Blog post written by,
Yaneth Beltran, RD/LDN, CEDRD
Caffeine is the most common mild stimulant of the nervous system, muscles, and heart. It is an FDA approved product to be used by people with migraines, and it’s found in coffee, tea, chocolate, sodas, energy drinks, some medications, and it can contribute to irritability, difficulties falling and staying asleep, insomnia, and gastrointestinal issues (Davis, 2019). Depletion of vitamin B6, and affects the absorption of minerals like calcium, iron and magnesium could also occur (Wolde, T. 2014).
One of the main reasons for taking caffeine is improving performance by increasing the level of energy but we need to carefully look at the unwanted side effects of consuming it frequently. These adverse effects include anxiety, insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, appetite suppression, diuresis, and disorder eating (Rodak, et al. 2021).
Having said that, the question is how do I increase my energy levels? Here are some tips that will help you get the necessary energy every day and improve your performance:
Being adequately hydrated by increasing the intake of water every day and switching to herbal teas
Consuming balanced meals by making sure they include all different food groups: proteins, vegetables, carbohydrates, fruits, and fats
Using snacks that are balanced to achieve the energy levels you need during activities like school, movement, and afterschool extracurriculars, etc. Remember that meal plans need to be personalized since your metabolism is unique
Normalizing sleeping patterns in order to help normalize eating habits
Taking multivitamins with minerals
Maintaining regular physical activities such as walking or playing a sport
Keeping energy levels high becomes more challenging as a consequence of high social, peer, work/academic, and other pressures which could lead to the use of substances to boost energy levels (Ruiz, et al., 2018). These behaviors will only provide a quick fix, a temporary relief, but they fail to address underlying problems like anxiety and depression, bipolar disorder and other medical concerns that can cause low energy. Talking to school counselors, medical doctors, and getting therapeutic/nutritional counseling services could be the first step to improve your wellbeing.
Davis, PhD. Martha, Robbins Eshelman, MSW., Elizabeth, et al. 2019. The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook. New Harbinger Publications.
Wolde, T. 2014. Effects of Caffeine on Health and Nutrition: A Review - Core. Department of Public Health, College of Medical and Health Sciences, Wollega University, Nekemte, Ethiopia - https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/234683844.pdf.
Ruiz, Lyndsey D., and Rachel E. Scherr. 2018. “Risk of Energy Drink Consumption to Adolescent Health.” American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, vol. 13, no. 1, 27 Sept. 2018, pp. 22–25, https://doi.org/10.1177/1559827618803069.
Rodak, Kamil, et al. 2021. “Caffeine as a Factor Influencing the Functioning of the Human Body—Friend or Foe?” Nutrients, vol. 13, no. 9, Sept. 2021, p. 3088, https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13093088.
YANETH BELTRAN, RD/LDN, CEDRD
Eating Disorder and OCD Registered Dietitian
I take a holistic approach to wellness by providing nutritional counseling to clients that want to establish a healthy relationship with food. I am a compassionate person, who believes in the power of the therapeutic relationship between clients and professionals. For a FREE phone consultation and more information about nutritional counseling, please call me directly at 954.773.3139. Services available in English/Spanish and Online.