Cutting Back Caffeine: When is it Too Much Caffeine for you?

Many people enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning to help conquer those early mornings. Others reach for a soda in the later afternoon for a little boost of energy to keep themselves going. While there is nothing wrong with enjoying some caffeine, I urge you to consider cutting back if it’s causing you problems.

So how do you know if you are getting too much caffeine?

From an Ayurveda standpoint, your sensitivity to caffeine depends on what your dosha type is. Ayurveda is the ancient Hindu science of health and medicine. Practiced for more than 5,000 years, Ayurveda’s holistic science focuses on maintaining a physically and emotionally balanced state. In Ayurveda, every individual is unique and there is no diet or lifestyle routine that works for everyone. This is precisely why caffeine may be fine for some but a problem for others.

Ayurveda theory states that the five elements of space, air, earth, fire and water make up everything in the universe, including the human body. These five elements come together to create three different doshas, or energies that make up each individual. Knowing your dosha type will help you determine how sensitive you may be to caffeine and whether you might need to make some changes in your drinking habits.

The three Dosha types are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Vata consists of air and space elements; Pitta consists of fire and water elements; and Kapha consists of earth and water elements.

If you are a Pitta – that is, if you have a lot of the fire element already present in your body – caffeine is likely to cause you problems. Pittas are already fired up and the extra heat, acidity and dryness that coffee brings can cause problems. Vatas and Kaphas have far less issues with caffeine, because of their constitution.
But the main culprit is the high acidic quality to your drink. You may have been fine in your twenties and thirties drinking coffee everyday, but for Pittas, who are prone to more sensitive digestion, there is a high likelihood that as you age, your sensitivity to caffeine intensifies. By the time you are around age 40-55, you may be facing a lot of side effects from caffeine that you never experienced a few years before!

The other issue with caffeine is that it is hard on your adrenal glands. As a stimulant, it gives you a boost and causes you to run on false energy. You are actually draining yourself and exhausting your adrenal glands. Ever notice how you often end up more tired and sluggish on the days you drink a lot of coffee and soda? Sounds backwards, but it really isn’t!

What can you do to combat this sensitivity?

Well the obvious answer is to cut back on your caffeine intake. If you notice you are drinking too much caffeine, try limiting it to one cup in the morning, and then switching from coffee to herbal tea. You can also try using exercise as a natural stimulant to help your body wake up in the morning and give yourself a natural high.

And here’s another important tip. Coffee is super dehydrating so one of the most important steps you can take is to hydrate yourself constantly. Drink more water! A great rule of thumb to use is: For every cup of coffee, caffeinated tea or soda you drink, drink an equal amount of water at the same time. Keep yourself hydrated and it will diminish any side effects from coffee.

For more health and wellness coaching tips, including more information on Ayurveda, please check out my LifeForce Coaching Elite Video Series at:

Deborah King