Like it or not, caffeine is a drug. Yup. If you drink caffeine daily you can build up a tolerance for it, thus making it likely for you to increase your average intake over time. A body addicted to caffeine will most likely go through a withdrawal period once regular consumption is halted. If you experience withdrawal, then you were likely consuming something you should have never included in your diet in the first place. Just saying
You might think the average child isn’t consuming a lot of caffeine (at least not as much as their Starbucks-toting parents), but you are wrong! A 2010 report published in the Journal of Pediatrics says a whopping 75 percent of children surveyed consumed caffeine on a daily basis and add to that the more caffeine the children consumed, the less they slept. Even more concerning is the report The American Association of Poison Control Centers recently shared that stated that roughly 1,200 cases a year of caffeine toxicity occur in children younger than age 6. These alarming facts should act as a wake-up call to parents and encourage them to more closely manage their children’s consumption of caffeinated beverages and food products.
Hey folks, if the likes of Frappuccino’s, energy drinks or caffeinated sodas are part of your kid’s daily diet, then they may likely be headed down the road to a life-long caffeine addiction. Something that can and should be avoided for optimal health and wellness, regardless of one’s age or stage of life.
If you need more reasons why caffeine is a real danger to both you and your child’s health, then check out these sobering facts.
- Essentially, caffeine mirrors the stress hormone in our bodies and works to suppress the natural calming effects of your natural body chemistry.
- When your body has a high-stress response, your insulin resistance and fat storage can increase and can lead to the perfect recipe for weight gain.
- Caffeine also inhibits your impulse control by making the body think there isn’t a need to produce as much serotonin, as it would under normal conditions.
- Caffeine is a diuretic and causes the body to dump water (increase the frequency of urination). Kids who drink a lot of caffeinated beverages often drink less water. Less water and increase frequency of urination leads to dehydration which can inhibit such things as mental clarity, energy, sports performance, perspiration and other important functions of the body.
- Caffeine has NO nutritional value. You don’t need it to stay alive or healthy.
- Have trouble sleeping? If you consume caffeine, one’s inability to sleep may be in part or wholly attributed to caffeine intake. It has been long known by the medical community that the use and overuse of caffeine can commonly lead to sleepless nights, feelings of restlessness and agitation.
- Caffeine takes three to seven hours to get out of your system. For example, one afternoon jolt of caffeine can easily disrupt nighttime sleep.
- Caffeine withdrawal in kids and adults makes them irritable and with low energy. When left without energy, a body will crave more caffeine. Let the caffeine addiction begin!
Prevent Caffeine Addiction
Kids are sensitive to chemicals and stimulants, and so are adult bodies too. Studies have shown caffeine addicted kids often have less impulse control, fine motor precision and information retention. Clearly, not a good combination for important daily activities, such as school, homework, and rest. So just imagine what it’s doing we adults, too.
The next time you or your child needs a burst of energy, offer them a tall glass of cool water, some fresh fruit or some raw nuts, or other real protein and healthy food options. Once and for all say goodbye to caffeinated coffee, sodas, flavored iced teas or energy drinks, none of them are necessary and art actually quite harmful and disruptive for the body at any age.
As with any good health and wellness practices, it is important for parents (or any adult) to live a good model while also educating and encouraging children to do the same. Drink plenty of water, eat healthy foods, manage portions, exercise and get plenty of rest.
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