Coffee is an addiction, a vice that keeps us going, but for many it can destroy the adrenal system and gut.
Coffee, coffee, coffee. I love coffee and have been drinking it my entire adult life. I started at the American Council on Exercise when I walked into work day after day to a coffee pot brewing in the staff break room watching my mentors drink it, thinking it was so much more mature to drink coffee than my go to diet coke.
The wonderful diet coke attacked my nervous system and gave me a permanent eye twitch. So, I slowly switched to coffee, crappy coffee with crappy cream – and so began the addiction. I continued down the path of fueling my system with artificial adrenal stimulus, aka coffee and diet coke, as I couldn’t quite quit that completely. I later learned what a train wreck that was creating in my adrenal system with all those years of dumping crappy caffeinated products into my body.
What Are Adrenal Glands?
Adrenal glands are hormone producers located on top of your kidneys. They regulate you metabolism, immune system and many other important functions. When they are not working properly it affects your blood pressure, your sex hormones and your body’s ability to react to stress.
Coffee…Hero or Villain?
Caffeine is a diuretic and stimulant that gets a great deal of bad publicity, yet in most large cities, we have a coffee shop on every corner, and they have become a “feel good” place to work, visit, meet and simply just hangout. For some, coffee is a necessity to start the day while for others it gives them the jitters just smelling it. Coffee has been shown to rob our adrenal glands and deplete our hormones. On the flip side it is said to provide much needed antioxidants in our body. So which is it?
I am a coffee addict, so I hate to be the bearer of bad news. It is not good for you.
However it doesn’t affect everyone the same, so lets explore how you know if coffee is bad for you.
5 Need To Know Facts About Coffee
- Coffee makes the body release what is known as cortisol from the adrenal glands to give you that “buzz” we long for and need so desperately sometimes to get through the day. When your body is artificially stimulated to release cortisol from the adrenals, the levels are depleted. When you rob the adrenals of its much needed cortisol it is like emptying a gas tank with a slow siphon until there is no more gas. You know you are out of gas when you have weight gain for no reason, you are irritable and tired even with coffee and need more coffee just to keep going.
- Coffee can upset your digestion because it is acidic and often when you drink it black without a buffer like heavy cream, you can get a sour stomach or cramps.
- Coffee loosens your bowels and can cause diarrhea. This can be dangerous for anyone who already has an irritable bowel or digestive disorder. If you have loose bowels all the time, quit coffee for 48 hours and see if your stool improves. If it does, get off the coffee as it is damaging your digestive system.
- Coffee combined with stress is a disaster waiting to happen. It has a double negative impact on the adrenal system (this is what naturally keeps you going) and digestion. So if you are stressed out and drink loads of coffee, you need to make a change – and quick.
- Coffee causes insomnia. You should never drink coffee after 3pm as it will keep you up at night.
5 telltale signs you need to stop drinking coffee
- You hit the wall around 3pm every day and need another cup of coffee, yet you actually feel more tired than you did prior to drinking the coffee so you drink more
2. You have loose bowels immediately after drinking coffee and throughout the day
3. You have insomnia
4. You have hot flashes at night
5. You always have a slightly upset, sour stomach no matter what you eat
So if you have any of these symptoms you need to stop drinking coffee.
Okay, Okay, don’t freak out. I know coffee is your best friend in the morning and it brings you comfort.
I’ve got you covered.
5 tips that may allow you to keep drinking coffee even if you have an adverse reaction:
- Switch to a coffee that is tested for mold like Bullet Proof and start drinking half the amount you normally do with the other half being decaf. The decaf needs to be Swiss water processed so it doesn’t have loads of chemicals. – www.swisswater.com/specialty-coffee/. Get down to no more than 2 cups of caffeinated coffee a day.
3. Add a teaspoon of bentonite clay to absorb toxins and help pull the coffee through the body quicker with less damaging effects.
4. Make sure that whatever you put in your coffee is pure. Heavy cream, coconut milk, almond milk, oat milk etc. make sure that it does not have guar gum or carrageenan.
5. Quit drinking coffee after 3pm and slowly move that to 10am if possible. If you still need a boost before 3pm, drink green tea or black tea and slowly move to a low caffeinated tea listed below.
Try the above steps for 2 weeks and see how you do. If you still have symptoms like the ones listed Above, you need to get off coffee all together.
Here is a plan that worked well for me.
4 week plan to stop drinking coffee
Week 1 – Take your intake down to 2 cups a day, and if you need a 3rd , drink decaf (try bullet proof) or one of the alternatives listed below that are low in caffeine. Remember decaf still has quite a bit of caffeine. Do not, under any circumstance, drink coffee after 3pm.
Week 2 – Go down to one cup a day and the remaining cups are decaf, no more than 2 cups of decaf and all before 3pm.
Week 3 – Go down to 2 cups of decaf a day or an alternative you like low in caffeine.
Week 4 – Move to warm fuzzy drinks that have no caffeine like herbal tea. See the list below under caffeine free drinks.
Now, if this seems like too much, you can go cold turkey and just quit. You will have headaches and be irritable for at least 2-3 days, but when you come out on the other side you will feel so much better.
Alternatives to coffee that are low in caffeine:
If you love coffee like I love coffee, most of these will taste kind of blah at first, but when you
are dying for a cup of Joe, trust me, they help!
● Organic decaffeinated coffee in moderation (do not use commercial decaf coffee as it contains too many chemicals, make sure it is Swiss water processed as mentioned above).
● White rose tea by Numi with local honey helps take the craving off.
● Green tea with cream or almond milk.
Alternatives to coffee that are caffeine free:
Traditional Medicinals has wonderful teas.
Numi has wonderful teas as well
Teeccino – vanilla nut and mocha are my go to.
You Got This!
In Health and Happiness,