If you’ve been keeping an eye on the news, I’m sure you couldn’t miss the FDA warning about the new AeroShot Caffeine Inhaler. The FDA issued a warning letter to the makers of AeroShot for “false or misleading statements” in their promotional materials which suggest that the product can be “both inhaled and ingested.” The problem is that the powder can be sucked into the lungs—which is unsafe, to say the very least. Not to mention that the product (with its slick packaging in a lipstick-sized container) is being marketed to teens who may already be on caffeine overload considering all the caffeine-containing substances in the marketplace—energy drinks, black tea, dark chocolate, colas, and over the counter drugs such as cold meds, pain relievers and allergy remedies.
So, what’s so bad about caffeine?
Plenty—especially at the rate in which Americans are ingesting their daily “drug of choice.” The average American drinks over 3 cups of coffee per day which equates to more than 150 million people consuming over 300 mg of caffeine daily.
Most experts agree that amounts exceeding 200 mg of caffeine daily can contribute to an enormous range of psychological and physiological problems which have become increasingly common in recent years. Some of caffeine’s disastrous side effects include adrenal exhaustion, anxiety, depression, nervousness, irritability, heart palpitations, fibrocystic breasts, stomach irritation, muscle twitching, insomnia, and even vision problems.
You see, your daily cup of joe activates the sympathetic nervous system which governs the fight or flight response. It also stimulates the brain-altering hormone levels and acts on the pleasure centers of the brain leading to repeated use. High caffeine intake causes the adrenal glands to continuously secrete adrenaline leading to adrenal burnout, eventually resulting in elevated heart rate and blood pressure as well as increased respiration. The liver responds by releasing glucose.
Just as blood sugar rises when we consume excess carbs and simple sugars, it also rises when we take in caffeine, nicotine, or alcohol. This triggers the insulin response which can lead to hypoglycemia and ultimately diabetes and even metabolic syndrome. Caffeine can also cause the body to store fat. Weight watchers, beware.
And then there’s the issue of toxins in coffee. Note that over 200 pesticides are used on many coffee plants and that regular coffee (as well as decaf) is one of the most toxic substances for your liver to metabolize. That’s why many laboratories that specialize in functional medicine testing offer a caffeine challenge test to assess how well the liver’s detox pathways are working.
In breaking the caffeine habit, you may want to cut back by eliminating one cup every three to four days and replace coffee with herbal teas (I like roasted dandelion root) or the grain-based Teecino.
Providing the nutritional support your body needs is probably the most important thing you can do focus on the root of the problem and not merely a band-aid solution. Since repeated use of caffeine, like other stimulants, can lead to overstimulation and subsequent burnout of dopamine and other neurotransmitters, amino acids (like tyrosine) which provide the building blocks that make up neurotransmitters, play a key role in repairing biochemical damage.
An adrenal supplement providing between 500 – 3,000 mg of L-tyrosine—a precursor of dopamine, norepinephrine, and thyroid hormone—can be used as an effective treatment for caffeine withdrawal.
Your body is not suffering from a caffeine deficiency but it may be calling out for help in the energy department and that’s where Adrenal Formula and vitamins and minerals are the solution.