Whether your go-to beverage is coffee, diet coke or energy drinks, too much caffeine consumption can be harmful to your recovery. Believe it or not, caffeine is the world’s most common mood-altering drug. It increases your mental-emotional stress by generating a soar-and-crash effect – and it can even turn into a cross addiction if you’re not careful.
Excessive caffeine use – three 8-ounce cups of coffee per day is considered moderate consumption and won’t harm you, according to the National Institutes of Health – can lead to such physical and emotional side effects as tremors, anxiety, insomnia and a “crash” of fatigue once the caffeine begins wearing off.
Here’s a look at a few more ways too much caffeine can interfere with a healthy recovery:
- It increases stress and anxiety. Caffeine is known to increase a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine, which is linked to mood. Excessive caffeine can cause an excessive production of acetylcholine and this can lead to feelings of anxiety and depression. What’s more, caffeine elevates the stress hormone adrenalin, which could leave you in a state of stress.
- It causes blood sugar swings. Caffeine can cause blood sugar to spike, especially if you’re at risk of diabetes or already have the condition. This is especially dangerous since unstable sugar levels not only cause stress but can contribute to drug cravings, depression, anxiety and fatigue.
- It disrupts your sleep. Caffeine is a stimulant, which means that it causes alertness and reduces sleepiness – and in just 10 to 15 minutes after consumption. Many sleep experts urge cutting out coffee six hours prior to bedtime, but everyone’s metabolism is different, so the timeline could be longer or shorter for you.
- It can prevent vitamin absorption. Solid nutrition is an important aspect of recovery and too much caffeine may inhibit the absorption of some crucial vitamins for recovery: B vitamins, vitamin D, iron, calcium, zinc and potassium.
Healthy Meal Prep at Makana Path
We know that consuming the right foods is a big part of healing your body from the damage of addiction and staying strong during recovery. To this end, we include healthy meal preparation as part of our holistic approach to addiction treatment. To learn more about our Intensive Healing Program, call today: 866-905-4550.