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What would some of us do without our morning/ midmorning/lunchtime/afternoon caffeine fix?  Some would exaggerate and say ‘die’.  It is a fix because caffeine is a drug and a highly addictive one at that.  We would go so far as to speculate that if caffeine were to be introduced to the Food Standards Agency (UK) and the FDA (US) today, it would not gain approval.  A number of products that are a part of our everyday life contain caffeine: tea, coffee, aspirin, ‘diet pills’, ‘energy pills’, ‘fat burning’ supplements and chocolate to name a few.  Caffeine seriously disrupts the blood sugar regulating mechanisms of our bodies and also brings about a physical dependency if there is long term use, similar to other legal drugs like nicotine.

What you need to know:

Research has shown that caffeine has an adverse effect on our body’s ability for blood sugar regulation; as it disrupts the normal workings of the liver, pancreas and adrenal glands (located above the kidneys).  Also, caffeine is a powerful diuretic causing the body to loose water from all major tissues.  Problems arise with long term dependency including (but not limited to) allergic responses, behaviour change, depression, dizziness, dehydration, mental disorders, osteoporosis, insomnia and (like almost everything) has been linked to cancer.

Our Recommendation:

Addiction to caffeine must be avoided at all costs.  Therefore, daily and habitual ingestion of caffeine containing substances should be avoided.  Daily alternatives should be sought after if addiction is already apparent.  Such alternatives could include green tea with ginseng, caffeine free coffees and teas.  Take care to wean yourself off caffeine in order to ease the body out of dependence.