Mornings start with coffee
Coffee helps many of us get the day started. Coffee, along with some teas and energy drinks are the most common sources of caffeine. Caffeine also occurs naturally in cocoa beans which are the main ingredient in chocolate.
Caffeine affects everyone’s nervous system, but some people are more sensitive than others to its affects. In some people it causes headaches, a rise in heart rate, stomach upset, agitation, nervousness and trouble sleeping. People who regularly have caffeine can have headaches or other problems if they cut it out of their diet.¹
Coffee acutely affects the sympathetic nervous system.² The primary function of the sympathetic system is to stimulate your fight-or-flight response which is a physiological reaction that happens in response to a perceived harmful event, attack or threat to survival.³ When the sympathetic nervous system is triggered, some things happen to prepare the body for the stress including:
- the airways widen increasing oxygen levels in the blood
- the heart rate increases, bringing extra oxygen to the muscles
- additional glucose is released sending energy to the muscles
No studies were found that research the affects caused by repeated triggering of the sympathetic nervous system on muscles. Still, even though it would be conjecture, a person with neuropathy may consider whether their neuropathy-affected muscles are better off without these artificially provoked stress reactions.
Linda is an independent information technology business analyst and Vice President of the CNA.