Friday, June 27, 2008

Moms drink too much caffeine

I had to chuckle when I read this story today on the CNN feeds. This is so me! And I was just writing about how hard it is to get off caffeine in the "Energy Drinks at school" post. I have never been a big coffee drinker because my body reacts poorly when I drink it, but I love my Diet Coke.

I have been soda free for four days. I know, it's not a great accomplishment. But it is for me! I saw this cold can of Cherry Coke in the break room a moment ago and it looked so good! I feel like an addict.

Here's the CNN story on moms taking in too much caffeine:

Moms are consuming caffeine more now than ever. What effect does it have on their health?

A study shows caffeine consumption is on the rise, especially with busy mothers. How much caffeine is too much? One mom said, "I have about 4 energy drinks a day." Another said, "I'm drinking coffee every waking hour." These moms, who are also CNN I-reporters, are fairly typical caffeine consumers.

A National Sleep Foundation study found more than 65 percent of moms drink caffeinated beverages to get through their day. Stacy DeBroff , the CEO of said, "We are facing the busiest generation of moms ever, we dash from place to place. We find ourselves always on the go and usually with a cup of coffee in hand." But here's the thing: research shows caffeine can trigger migraines, heart burn and put women at an increased risk of miscarriage.

Cardiologist Dr. Allen Dollar from Emory University said, "The jitteriness, the nervousness, the feeling that the heart may be racing a little bit, skipping a beat every now and again, those are the short term side effects of caffeine intake but again the good news is there is no serious health consequences to that of the long term."

So there are no serious long term health effects. Relying on caffeine for energy drains the body because it never gets a chance to properly recharge. DeBroff said, "Take advantage of small breaks in the action. Sometimes you only have 10 minutes as a mom and you have to think of 'What can I do to restore my energy so that I can then get ready to go forth on the next mom mission that awaits me.' The key is moderation." Experts agree, 200 milligrams of caffeine a day is safe. That's between one and four drinks--depending on the size of the beverage.

Here are some tips from readers about what they drink instead of caffeine:

Maria said, "Sometimes when I think I want a pop, I drink a Perrier instead. It's my guilty pleasure. Oh, and in Europe, I would mix some 100% juice and mix it with mineral (carbonated) water at a 20/80 mix of mostly water. It was so good..."

Septboy said, "When I get tired of the taste of tap water, I add a squirt or 2 of lemon or lime juice."

How much caffeine do you drink?

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

Methodist Medical Center's new online healthcare program, MyMethodist eHealth, is a proud sponsor of this blog post. MyMethodist eHealth is the secure link to your doctor's office that lets you request appointments, order prescription refills, update your personal health record, and more. Sign up for MyMethodist eHealth here.


Maria said...

I think the impact of caffeine on sleep is a key point that should be covered-- especially if you are drinking caffeine in the afternoon and evening. It really can impact your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. I never noticed while I was drinking pop in the afternoons, but as soon as I stopped, I recongized how much easier it was for me to fall asleep.

Oh, and if I'd known you were using the quote, I would have gone back and corrected my error. I sound like a buffoon. LOL! said...

I think you had great tips! I have a lot of people who subscribe to the newsletter and none of them visit the site, so they would miss out on your great suggestions in the comments. I was going to email you and ask you if I could use it and I couldn't figure out which email was yours!

SallyN said...

Ugh, I've gotten back into the coffee habit. It starts as self-medication to keep my migraines at bay, since I can't take the medication I used to take since it's not safe for pregnancy/nursing/TTC. But it very quickly becomes a daily need (else the all-to-familiar caffeine withdrawal headaches... a fine line to walk!)

I agree with Maria, the impact of caffeine on sleep is oft ignored. Personally, I can't have any caffeine (including chocolate ice cream!) after about 3pm, or I wont' be able to fall asleep that night.

Unfortunately, it affects everyone differently, so medical professionals can't come out with a blanket statement for everyone to follow. said...

I agree about the caffeine. When I was drinking it (last week) I would sometimes have three sodas a day, but they would all be before 3pm. Otherwise, I couldn't sleep. My husband, on the other hand, can have coffee before he goes to bed and he has no problem.

Shannon said...

It's very hit or miss with me whether caffeine will affect my sleep. Sometimes I get a coffee with a friend at 9:30pm and have no problems, other times I can't understand why I'm still up at 3am? :)

Coffee definitely gives me more energy to get through a day, but I don't have headaches if I don't drink it. Just typing this and knowing what lies in store for my day makes me want to go brew a pot though! :)

I just wonder if these same moms who are drinking so much coffee during the day are the ones who were taking caffeine pills in high school? I knew a few... said...

I am still hoping for a Trader Joes too. I have tried giving my older son water WITH ICE and for awhile that was a big deal and he would say YES! But now, I realize he doens't really drink that much of it! I am back to diluted apple juice and milk with a little chocolate for him. Ugh!

T McKeown said...

Because I'm up at the crack of dawn, sleeping at night rarely is a problem for me! Caffeine does help with migraines...
Food,shopping, and caffeine are my only overindulgences so I'm not going to fret over it! lol I have to have some enjoyment in my over-active life! said...

t mckeon, thanks for reminding me about a little enjoyment. I did splurge this weekend. I had sprite! Ha!

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