The Truth About Caffeine And Adrenal Fatigue
Too much caffeine can be hurting your gains!
You know that your adrenal glands are very important right? You don’t? Well you had better read every word of this post then!
How are you feeling right now? Are mornings a real struggle for you? Do you need a ton of caffeine to wake yourself up? How about sleeping at night? Do you go right off to sleep or do you have trouble getting off to sleep or staying asleep?
In the daytime do you feel like it is an effort to do stuff? Are you easily overwhelmed when presented with a number of tasks?
How is your mood? Do you feel unusually emotional or cranky? Do the simplest things frustrate you?
And if you are sick, how long does it take you to recover? Is it taking longer than it used to?
Why so many questions? Well all of these things are indicators that you are suffering from adrenal fatigue.
What Is Adrenal Fatigue?
It is where your adrenal glands are not functioning at their normal level. We all go through stresses in our lives and these can be emotional, physical or mental. A combination of these can occur as well. Too much stress can totally overwhelm your body’s ability to fight it.
When stress is encountered, your adrenal glands produce adrenaline, cortisol and noradrenalin. The release of these hormones is designed so that you are ready to take on the physical challenges that you are facing.
If your adrenals start to get abused by constant stress, they can actually begin to wear out and in the worst case this could lead to Addison’s disease where the adrenals fail to produce enough cortisol. You do not want to be in that situation!
How To Find Out If You Have Adrenal Fatigue
If you go to the doc and ask him to test you for adrenal fatigue he might just test your cortisol levels. But this is not enough. More extensive testing is required.
A blood test will determine the amount of cortisol and aldosterone that is circulating in your blood but it will not tell you the levels in your tissues and cells.
Testing your saliva will provide a more accurate test of the hormone levels in your cells. Then there is hair mineral testing, which checks for magnesium, potassium and sodium levels.
A very good test is the iris contraction test. A light is shined across your eyes and somebody will watch the dilation of your pupils carefully. With adrenal fatigue, the pupils will remain contracted and after contraction it will still contract and dilate.
Another good test is the Ragland test. Lie down for around 5 minutes and then check your blood pressure with a gauge or machine. Then stand up and test it again. If it goes down then it is likely that you have adrenal fatigue. It should stay the same or go up slightly.
So You Have Adrenal Fatigue – What Do You Do Now?
It’s easy really. You need a better diet and more sleep. And then of course there are some lifestyle changes that will be required. OK maybe it’s not that easy but just read this and do it anyway!
Let’s start with eating and drinking. Here is what you shouldn’t eat or drink:
Caffeine – it is widely believed that too much caffeine causes adrenal fatigue. Your adrenals have taken a pounding so give them a chance here. If you continue with the coffee and sugar for energy, you will stop your adrenals naturally producing the right energy levels for you.
Alcohol – didn’t you just know this would be on the list? The thing is that it has a similar effect as coffee and sugar. If you drink to relax then this stops the adrenals from naturally relaxing you.
Refined Sugars – there is a strong relationship with hypoglycemia and adrenal fatigue so do you really think that refined sugars are a good idea? You will experience a surge of blood sugar and a big insulin dump leading to low blood sugar. This is very stressful for your adrenals.
Trans Fats – these eat up enzymes that healthy fats use to make healthy cell membranes. Give them a wide berth.
Fruits – certain fruits are high in fructose and potassium and should be avoided especially early in the day.
OK here are the things that you should eat to cure your adrenal fatigue:
Carbohydrates – go for brown rice, buckwheat, oatmeal and quinoa rather than refined carbohydrates.
Fats – essential fatty acids are great for your adrenals. Omega 3’s are the way forward here and go for food sources that contain them such as wild salmon. You should also cook in saturated fats like butter and coconut oil.
Protein – eat whole eggs and poultry and grass fed beef. Try a high protein shake with your meals.
Salt – add salt to your cooking and into the water that you drink to make up for the depleted sodium levels in your body cause by adrenal fatigue.
What about those lifestyle changes then?
Getting more sleep is essential to help your adrenals recover. But sleep is only part of the answer. You need more rest in general and to get away from people and things that make you stressed. Of course this is easier said than done, but try as hard as you can.
There are always going to be people around that make you stressed. Maybe they complain all of the time and are always negative. You need to get these bad boys out of your life. Try taking a break from them for a while.
If you see them make out you haven’t noticed them and go in the other direction. Should you be avoiding your problems? No, but taking a break from them while your adrenals recover is a good idea. The people may even work it out for themselves!
What if the problem is your spouse or a close family member? Well don’t start deliberately avoiding them or they will think that you are up to no good. Sit them down and explain the problem to them. Be diplomatic of course. If you can’t be honest with your family who else can you be honest with?
Don’t let people use you too much. If you are used to saying “yes” try saying “no”. There will be shock and disbelief at first but they will soon get the message.
Learn to laugh more. Laughing and having a good time means that you are free from stress and that your adrenal glands can take a well deserved break! They will also repair themselves during this time. So talk to those people that make you laugh. Stop taking life so seriously!
If you hate your job do something about it! It’s either put up or shut up. The short term stress of finding a new job will pay back dividends if your overall stress levels are decreased. Maybe a sideways move in the same company is an option?
Nutritional Supplements Can Help
Melatonin can help you get into the right sleep patterns to help your adrenals.
Vitamin C is essential in the fight against adrenal fatigue. Take Vitamin E as well as this will work alongside the Vitamin C to neutralize free radicals when your body makes adrenal hormones.
Other supplements you can try are licorice root and magnesium. Licorice root will really help you fight your adrenal fatigue and it can reduce the symptoms of hypoglycemia. Magnesium will help you too and this is best taken at night.