Seriously I never thought in a million years I would give up coffee. In the past many people have outlined the benefits to me of giving up the black beast but my attitude was I would rather cut off my right arm than stop drinking one of my favourite beverages. I am sure there are a few of you out there who feel the same. I definitely saw coffee as a necessity to “wake me up” and could not go a day without it. I always felt like I craved something else whether it was another coffee or something sweet, especially in the afternoon.
During the year I have become more and more in tune with my body, thinking about what I was putting in it and how I was being effected by it, there was this little niggle in the back of my mind “coffee” so one day I decided to take the plunge. I made a decision that I would give it up for 4 weeks to see how it would go. We all know that when you tell yourself you can’t have something you want it even more so this seemed like a reasonable thing to do. Without be over dramatic I was seriously blown away with the difference I felt. Mostly the sugar cravings completely disappeared, I am not so irritable in the mornings, daily headaches which became the norm disappeared, I sleep better, I have more energy and my skin is clearer and brighter.
I have also noticed how much of a habit it was. The early part of my morning would be dictated by where I would get a coffee from. On the weekends if we were on our way to kids sport we would most likely be running late but I would still have to stop and get a coffee which would drive my kids absolutely mad. it seems insane now and writing this I am quite shocked at how much coffee was a part of my life and I only drank two cups a day but also at how much my health has improved! I still have coffee sometimes if I am out with friends or at the Saturday morning soccer game but it is no way as predominant in my life as it was…
I have outlined a few below so you can get some insight into what is going on in your beautiful body.
1. Coffee stimulates the release of stress hormones adrenaline and/or cortisol. We rapidly produce adrenaline when we get a fright, our body thinks we need to get out of danger fast so immediately tells our liver and muscles (which stores glucose) to dump glucose into our bloodstream as our bodies need instant fuel to get ourselves out of the “perceived” danger. Due to the spike of glucose in our bloodstream our pancreas has to release insulin ( a fat storing hormone ) to bring it to a safer level. This up and down of glucose and insulin production can make us tired and/or crave sugar as when our blood sugar dips we need some thing to make it come up again which is why the intense sugar cravings occur or we reach for another coffee. By the way if we are constantly pumping out glucose we do not utilise our fat stores which is why you may be eating all the right foods but can’t seem to lose weight.
This constant release of adrenaline and the long term stress hormone cortisol does not just happen when we drink coffee, for some people it happens all day every day. Like Dr Libby Weaver calls it the ” Rushing Woman Syndrome ” we are so busy rushing around and/or constantly stressed, all the while our poor adrenal glands (where these stress hormones are made ) are getting a hammering. What can happen long term is the adrenal glands start to protest and slow down production which we call adrenal fatigue. This is a very common issue for a lot of people and can cause a deep ingrained fatigue which is unrelenting. Cutting out coffee for people with adrenal fatigue is vital.
2. Coffee is also a liver loader. Our beautiful liver is our second largest detoxifying organ in our body, everything that goes into your mouth or absorbed into your skin the liver has to alter it so that it can be safely removed from your body. Pesticides, chemicals, medication, alcohol, toxins, trans fats, refined sugar and caffeine are all liver loaders. What can happen is when the liver gets backed up with all the junk ( liver loaders) it starts to dump molecules that it recognises back into the bloodstream for example cholesterol and oestrogen, these molecules have already been slightly altered and we now know can lead to high cholesterol in the blood and developing reproductive cancers. ( In the coming weeks I will be doing a blog on our liver as it is such a massive component to our health and we need to love it a whole lot more than we do )
3. Coffee can also effect our skin, hair, nails, digestive and reproductive system. This is directly related to the constant increased blood flow taken away from those vital areas so the body can get extra oxygen to our arms and legs. Ever noticed tingly in your hands when you get a fright? The body sees the need to “get you out of danger ” as a priority so over time this constant biochemical action draws nourishing nutrients away from those areas causing problems.
I am not going to tell you to stop drinking coffee, it may be that reducing down from your 3 a day to just one is worth doing and if that is the case woo hoo! . All I ask of you is to listen to your body. What is it telling you? Those niggly ailments that have always been there, regular headaches, fatigue, loose bowels, decreased appetite, sleep issues, PMS issues, or those insatiable sugar cravings. If any of what I have talked about resonates with you ask yourself can I give something up for just 4 tiny wee weeks? If so I challenge you to give it a try and see what you body tells you. You may just surprise yourself.