By Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, CSO, LDN; Reboot Nutritionist
March is National Caffeine Month, a perfect time to break down this controversial nutrition topic, as it’s also National Nutrition Month! Caffeine, coffee and health is a mixed bag and much more complex of an issue than “yes” or “no”, as with most things nutrition-related. There are many details around consumption and personal health history that will influence what your healthiest option may be at any given moment. If you need more guidance on caffeine and you’re also looking to lose weight, our upcoming March Guided Reboot Programs are all about helping you with both. Spots are filling quickly for the next 30-Day Guided Reboot Program on March 22!
Surprising to some and a relief for others, moderate intake of caffeine may not be harmful and can actually offer health benefits. What is the magical number of “moderate” – 300 mg or less per day which is approximately 3, 8 oz. cups of coffee. There are of course a variety of personal factors that would make that amount “too much” for some, like the elderly or anyone with high blood pressure for example.
For some, caffeine can contribute to symptoms and amounts should be limited. Avoiding sodas is a key behavior to promote health, try to keep caffeine to teas and coffee instead. Soda consumption, especially added sugars, is linked with many chronic illnesses including diabetes, obesity and heart disease.
For those with migraine, diabetes and heart conditions, caffeine can wreck havoc on blood sugars, headache, heart rate or rhythm and contribute to anxiety, nervousness, dizziness, etc.
As you can see the risks vs. benefits are very individual, so there is no one right or wrong answer. One of the most important aspects of cutting down on caffeine for your Reboot, or anytime, is making the process gradual to prevent ill effects of rapid withdrawal, like headache, fatigue, migraine trigger, nausea.
Here’s a step by step guide to transition off or down from your morning buzz.