Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Less Coffee…Are You Kidding Me?


You're a busy entrepreneur with many things to juggle at the same time: meeting new clients, attending networking events, upgrading your skills, launching new products or services, marketing your practice, and the list goes on. It's understandable that many days, you probably feel tired, if not exhausted. Do you find yourself jump-starting your day with a cup of coffee, and visiting the coffee maker a couple more times during the day, just to keep up and feel energized? You're not alone. Many busy entrepreneurs depend on their daily "fix" to get them through the day, and keep on top of all they need to do. Coffee delivers: it gives us that much needed boost to keep juggling all the balls in the air, and let's be honest…it tastes good too!

However, what we often don't pay attention to (or, perhaps are unaware of), are the health risks that come with drinking large amounts of coffee, and yes, there are health risks. Did you know that coffee prevents the absorption of very important minerals that our body needs, such as: iron, magnesium, zinc and B vitamins? Did you also know that coffee dehydrates, robbing water from our bodies? As a busy entrepreneur, you are probably very familiar with what stress and overwhelm means, but did you also know that coffee adds to your stress? Let me explain…

Coffee is part of a stress cycle. When you consume coffee, your body produces a hormone called adrenaline, which tells your body that you're in stress mode. Although you may feel energized and alert, it's not because your body created these feelings naturally. The coffee acted like a 'false alarm' on your body, causing it to be 'on alert' unnecessarily. Over time, this stress on your body begins to weaken your immune system (which you need to prevent infections and disease).

Busy entrepreneurs like yourself need energy to take you through your day successfully, while you manage your business and your home life. Since you now know about the relationship between coffee and stress, what should you do about it? In my health coaching practice, I am a strong advocate for a concept called "adding in" when working with entrepreneurs who have addictions to coffee. Rather than giving up coffee cold turkey (and suffering from coffee withdrawal symptoms like headaches and mood swings), focus on "adding in" healthier alternatives in the form of foods and/or activities to give you a natural energy boost. Here are some suggestions:

*Increase your water intake each day *Eat healthy snacks throughout your day (such as nuts and fruit) *Engage in simple physical activity (playing with your kids during a break, going for a walk)

As you begin to "add in" these healthier alternatives, try reducing your coffee consumption slowly and pay attention to how your body feels. You might be surprised to find out that these healthy alternatives are beginning to push out your coffee cravings and energize your body in new ways without depending on your "fix" like you used to.

Milissa Harding is a Certified Holistic Health Coach who teaches new entrepreneurs how to maintain healthy energy levels needed to grow their business and create the lives they truly desire from the inside out. Visit http://www.healthystartcoaching.ca to receive your free copy of "6 Steps to Become a Healthy and Energized Entrepreneur".