How Caffeine and Alcohol Can Be Healthy For You

I don’t believe that caffeine or alcohol is unhealthy for everyone. Of course, there are people who have sensitivities or addiction problems with these substances that should not ingest them for their own health.

But caffeine and alcohol in moderation can be a part of a healthy lifestyle for most people. For certain body types and constitutions, caffeine can help with stagnation that builds in their body. The antioxidants in red wine have been shown to have long term health benefits as well.

But just like anything in life, too much each of these substances can be unhealthy for you.

1-2 servings of caffeine per day are fine for most people. But remember that caffeine is dehydrating, so you need to add an additional glass of water to your daily 64 ounces for each serving of caffeine you have.

Feeling sluggish and being grumpy in the morning is not a symptom of a caffeine deficiency. You shouldn’t have to rely on coffee to get you moving and tolerable. Try going to bed earlier and getting more exercise instead. Excessive coffee use taxes the adrenals, that is why you get that “coffee fix” or “high”. Over time, this can lead to adrenal fatigue and all of the health problems associated with it. If you get headaches when you miss your morning coffee, that is showing you how addicted you are to the drug.

Try switching to green tea for a while. Green tea is balanced chemically which gives you a smoother, less jittery, lift in the morning. Green tea’s high antioxidant content is also much healthier for you than all of the harsh acids in coffee as well.

And I don’t recommend going off caffeine cold turkey. It can cause headaches, fatigue, anxiety, and mood swings. Gradually reduce the amount of caffeine you use over a couple weeks so you don’t shock your system.

Alcohol also should be enjoyed in moderation only. Obviously, some people can’t tolerate alcohol in any amount for either bio-chemical or psychological reasons. For most people can enjoy it as part of their healthy lifestyle. Wine, beer and other drinks are a common part of social gatherings and are used to compliment and enhance the flavors of foods at meals.

But alcohol should never be used as a crutch. You are using it as a crutch if you need a drink to handle your stress, to give you “liquid courage” in social situations, or if you require it to have a good time.

Alcohol is also very high in calories. Some people are surprised to find out how much weight they can lose simply by cutting out or reducing their alcohol intake. Each glass of wine has 100-150 calories and a beer has around 150 calories. An ounce of hard liquor (vodka, whiskey, scotch, gin, etc.) has 75-100 calories. Therefore, alcohol can be a significant source of empty calories depending on how much you drink and an easy place to cut calories if you are trying to lose weight.

*Exerpted from the Being Well Lifestyles Home Study Course by Dr. Jay Warren.

Drawing on over two decades of experience as a hands-on holistic practitioner, Dr. Jay Warren is a primary healthcare provider and licensed chiropractor in the San Diego area. He has spent tens of thousands of clinical hours helping his patients achieve their optimal health potential through holistic approaches bolstered by years of personal experimentation, education and research. Dr. Jay creates customized plans integrating exercise, nutrition and stress management strategies to overcome a myriad of health challenges. For more information, email drjay@drjaywarren.com or visit www.DrJayWarren.com.

About the Author

Dr. Jay Warren has been a prenatal and pediatric chiropractor for 17 years. He is also the Wellness Care Coordinator at the CAP Wellness Center in San Diego, CA where 90% of his practice is pregnant or postpartum women and babies under one year old. Dr. Jay is a proud member of the ICPA and APPPAH (the Association or Pre and Perinatal Psychology and Health) and the host of the podcast “Healthy Births, Happy Babies” in iTunes. His online program, “Connecting with Baby” guides pregnant women through processes to strengthen maternal bonding for a happier pregnancy, gentler birth and easier post-partum experience. Dr. Jay is also the proud father of his 3 year old son, Niko who keeps him very busy (and happy) outside of the office.