What’s the Deal With Caffeine?

We hear this often at the resort…WHY IS THERE NO CAFFEINE! In all caps, because they are usually yelling it at us.

 

Just kidding (kind of), but there is usually a certain amount of frustrating confusion around this question! I mean, you are exercising quite a bit and would love a little extra boost. We get that! We really aren’t trying to be mean, but we are trying to help you shift your homeostasis to a healthier one. Let me explain.

 

As we have discussed before, I tend to look at overall patterns rather than blame any one food or behavior. It’s not that we take an official stand against you using caffeine or caffeine containing beverages at home, but while at the Resort, we hope to help you remove all crutches or dependencies so you can hear what your body is telling you. It’s very common to stay up late (or eat quite a bit late at night) and therefore get inadequate sleep. When you wake in the morning, you may find yourself fatigued or not well-rested and reach for a stimulant (or stimulants – coffee, caffeine, processed snacks, etc). The need for a nice warm beverage is done more out of habit or a band-aid rather than any nutritional purposes. It is easier to listen to what your body is telling you when you aren’t in survival mode or trying to just make it through another day. That’s no way to live! Isn’t it nice to break out of habitual patterns in order to look deeper at the issue and what might be a real solution?

 

The next question is always – “Why don’t you just serve decaf coffee then?” Decaffeinated coffee still have some caffeine (100-150 mg per cup in regular and 15-40 mg per cup in decaf).

 

Having said that, when you return home, you may choose to reintroduce caffeine back into your life. We recommend keeping coffee at less than 12-18 oz maximum per day in order to keep caffeine levels low, and to not drink it past about 2:00 so as not to interfere with your sleep cycles (even if you feel you can handle it later, you may not be getting into the deep REM cycle of sleep that helps us wake fully rested and refreshed). Also, it is a stimulant so it will affect your heart and central nervous system and too much can most definitely cause damage. For that reason, we do not recommend using energy drinks. They are very high in caffeine, can be variable and it’s been shown that more is included than reported on the label.

 

 

Finally, a little myth busting: Coffee is NOT a diuretic.  It is a warm beverage that tends to get things flowin…but you would have to drink much more than 12-18 oz per day for it to have a diuretic effect.  

 

Hope this helps to shed light on this controversial subject!

 

Emily Fonnesbeck RD, CD