What is caffeine?
Caffeine, by definition, is a drug that stimulates your central nervous system. It is a psychoactive drug, meaning it affects brain function.
Caffeine is found in coffee beans, cocoa beans, and tea leaves. In fact, coffee is the world’s most widely consumed drug!
So is coffee healthy?
Whether or not coffee is beneficial for health is a very controversial and confusing topic. Let’s look at the positive and negative effects of coffee:
- Protects against Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes, & liver disease
- 1.8 grams of fiber in each cup
- Linked to longevity & heart health
- High in antioxidants
- Can aid weight loss (by boosting metabolism)
- Proven to reduce suicidal risk & depression
- Contains acrylamides, a carcinogenic substance
- Affects sleep schedules
- Increases stress hormone production
- Decreases insulin sensitivity
- Increases excretion of certain minerals, mainly calcium
- May cause digestive discomfort
The fact that coffee is a drug means that it can be very addictive. We all know someone who can’t function without a cup (or three) of coffee. For regular coffee drinkers, abstaining from coffee can lead to withdrawal symptoms like headaches, irritability and difficulty concentrating.
Natural Caffeine Sources
If you are concerned about becoming reliant on coffee, but still need that energy boost in the morning, there are many foods that can help.
Whole foods like berries, almonds and yogurt provide natural, sustaining energy. Likewise, superfoods like spirulina and chlorella have an incredible nutrient density that makes them great choices for a pick-me-up. Both are high in protein, iron, antioxidants and vitamins.
At U-RAAW! you can create your own smoothie mix with chlorella and spirulina powder. You even add kelp, wheatgrass or guarana powder to your mix for an added energy boost. Just adding a spoonful of your raw smoothie mix to a morning smoothie will provide natural energy for hours!
What is your go to snack for an energy boost? Let us know in the comments below!