Friday, October 26, 2007

Caffeine and Meditation

Caffeine and meditation have one thing in common - it gives you a 'lift' or boost your energy. Caffeine gives us a boost by the effects it has on our nervous system. Meditation on the other hand does it by relaxing our mind and body - no chemicals required, just putting our mind into a relaxed state and the body follows.

Our normal energy levels

After a night's sleep, our energy is renewed and diminishes as time passes as you can see in the illustration below. This is not an accurate representation of how our energy are depleted. It does not diminish uniformly as the illustration suggests. Several factors like excitement, anger or strong emotions can elevate the energy level any time of the day.

Caffeine boost

Caffeine molecules are similar to adenosine and it easily occupies the receptors of cells which adenosine should occupy when our bodies need rest to signal it to slow down. When caffeine is in the blood, it easily attaches to these receptor cells. Now when our body needs rest, adenosine are supposed to attach to the receptor cells but will not happen since caffeine are already occupying it. Unlike adenosine, caffeine signals the cells to keep working. This triggers a series of events that eventually triggers the adrenal glands to release stress hormones such as cortisol, noradrenaline and adrenaline. That's why a person performs better physically because adrenaline hormones are released.

Caffeine therefore fools the body into thinking that it needs to work instead of to rest. That's how it gives you an energy boost but when the effect subsides after a few hours, your energy levels will be lower than you would normally have in that span of time.

The red line at the illustration above shows the normal levels for reference and the blue line represents the the energy levels for a person who drinks caffeine sometime in the day. As you can see, several minutes after drinking caffeine, the energy level rises above normal and gradually diminishes. After the caffeine effect wears off, a person will be left with an energy level lower than when that person did not ingest caffeine. This prompts the person for another cup to give another boost or lift. In the long run, it will fatigue your adrenal glands, cause irregular beatings of your heart, cause a dull stomach ache, make you jittery, lowers your absorption of calcium and vitamin b6, etc.

Tea can give a similar caffeine effect of coffee even though it contains lesser caffeine. The action of caffeine combined with theanine is responsible for this. Caffeine without theanine gives a lesser energy boost and vice versa. Decaffeinated tea therefore does not provide as much energy boost than the caffeinated varieties. Theanine in tea however provides a stronger attention level and focus.

Meditation boost

After a meditation session, your energy levels will rise just like the rise that caffeine gives.

It does not however leave you at a lower energy level than normal after its effects subsides, much unlike caffeine. In just 15 to 30 minutes, meditation can give you a quality rest that re-energizes your mind and body. It's also a good stress reliever and makes you in frequent contact with your inner energy. Others use meditation not just to re-energize the mind and body but also to make positive changes in your health, well being and even in abundance and prosperity.

Related Posts

Herbal Green Tea
Adrenaline and Caffeine
Adrenal Fatigue Caused by Caffeine
Caffeine Intake and Pregnancy
How Much Caffeine Do You Take?
Caffeine Can Elevate Your Stress Hormones
Can Caffeine Make Your Heart Stop?
How Long Does Caffeine Stay in Your Body?
Decaffeinated Tea
Caffeine and Tea
The Calming Effect of Theanine in Tea
Meditation Can Give You a Lift

Caffeine Free Tea

Herbal Green Tea Extract

Technorati tags