Tuesday, 2 June 2009


I've been on a course today and had to sit for four hours in a blistering hot room. Of course we were given lots of drink breaks and guess what was top of the list : tea and coffee, those great 'get me through the day' beverages. I also observed many of the group had brought their own drinks - mainly fizzy soda type stuff, Gatorade, Lucozade, Coca Cola, Fanta etc. Looking around the room (this was a more interesting study than the course) there was very little of what we are designed to drink - plain old WATER.

It seems the majority of the population have forgotten the humble drink of water such is the power of advertising and the great range of carbonated, sugar/sweetener/colouring/flavouring filled range of drinks that are so readily available to us today.

But these things along with tea and coffee (in large amounts) come with adverse health affects, when they displace water, these include :

tooth decay - who cleans their teeth after a can of coke?

sugar addiction - and boy is it addictive

caffeine addiction - likewise

insomnia - if you're still buzzing how can you expect your mind to switch off?

attention deficit disorder - stimulants lead to a 'jumpy' brain

insulin resistance that can lead to diabetes - this is far more common than most people are aware

Used within the 80/20 rule these drinks are fine, if the rest of the time the body is being hydrated by water and herbal and fruit teas. Become dependent on these drinks to 'keep you going' which is what many people use them for, and you run the risk of developing health problems long term.

One of the main issues is the damage they can do to the adrenal glands which are responsible for our stress response. In cave man times we needed this 'fight or flight' stress response to run away from attacking wild animals. Stress hormones were released that elevated our heart rate and blood pressure and diverted blood away from the internal organs and out to the skin and muscles allowing us to literally run for our lives. This was short lived and then our bodys relaxed again.

What happens when we take in alot of stimulants, particularly in the form of caffeine, on a regular basis, and also eat inadequately, is the adrenals are in 'stress mode' more or less permanently and can become fatigued. We have created a state in our bodys that is the modern equivalent of running away from a hungry bear!

When we omit breakfast this creates low blood sugar, and low energy levels leaving you NEEDING that next cup of coffee. The coffee gives you a temporary 'high', and you feel good again but soon will get the repeated energy slump.This yo yo syndrome will continue all day if sufficient nutrients are not ingested, and the coffee drinking 'need' increases leaving you wide awake in the evening when you should be sleeping.

This whole stress cycle disrupts digestion, sleeping patterns, energy levels, accerbates mood swings and a whole host of other minor health problems which will leave you feeling well below par, and can turn into more major health problems when this cycle is sustained for long periods.

In short, long term stress on the body and mind in any way shape or form is really not good.

So think about how you want to feel. How much would you like unlimited energy levels, to have a clear head, to have a digestive system that works smoothly and ultimately have no cravings?.

To look healthy on the outside and feel, and be, healthy on the inside?.

You HAVE to want it badly to get it, because temptation is everywhere. We are surrounded by fast food outlets, supermarket shelves stocking processed 'anti nutrient' foods, vending machines in offices offering nothing with ANY goodness, petrol stations - ditto. We are becoming a nation of very unhealthy people and it's scary. The NHS is drained enough and we look set to drain it some more if we carry on with our unhealthy eating and drinking regimes.

Why not make a small step today to improve what you ingest. You get one body and it so wants to be healthy - let it?

Today's Tip : Go cold turkey for a few days - you may feel shocking so plan to do it when you're not busy(?). Drink only water and herbal and fruit tea. Peppermint will give you a buzz in the morning,its a natural stimulant, as will green tea which whilst containing some caffeine has many, many healthy properties.I did it years ago and have never looked back. Good luck. RX

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