Stimulant Use

The good the bad and the dirty of stimulant use.

INTRO

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.

Caffeine and all drugs are like “double edged swords”. Meaning they can be very useful tools for creating good health, and they can be very destructive forces that can destroy one’s health. It depends on how they are used. Unfortunately, a huge majority of the global population uses stimulants for the latter, and find themselves many years down the road struggling with mental health issues. Then those people come to us, the Nootripure Foundation, a non-profit for mental wellness to help fix those issues. But we hope that this information reaches you before you get to that point.

The Good

One of the most influential and successful thought leaders of our time in the area of marketing and business strategy posted this on Twitte We could tell that the meaning behind his remark is that he uses the drug caffeine, but he has the internal awareness to know when to stop drinking the coffee to avoid abusing his body. Assuming he drinks about half of a strong coffee, or ¾ of one that is not strong, he is actually scientifically at the ideal caffeine dosage for a human being. No wonder he has the mindset of a business juggernaut!You might be saying, “Well, I don’t drink a whole lot of caffeine, not like those other people so I will be fine.” Unfortunately, most of the people who seek mental help later on in life also said the same exact thing. So in this article we hope to clarify the fine line between stimulant use and stimulant abuse so that you can enjoy your coffee and be sure to keep your mental health far into the future.

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.

Because caffeine literally ‘turns off’ our healing ability, we lose valuable opportunities for healing. Healing is arguably the most important thing we can do in life. Why do you think steroids are banned from professional sports? It’s not because of the side effects. It’s not because steroids make one stronger, smarter, quicker, or anything like that. If you aren’t familiar with them, steroids such as anabolic steroids work by making the body heal faster (and usually in a way that unbalances the body). By healing the body faster, athletes can recover quicker and get back out and practice while their competitors are still in bed healing their sore muscles. Speeding up the rate of healing is the ultimate performance hack and is why it’s not allowed when trying to create a fair competition. So if healing is the foremost performance hack by athletes, then what do you think stopping the healing process is going to do to your daily performance?

Tip 2: Caffeine in dosages over 60mg will almost always cause some amount of permanent damage.

Usually, this is the most difficult point for people to come to terms with for two reasons. Firstly, every marketer of every energy, coffee, or drug company wants to sell you more of their product and will of course spend billions of dollars to ensure that every message that you receive through paid articles and commercials is in accordance to exactly that. Secondly, the medical industry has established that 400 milligrams a day is the maximum safe dosage, rather than ~120mg a day. It is true, 400 milligrams in a day won’t have any immediate drawbacks unless you have some organ deficiencies. However, most people over the age of 18 do indeed have organ deficiencies. Furthermore, the medical industry bases their advice on whether you will need urgent medical care or not (it’s medical, not health advice). Surely 400 milligrams won’t send you to the hospital. You could probably even do 400 mg every day for a decade and not go to the hospital once. The human body is quite resilient and has many fail safe mechanisms and will protect you. However, how many ‘fail safes’ do you want to blow through? What if an accident happens and now you have used all your fail safes? Or what if you start becoming old? You hit the big 4-0, or even 5-0, and now you have very little fail safes left to keep your body and mind intact and away from disease. Now things like body aches, soreness, stiffness, irritation, poor sleep, worry, and memory loss are all settling in. And no, these don’t come with age. Some people get healthier and stronger as they get older. It’s only because the mass majority of people don’t take care of their body and mind as much as they should is why this has become a norm for our society. But hopefully you are different. Hopefully you don’t jump off the same bridge to the same slow death like everyone else. Hopefully you learn to pace yourself and your caffeine usage so that your body can maintain the balance of activity and healing it needs to stay healthy and ready for all the other stresses of life.

Tip 3: Consume caffeine with things that mitigate the side effects.

Caffeine pills are manufactured as drugs and will cause much more jitteriness than coffee as coffee includes some (not much) other plant materials that help balance the effects. Energy drink companies will add some magnesium, taurine, and sometimes L-theanine to their products to keep people’s hearts from racing. This is a nifty little trick to keep the damage from being so bad that one will notice it right away. But just because you aren’t shaking yet, doesn’t mean that damage isn’t occurring. If you didn’t know, caffeine’s first recorded usage was in the form of tea used in ancient Chinese medicines. It was usually combined with other herbs that would keep it from unbalancing the organs and creating more harm than it did good. Today, this is not cost effective as the manufacturing costs of the other herbs is quite high and they don’t deliver much of a noticeable benefit for consumers looking for their next “mental boost”. So this is highly unprofitable by companies, but yet, your body doesn’t care about profit margins. Biology still needs the same balance regardless. There is actually a name for the class of herbs that are used to create balance in the body. These are called “adaptogens”. We have another article about adaptogens that we recommend reading as adaptogens are a critical component to maintaining mental health, especially when consuming caffeine. If you don’t read the article, then for the sake of caffeine, at least take these names down: ashwagandha, turmeric, bacopa monnieri, and ginkgo biloba.

Tip 4: Don’t use caffeine to get energetic.

The feeling of being “energetic” is actually a clear sign of an overdose. Remember, as we mentioned earlier, caffeine is a double edged sword that works by stopping the healing process. If you feel ‘motivated’, ‘energetic’ or like you need to get up and do something, then you have left your mental space and are now acting out of the compulsion and influence of the drug. Yes, it can get your body through the day, but what about your mind? You will feel more awake and alert because your body will bend over backwards to supply all its nutrients, oxygen, and vital healing materials to only the brain and muscles, but what about your organs? For this reason, being “energetic” is usually a bad thing when it comes to mental health. “Wait! Children and puppies are energetic, so why would being energetic be a bad thing?” Children and puppies operate based on their natural vitality and instinct. An energetic personality is something that is manufactured by our thought process and requires much mental effort to support. Keep in mind the most energetic people in our society are typically politicians and used car salesmen. It is an element of charisma, which can be influential for societal purposes. But a person who doesn’t have to prove anything will be peaceful and calm like a zen master. The moment you see a ‘guru’ acting energetically as he asks for your money, is the moment you should run from the temple. Any real guru would agree. Feeling a ‘need to be energetic’ psychologically comes from a place of insufficiency. Basing one’s actions on their feeling of insufficiency isn’t a great long term strategy. For this reason, it is best to just be present, express yourself naturally, and not try too hard to impress people. When it comes to energy and productivity, energy is often antithetical or counterproductive to productivity. There are many better things to enhance productivity such as efficiency. Caffeine or stimulants alone will never make someone more efficient. You can learn more about the emotions that create mental health in this article here. Also, the only thing that is truly going to give you a ‘real’ sense of energy is great mind repair, and great sleep which we will talk about in the next step.

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.

Further recommendations

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!

Conclusion

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.

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