Why monitoring your caffeine intake is important for your sleep, energy and overall wellness

Like many people I really look forward to a great cup of coffee! But a few years ago I was so addicted to caffeine I didn’t even realise how many cups of coffee and tea I was having a day – when I counted most days it was over 10! It crept up on me, busy and stressful lives, small children just seemed to add another cup to my day to ‘get through’ – and winter time made it even worse for me as I also used tea and coffee to warm up!

The trouble was – I was always SO tired and the caffeine ‘hit’ wasn’t lasting very long, my sleep patterns weren’t good and I would often have nights where I would be lucky to get a couple of hours rest. Sounding familiar?

Caffeine in itself isn’t a terrible thing – its “everything in moderation”. Large numbers of studies have shown that too much caffeine (over 500-600mg per day) which is roughly more than 5 cups, can have many side effects including:

• Anxiety
• Fatigue
• Insomnia
• Dehydrates you
• Can irritate the gut
• Increased risk of osteoporosis
• Liver damage

Not to mention its one of the most addictive substances in the world!

Its also not fun to reduce your consumption – withdrawl headaches are very common so its easy to see how people get stuck drinking so much coffee!

One thing that has really helped me to reduce my caffeine intake and keep it well below the recommended 5 cups a day is my daily warm Jamu first thing every morning. We make an infusion with 1 part Jamu to 4 parts boiling water. The turmeric, ginger and other spices in Jamu literally ‘wake up’ our systems and support our Liver and immune systems. So instead of relying on that caffeine ‘hit’ we find that we get a more natural ‘get up and go’. The intense Jamu flavours really give your taste buds something punchy – much like the sensation of having a strong coffee – but instead of not helping your body Jamu supports you. Being high in anti-inflammatories the turmeric and ginger also help to reduce the symptoms of reducing caffeine intake such as headaches and cravings. I found I was able to reduce one cup a week until I now have 2 cups of caffeine maximum per day and feel so much better for it! Combined with reducing my sugar intake I find I have so much better energy through the day too as I’m not having that mid-afternoon ‘slump’ at my desk – looking for a coffee and something sweet. As the cooler weather hits I often look to a warm Jamu in the afternoons too – warm yourself up from the inside and support your immune system.