Accidentally Anxious Part 3

Is Coffee Bad for You?

Coffee is delicious. Sipping away on the dark, tantalizing beverage is alluring for the experience as much as the taste. Unfortunately, relying on coffee to combat your lack of sleep and keep you alert for your endless list of urgent tasks doesn’t help you get more done; it scrambles your brain, making you more distracted.

Caffeine fires up your nervous system. Your pituitary gland then thinks there’s some sort of emergency, so it releases hormones that tell your adrenal glands to produce adrenaline—your fight-or-flight hormone. Your body is primed to outrun a tiger or fight to the death; your blood pressure rises, your muscles get more blood and blood flow to the stomach slows. You’re raring to go, but you’re just sitting at your desk. The accumulation of adrenaline means your body is in a heightened state of anxiety, and your racing heart serves no purpose other than to leave you feeling wired.

Try This: One cup a day is fine—let’s not get too extreme! But instead of starting the day with a coffee, try a hot water or decaf. Then your daily coffee will feel like a treat rather than a necessity.

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