FROM THE LOCKER ROOM: Are You Living a Caffeine Reliant Lifestyle?

N05gYIt’s time for an intervention moment, brought to you by angry looking gym equipment.

If you’re finding yourself incredibly aggravated at the gym by stupidity of others, craving consumption of large quantities of animal meat post-workout, bridging fitness sessions with sugar free energy drinks, and sleeping horribly at night…you’re living a caffeinated life.

Don’t get me wrong: I love my morning cup of joe. So much so, I have the damn stuff custom roasted and shipped from another state in 5 pound bags. Thus, I’m not advocating for abandoning all things caffeine, rather a lifestyle where activities aren’t sandwiched between excess caffeine consumption.

Still, the harsh truth of being physically fit and dedicated to a daily routine is that doing so is simply exhausting. It’s very difficult to channel already limited energies into converting protein and fat into muscle, likewise recovering from the strenuous activity that is said workout.

Unfortunately, however, we’ve collectively embraced a fitness lifestyle far too tolerant of excess caffeine in pre-workout drinks, likewise a means to simply be prepared for success before and after said workouts. I’m flabbergasted to see nutrition stores selling caffeine pills as supplements to stimulate metabolism. Heck, revisit the cover image for the amount of caffeine in this mainstream, pre-workout concoction.

Caffeine supplements, of course, are not new. There are a controversial (due to potential of heart attack) workout boost for those looking to lose excess weight and boost cardio, and – from all accounts – work well (health risks aside). I’m yet to discover, however, when those outside of this select category turned to oodles of caffeine as part of workout aids. Let alone the inevitable late morning and early afternoon energy drinks to overcome any potential crash.

Again, I’m not judging. But seeing so much caffeine consumed by very fit people is alarming. Alternatives are obvious and safer…let alone apt to make you less of a firebrand at your gym: dried fruit and/or fruit juices, zero calorie sport drinks, gummy worms (pre-heavy cardio), select nuts, beef jerky, etc. Of course, none of this is new, but it requires a deliberate lifestyle adjustment away from stimulant to energizing.

Also, be astute in reading labels. I discovered some favorite and seemingly health flavored water drinks were packed with oodles of ‘natural’ caffeine (green tea extract is a favorite mystery ingredient). Which explains the daily cravings also crashes.

 

 

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