coffee in the afternoon, 50 percent of that caffeine will be with you at bedtime. Just when you need to let go of the day, your body may still feel wide awake.  During the night, caffeine can disrupt the deep sleep the body needs. When you wake up tired, the first cup of coffee starts the whole cycle again. As the afternoon stretches on, you may need more coffee. Gradually, you may find yourself swimming through an endless cycle of caffeine withdrawal and refueling.

How to Escape

If you want to try life without the coffee cycle, it is best to start gradually. Researchers at Johns Hopkins warn caffeine withdrawal can cause sleepiness, mental fog, headaches, anxiety and depression. Start by reducing the strength, and gradually reducing the number of cups. To get the rest that you need, skip coffee in the afternoon. If you are sleepy, head out for a walk, or do a few stretching exercises. Slowly, but surely, you may wake up more rested and alert. Then see what amount of caffeine works for you and your performance during the day.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.

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