When our energy dips, many of us head for the nearest Starbucks. However, while the caffeine in coffee undoubtedly does perk you up, some experts feel the boost is really a cessation of withdrawal symptoms, which gives a sense of relief and energy.
Controversial as this may be, most experts agree that the coffee boost comes from a surge of cortisol from the adrenal glands. It’s all part of the fight-or-flight response.
Once the response is triggered (as it is by caffeine), your body jumps to action. Your sympathetic nervous system secretes norepinephrine, which causes an excitatory response and allows your body to react and protect itself from a stressful situation.
Next, your adrenals secrete epinephrine (commonly referred to as adrenaline) into the bloodstream. This increases blood flow to specific muscles needed for vigorous activity. It also increases the rate of metabolism, the concentration of glucose in the blood, the conversion of sugar to energy in muscles, muscle strength, and mental activity.
All of this is what causes you to get your get-up-and-go from your morning java.
However, this cascade does have a downside, in the form of overworked adrenal glands. Because of this, many people are wondering how to have more energy without the help of coffee.
Swap that cup of joe for a cup of tea— specifically green tea. You’ll get a bit of a caffeine boost, but this time paired with powerful antioxidants to give you true energy to power you through the day.