From the Desk of Dr. Len
Coffee or Sugar for Mid-afternoon Slump?
Dr. Len Lopez – Monday, June 02, 2014
I was recently asked, which is better for getting through those mid afternoon slumps, coffee or sugar?
I’ll explain later why your diet has more to do with the slump than anything, but if you were simply going on those two choices….I would recommend coffee over sugar.
They both will give you a spike in energy, although Coffee or caffeine is much more of a Stimulant than sugar.
– Will throw off your metabolism and blood sugar levels….which will make it harder to lose weight or maintain your weight. Test to see if your metabolism has shifted.
– Slows down your elimination rate and leads to constipation.
– Weakens your immune system and leaves you vulnerable to colds, flu’s etc.
– DEPENDING ON WHAT TYPE OF SUGAR….you choose will also compound the effect. The sugar from an apple is different from sugar from a candy bar or soft drink. The Sugar from an apple will also provide some fiber which helps blunt the insulin spike, BUT the insulin spike will be high with either candy or soft drinks, which means the blood sugar drop will be even faster than normal, and that’s not a good thing for your metabolism.
– A LOT of people who get a sugar high (too many carbs) will get sleepy shortly thereafter….so it is not the best recommendation in maintaining productivity at work or home.
– Will give you a longer energy rush than sugar, which is good.
– May not be the best thing for someone who is always struggling with fatigue and exhaustion. The stimulating effect caffeine has on your adrenal glands could compound your exhaustion problem and keep you in a perpetual state of exhaustion.
– May not be good for someone worried about high blood pressure and heart disease.
- Caffeine causes your arteries to constrict, which leads to increased blood pressure
- Stimulates your heart to beat faster….remember it’s a stimulant!
If you drink coffee, it’s best when it’s black and organic. If you need to sweeten and or soften the taste….add a touch of half and half……and use honey instead of plain sugar. Don’t forget to stay away from the artificial sweeteners.
The way to address the afternoon slump is to look at your lunch. Does it have too many carbs (pasta, pizza, noodles, rice, beans, quinoa, etc.), which will trigger more of the neurotransmitters or brain messengers that trigger relaxation and sleep – NOT Alertness and Energy. If you want to stay awake in the afternoon, eat more protein. It stimulates more of the stimulating brain messengers that help keep you awake and energized.
Don’t forget, if you are using caffeine to help energize you throughout the day, you could be compounding the negative effects on your adrenal glands, which could explain all the fatigue and exhaustion you are dealing with. Test your adrenal glands.
I hope that helps some of you out there and don’t forget that coffee is not a bad thing. Depending on when and why you drink coffee – will have either a positive or negative effect on your health.