Does caffeine really GIVE you energy?

Plus: Could vegetables possibly be bad for you?

Wednesday. Boeing just can’t catch a break. During a flight from Sydney to New Zealand on a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, at least 50 passengers were injured due to sudden turbulence (READ MORE HERE). Of those 50, 13 required hospital treatment. Yikes. Now, put on your tin foil hat and get this—coincidently, the Boeing whistleblower who raised quality-control and safety concerns over the company’s aircraft production was found dead just a few days ago (TRUE STORY—READ IT HERE).  Double yikes. 

Speaking of news that makes you go yikes, does coffee actually give you an energy boost, or is it all a lie? Let’s dive in.


The Price Coffee Drinkers Have To Pay

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Imagine starting your day with a cup of coffee and joining the billions around the world who do the same. If you are like me, you don’t have to imagine it. That is what I did this morning and every other morning since I can remember. 

If you are a coffee drinker, it's easy to believe that coffee is the secret sauce that powers your morning and keeps you going through the day. This email newsletter is powered by coffee every morning. Without coffee, there might not be a Daily Tonic. I am exaggerating (a little bit), but you get the point. I lot of us would feel useless without our beloved cup of Joe. But let's dive into what's really happening when you sip your favorite brew.

Coffee's magic ingredient is caffeine, a powerful stimulant that has a unique relationship with adenosine, a compound in our brains. Adenosine is basically a sleep regulator. Adenosine levels increase with every activity and make us feel tired as our energy depletes. That’s why you feel worn out after a long day—you’ve been racking up Adenosine all day. 

But when you're asleep, adenosine levels drop, and you wake up feeling refreshed—unless, of course, you didn't catch enough Z's.

Now, here's where caffeine comes into play. It sneaks into the adenosine receptors in your brain because it looks similar enough to adenosine but doesn't make you sleepy. Instead, caffeine blocks adenosine from making you feel tired. But here’s the catch—this effect is more like borrowing energy you don't have rather than creating it. The caffeine doesn't last forever, and when it wears off, all the blocked adenosine rushes in, making you feel even sleepier than before.

Does that feeling sound familiar? Mid-morning crash, mid-afternoon crash? We’ve all been there. 

It's important to understand that while caffeine gives you a temporary lift, it's not adding any real energy to your system. The only way to genuinely replenish your energy is through sleep. So, consider caffeine a loan you'll need to repay with rest. And like with most loans, it isn’t always the best idea to keep getting into so much debt. If all you are doing is caffeinating your body and never really resting, eventually, you will have to pay, and it won’t be pretty. 

When you drink coffee matters as well. How much adenosine is built up in your system will impact the effect caffeine has on your body. A cup later in the day might feel more effective because there are more drowsy signals to fight off. But be careful with timing. Drinking coffee too late can interfere with your sleep since caffeine has a half-life of about five hours. Plus, everyone processes caffeine differently, with regular drinkers building up tolerance over time.

Oh, and If your coffee is sweetened, the sugar can lead to a quick spike in energy followed by an even steeper crash. On the flip side, if you're having coffee with a meal, the food can slow down caffeine absorption, making its effects kick in more gradually.

And finally, caffeine isn't exclusive to coffee. It's also found in tea, energy drinks, and some sodas. Each of these drinks has its own set of compounds that can affect how caffeine works in your body. But just remember, caffeine isn't a magical energy creator. Real energy comes from proper nutrition, hydration, and, most importantly, adequate sleep. It doesn’t come from a Monster can or a Starbucks cup.

The key takeaway? The next time you reach for that cup of coffee, remember it's giving you a temporary boost, but it isn’t really giving you energy. All you are doing is taking an energy loan that you will have to repay somewhere down the line. To stay truly energized, focus on the essentials: eating right, staying hydrated, and getting plenty of sleep. No one is saying not to enjoy coffee, but just remember how it works and when it might be masking something you might want to improve. 


Tonic Shots

  • Man finds out migraines caused by brain tapeworms; undercooked bacon may be culprit. (READ MORE)

  • FDA warns consumers to stop using six brands of ground cinnamon found to have high levels of lead. (READ MORE)

  • Again—no surprises here. Risk of cancer higher for people living with worsening metabolic syndrome. (READ MORE)


In Defense Of Vegetables

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Yes—meat and animal products are full of protein and essential nutrients we need in order to thrive. But there is another vital piece to the puzzle we need to talk about when discussing how we can optimize our diet to improve our health. 

And let me tell you, we desperately need to improve our health. 

As the United States population ages, the number of adults with chronic diseases is expected to soar dramatically. By 2050, the number of Americans aged 50 and older with at least one chronic disease is projected to nearly double from 71 million in 2020 to a whopping 142 million. With such staggering numbers, it’s crucial that we talk about what we can do to mitigate this trend. One such intervention that doesn’t get talked about as much is the inclusion of more fiber in our diets.

Fiber, often overshadowed in discussions about healthy food, has proven to be a powerful ally in combating chronic diseases. A comprehensive review of 185 studies linked a high-fiber diet to a reduced risk of obesity, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. This is no small feat.

Fiber’s benefits extend to lowering LDL cholesterol, but the advantages of fiber don’t stop there. It also aids in lowering blood pressure, regulating blood sugar, and enhancing insulin sensitivity. Additionally, fiber plays a critical role in controlling appetite and maintaining gut health, both of which are pivotal for overall well-being.


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