What are the morning rituals that you always do without thinking whether they’re good or bad for you? Perhaps you are the same as I, “the coffee snob” who cannot imagine leaving for work without having a freshly grounded coffee.For many years I truly believed that a cup of coffee is the best way to start my day.
But is it really? I was on a two day business trip to Paris last week. The flight was not long from the UK and the event was very busy but it wasn’t an unusual situation for my body. I have been going to many company fairs since I was 18 and I got used to long hours and intense environments. However, this time something wasn’t exactly right. Since I returned, I started to have a strong headache for two days and I couldn’t really understand why. Then I looked back to reflect on what I ate and drank for the past few days. I realized that I was constantly drinking coffee to make myself more alert and energetic. In return, I paid a high price for my artificial energy boost. Two days of feeling totally knackered!
A year ago, I shared a blog post highlighting the benefits of drinking coffee but now I know that it’s the time to flip the coin and check what are the side effects.
Some of you may know that I am a CNM student of naturopathic medicine, hoping to become a health coach. Recently, on one of the lectures, my tutor said that drinking coffee in the morning is a huge waste because after waking up the cortisol in our body is very high therefore drinking coffee doesn’t give us a boost which we are hoping for. By drinking coffee we increase cortisol level even higher which may have serious consequences for our body functions. Elevated cortisol levels can affect every system in the body, can be a cause of anxiety, irritability, and even put at risk of developing a number of flow-on health issues.
Below Are Some Impacts Of Caffeine On The Body:
- Adrenaline: Caffeine stimulates the adrenal glands. Every time you drink coffee, the body’s fight-or-flight response is activated.
- Stress: Coffee consumption increases serotonin levels and activity of serotonin receptors. Have you noticed that? After drinking a coffee you are full of energy but only a few minutes or an hour after suddenly you feel agitated or irritable. These are withdrawal symptoms of caffeine exiting the system
- Mineral and vitamin absorption: Coffee inhibits the absorption of iron, a key mineral involved in the synthesis of serotonin and dopamine. Additionally, coffee consumption can decrease the amounts of circulating B-vitamins and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
- Cardiovascular disease: high consumption of caffeine has been also associated with mild elevations in cholesterol levels and can increase the risk of heart disease in people with a specific genetic mutation that slows the breakdown of caffeine in the body.
- Sleep: Coffee drinking can impact sleep cycles as you become dependent on caffeine for energy in the day. Consumption even 6 hours before bedtime can disrupt sleep later on that night.
- Digestion: The acidity of coffee is associated with digestive discomfort, indigestion, heartburn, and imbalances in gut flora.
What Will Happen When You Reduce Caffeine?
After researching the pros and cons I decided to detox my body from caffeine. If someone wants to follow the steps please join me on ” Coffee Free February 🙂
I have to warn you that it is not always easy. Depending on how hooked you became to coffee, the withdrawal symptoms can include tiredness, headaches and muscle pain. Since the symptoms can last up to a week, cutting down gradually is the best way to reduce the impacts of quitting by giving your body time to adjust.
My allowance in February is one cup per week on Mondays.
Other ways that may help the quitting process is drinking plenty of water and allowing yourself to sleep more.
I also introduced a “saving cup” program where I simply put on the side money where I would normally spend in a coffee shop. Trust me you will be surprised how much you can put aside and treat yourself to a nice meal out instead.
Are you up for the Challenge?