Monday 23 November 2015

Busy? Tired? Why You Need LESS Caffeine

 “Behind every successful person is a substantial amount of coffee.” You gotta love quotes like that. If you are like most people these days, you are busier than ever. As a result, you may turn to the most popular drug in the world – caffeine to get you through your busy days. However, if you are really busy, you want less – not more caffeine. Here’s why:

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Just so you know where I'm coming from
Right now I'm in a very busy season of life. I have 4 children (ages 6, 4, 2 and 19 days old). I'm teaching an overload and I'm the head strength coach for my university in addition to writing, programming and training clients. What I'm about to share with you is not just some theory I came up. It is part of my real-life, battle-tested survival plan.

Some things are worth losing sleep over

The Truth About Caffeine 
The thing that people fail to recognize with stimulants is that they do not give you energy. Rather, they work by taking energy away from you. They create a stress-like response in the body which releases adrenaline, glucose and fatty acids to fuel your body. When you take extra energy out now, you will suffer from even lower energy later. This is fine for an occasional buzz, but not for regular use. If you are busy, tired and stressed out, you need all the energy you can get. Regular use of stimulants makes about as much sense and someone who is in huge debt borrowing more money to pay the debt off. You are not fixing the problem, you are making it worse.

Another problem with stimulants is that the more you use them, the less effective they become. The body becomes accustomed to them and down-regulates. For most avid coffee drinkers, they are no longer getting buzz from their beloved drink but rather just the ability to function somewhat normally. 

How to Get Real Energy
If you are busy, stressed out, exhausted and needing more energy. Don’t look for an energy drink – here is what you really need. The challenge with what I’m about to tell you is that it is stuff that you already “know”. However, stay with me. The key is not knowing this stuff intellectually, but rather making a though paradigm shift so that take proper action when you are busy and really need the energy. Work with your body and not against it and you will make it through the busy times.

Employ strategic caffeine use
The last think you want when you are in a busy season of life is something that drains energy from your body. If you are tired and busy, avoid regular caffeine use. Then, you will get a nice buzz when you do use it in those critical situations.

Get proper nutrition
When life gets crazy a diet of high-quality proteins, healthy fats and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables is replaced with sugar, processed junk and copious amounts of caffeine. While food will not make your stress go away, it will give your body the fuel it needs to get through busy times! If you are busy and need high-level, all-day energy, invest the needed time to make proper nutrition a priority. Try to pack in as many superfoods as you can. You don't have time not to eat well when you are busy. Give your body a fighting chance by giving it the fuel to carry you through busy times.

I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but if you want more energy, make sure you are exercising regularly. According to Dr. Mike Evans, exercise is the number one treatment of fatigue. If you are busy, you are too busy NOT to exercise.  

It is amazing what you can handle when you have had a good night’s sleep. When you are busy, get as much sleep as you reasonably can. Also, and especially when you can’t get the quantity of sleep you want, be sure to maximize your sleep quality.

Don’t fall into the lie of “naps are for babies”. It is not about how much you work, but about how much you get done when you work. A short nap in the early afternoon may be just what you need to re-charge and have a productive second half to your day.

Don’t fear fatigue
Also, remember that it is okay to be tired, you will survive. 

How about you? What do you do for energy during busy times? I invite you to leave your comments or questions below or on my Facebook Page.

Also, since we are on the topic of stimulants, check out this hilarious clip from Jerry Seinfeld on those 5 Hour Energy Drinks.

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