The good the bad and the dirty of stimulant use.
Do you like coffee? Do you like things that give you more energy? Well, then welcome to the world of stimulants. According to the research, over 90% of Americans 18+ use caffeine on a regular basis, mainly in the form of coffee. Many other countries are not far behind, some ahead. So most of the world is consuming stimulants of some kind, but what do we know about stimulants? How do they work? When should they be used? What are the long term consequences? We grow up knowing nothing about stimulants, only that they are available and make us feel good. But this level of education has led millions of people down a path that they will never be able to recover from. So we thought that we would write an article that more clearly defines such critical information regarding the use of stimulants so that we can use them as tools to build mental health rather than take our health away.
What are stimulants
Stimulants are defined as drugs or other substances that hyperactivate the sympathetic nervous system. Coffee along with all energy supplements and drinks contain the molecule 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine (aka caffeine). Other stimulants include things like modafinil, amphetamines, MDMA, cocaine, pseudoephed, and nicotine (from tobacco). Because of this, coffee and all other stimulants act as drugs and are almost always classified as drugs. Many people consume stimulants because they are known to give an energetic, pleasurable, and invigorating feeling. So what is not to love? Who wouldn’t want more energy? It sounds exciting and just about everyone is doing it, making stimulants like caffeine the world’s favorite drug of choice. But have you ever stopped and asked, “is getting drugged up on stimulants all the time the best idea for our health?” So we would like to discuss the pros and cons of stimulant use in this article as it pertains to mental health.
what is the difference between drug use and drug abuse
Just like all tools, they can either be used to create harm or create use. Cars have been useful tools for picking up groceries and feeding families, but have also been known to kill over a million people every year. So in a simple way, we can define ‘use’ as helping our body and our society, and ‘abuse’ as destroying our body and our society. So the real question comes down to how do we use caffeine to create health, and when does it destroy our health?
Here is a testimonial from a self-made millionaire and popular youtuber who used caffeine to build his multimillion dollar business. Hear about his major regret in life and his feelings looking back on his caffeine usage.
How stimulants work
To find the answer, let’s quickly jump into how caffeine and other stimulants work on the human body. Caffeine is known as an non-selective adenosine antagonist. Adenosine is the chemical that switches the nervous system between it’s active and healing states, mainly towards healing. By blocking the adenosine, we block our body from trying to heal. Why would we want to do this? Well healing requires rest. It requires little muscular or mental activity. We become lethargic and unmotivated; all the things that we don’t want at work or while out and about. So why not just put your body on overdrive so we can get more done? Who wouldn’t want to be more awake during the day?
In theory, this is a really good idea. But just like all good ideas, unless implemented well, it won’t end up well. For example, we might see a really beautiful sunset, but if our painting ability is that of a 4 year old scribbling all over the lines on the paper, then the painting of the sunset might not come out as beautiful as we had hoped. Just like painting is an art that requires many years of dedicated practice and technique, so is neuroscience. Believe it or not, a lot of our work here at Nootripure is undoing people’s attempts at “playing neuroscientist” on themselves. But with a few guidelines that we will share with you, hopefully you will have the tools and the wisdom you need to take care of your one and only mind.
6 Tips to for safe stimulant use
Here are 6 tips that will give you the ability to constructively use stimulants to improve your health and your life, rather than destroy it. For the sake of brevity, we are going to focus specifically on caffeine as it’s use is unanimously widespread, and so is it’s abuse. Please keep in mind this is not medical advice, but rather useful tips provided from a point of view that encompasses TCM, Ayurvedic, and neuroscience.
Tip 1: In order to feel well, we must heal well.
Tip 2: Caffeine in dosages over 60mg will almost always cause some amount of permanent damage.
Tip 3: Consume caffeine with things that mitigate the side effects.
Tip 4: Don’t use caffeine to get energetic.
Tip 5: Never use stimulants after not getting enough sleep
Sleep is the process by which the mind enters a ‘semi-enlightened’ state and is able to repair the body and mind. When one feels unrested upon waking, it means that there is still some unfinished business that the body has not yet been able to repair. It only seems natural to go for a nice cup of fresh and warm coffee to wake up when you don’t feel up to your best. But this would be the equivalent to taking your car to the mechanic for critical engine damage, then while the mechanic is in the middle of working on the car, you suddenly jump in, start the ignition and drive off at full throttle. No sane person would do this to their car, but yet, people will commonly do this to their body.
“But I thought stimulants are there to ‘wake us up’, aren’t we supposed to use them when we are tired?” This is a very reasonable question. The answer lies within how the stimulants work on a physiological level. Stimulants force the cellular metabolism to increase output, and therefore must be supported by all the organs, so they in turn also must increase output. Also, because the liver is capable of increasing the amount of electricity in the body past what the body can handle, it may be like if you accidentally plugged a car charger into your laptop. The laptop will be more energetic than ever, even with the sparks flying. Another metaphor of the mechanism of action of a stimulant is a chemical that holds a gun to your body and tells it to work as hard as it can or else it’s going to get shot. Nobody and nobody’s body wants to hear this when life is already hard enough. So just relax, be nice to your body. Taking a stimulant is a very big and dangerous event on a biological scale. If your body is not fully ready, it can easily fail. And once it fails, the damage from stimulant abuse is probably of the worst kind of physiological damage that a human can possibly experience, with the consequences being seemingly irreversible.
Tip 6: Don’t eat too much when consuming caffeine
Digestion is a very labor intensive process including many thousands of biochemical processes used to break apart dead plants and animals into molecular components and use them to rebuild your human cells. Bet you never thought that way about your bagel before! Most animals will use more energy on their digestion than their movement or thought in a day. Humans are the rare exception due to our busy lifestyles and over-developed cognition areas in our brains. Reprioritizing our digestion is a very dangerous thing to do, it is not natural, and should be done with care. Most of our digestion is done between 7am and 11am. Hence why breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Yet, still people enjoy their morning coffee around this time and force their digestion to shut down. As doctors, we will ask people “how has your digestion been?”, fully knowing the heaviness of the truth long before they respond. Then they always respond the same way, “Great doc! I’m pooping just fine!” or something along those lines. But digestion is a total of possibly around 100,000 different processes in breaking an organic material apart, chemically turning it into a bioavailable form, then distributing it to the correct part of the body through the vascular system, and metabolizing it. How could we possibly know about this by looking at our poop? Our point for bringing this up is to emphasize the complexity and importance of the full digestion process in hopes that you don’t try and stop it by using stimulants like caffeine when the body needs it. So a good rule of thumb is to leave about 2 hours before consuming caffeine, or consume just a cup of tea with your breakfast, and avoid hard to digest foods like meats and fats.
Following these 7 steps, caffeine could be used as a great tool for healing, but the healing benefits of caffeine must be leveraged. Every drug has its downsides and upsides. The downsides of caffeine are that it stops digestion, stops healing, and causes a lot of stress on the body. So after talking extensively on the downsides are you curious as to what the upsides are? The main upside for healing purposes is that caffeine causes a huge surge in electricity to move through the fascia. This allows muscular output to increase and make one even more flexible. So areas of the body that may have been stagnant or stiff may feel comfortable and relaxed. This is the perfect time to get them moving again, get them stretching, get the blood pumping through. All body tissues: nerves, muscles, fascia, bones,cartilage, and skin all rely upon movement to push nutrient-carrying blood and detoxifying lymph through the tissue to restore homeostatic balance and equilibrium (healthiness) to the cells. So take every moment while caffeine is affecting your body to move as much as possible!.. especially the most stiff and sore areas. You can bop your head to your favorite music while working on the computer. You can do very active karaoke on your commute to work. You can stretch while watching TV at home. Unless you’re on the toilet, in an important meeting, or in the presence of a flesh eating dinosaur, there is never a reason you need to stop moving. Relaxing after a good workout is okay too, but make sure you’re not sitting up. Try to be FULLY relaxed when you relax while caffeinated. Being in a half-way tensed state opens up the possibility for your body to accidentally start damaging itself. Do you have stiffness in your neck, or soreness around your shoulders? These are usually the most noticeable places this kind of stress shows up for people, but it really affects everywhere. The real brief explanation is it has to do with subconsciously holding a pose for long periods of time. This slight and unnoticeable tension is the foundation for what we refer to as stress; the same stress that is the underlying factor for most diseases. So let’s avoid that by staying moving and making our movements intentional and with the vibrance of life!
So now you have some useful tips on how you can use caffeine (or not use caffeine) to improve your mental health and construct a better, more lively, you. Here at Nootripure, we understand the dangers of caffeine and we even use caffeine in some of our mental health programs such as Thriiv and Infinergii. So it is not all dangerous and it is not all safe. It all comes down to how you use it. Thriiv was designed to protect the body from the damaging effects of caffeine by balancing the organs and moderating the electrical output of the liver. This way, people can experience the mind uplifting benefits that they need to get their work done, while actually building their mental health. Not only that, but Thriiv lasts 11-12 hours rather than 5-6, and comes with a lot of benefits that go way beyond the capabilities of any stimulant such as heightened cognition, mental clarity, improved information recall, better reaction times, enhanced creativity, making for more joy and more productivity.
We realize that you have to make a living, that you have to meet deadlines, and that you can’t afford dips in performance. But we also realize that stimulant use is very dangerous and is slowly creating disastrous consequences in your future. This is why we wanted to offer people a 28 day program that delivers much more productivity benefits than any available stimulant, and gives you the opportunity to improve your health and happiness while you’re out there smashing goals. Thriiv is much more than a supplement, more than a medication, more than a nootropic. It is a program that optimizes the way your mind works and how efficiently you move through life.
We have indexed thousands of nootropic products, herbal mixtures, and medications that claim to improve mental well-being but we have not found another that is able to increase productivity and healing to the same degree as the Thriiv product, especially for the cost. We have even offered every customer to get their products for free if they can find one, but so far no one has found anything. But even if you choose some other product or even if you want to make your own Thriiv at home, try follow these recommendations when it comes to caffeine or any other stimulant. Your mind is the most precious thing you will ever own, and we are here to help you and the rest of the world live to your fullest by improving mental performance now and long into the future.
If you are curious about the Thriiv program for enhanced productivity, or the Infinergii program for peak athletic performance, then check out the links and see if they can work for you.