Oh how I love coffee. I love smelling the beans going through grocery aisle, I love the aroma that fills the kitchen as I brew it, I love how it makes me feel so comfortable and secure as I sip it lowly at the perfect temperature during my morning routine, so you may ask why I decided to stop drinking it!
It is truly amazing how in tune with my body I am when I make a conscious effort and the short story of why is that I don’t like the way it makes me feel long term. Yes I like the short term buzz where I feel like I could conquer the world (yeah you know the feeling), but after taking it out for a few days it was so clear how I actually felt while it was in my system.
Yes I guess I could just ignore it and keep consuming as I was when sugar or wheat makes me feel bad, it really doesn’t take much to give in to temptations and things that make us feel good- this is what our society has become-from electronics, to food, to booze, to trips, to anything that we want to justify in one way or another….but this is another topic for another day! I decided to stop ignoring the reactions and feelings I had while consuming coffee (3+ years straight, only breaking when I was pregnant, but even then I wasn’t 100% clean!)
As I had mentioned in my last blog, I had a cup of coffee after a few days break and my insides hurt a lot, so I researched what coffee does to the body. Here’s what I found and can attest to be true!
1. Coffee increases acidity– specifically hydrochloride acid. The more coffee on an empty stomach especially, raises HCL levels expontially, which breaks down the lining of your stomach and intestines. In the detox, they talked about restoring the alkaline/acid base- basically counteracting high levels of acid or HCL. Because HCL goes into overdrive while drinking coffee, the body slows or temporarily stops producing HCL on its own, which could lead to undigested/unabsorbed protein going through the intestines causing gas and uncomfortable gut! (Tea, sugar, tobacco, alcohol and fried foods can have the same effect by lowering the body’s ability to produce adequate amounts of HCL to properly digest food).
2. Coffee acts as a laxative. Most people can attest to this, but not as likely to admit it. The problem with this is again sending food through to the intestines prematurely causing gas, inflammation and bloating -note that decaf has the same effect.
3. Coffee acts as a diuretic. It flushes the kidneys causing loss of minerals and nutrients leading to dehydration. When this happens your body needs water, but most people mistake this with hunger and snack more and more, leading to weight gain. In turn coffee affects your kidneys ability to absorb magnesium, calcium, zinc as well as other important nutrients. Magnesium being one that helps with muscle recovery and sleep.
4. Increases stress levels– including cortisol, epinephrine or adrenaline, hence that I can do anything feeling! So why is this bad? The elevated levels in the fight or flight response increase heart rate and blood pressure for longer periods of time taking blood away from where its needed like digesting our food. It can also excrete B vitamins essential for stress and anxiety management.
Among other things, coffee can be an irritant for those with heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, Crohn’s, ulcers and gastritis.
So before all you coffee junkies disregard this and assume it doesn’t affect you the same or if you have these symptoms but don’t want to stop drinking it, try to keep it to a true cup a day, not on an empty stomach and starting other stress management techniques- but know this doesn’t solve or prevent coffees effects on the inside.
Since I miss the security that a warm cup of Java gives me, I looked for an alternative. Some sites suggested reducing, then decaf, then tea, none of which I thought would solve my issues with coffee, and also not to say that i will never have another cup of coffee again! I finally came across a coffee alternative called Teeccino. Made from natural herbs and ingredients, but brewed like coffee. They sell a wide variety of flavors, so I am assuming each person will think differently on how it compares to their coffee. Mine is in the mail shipped from well.ca as its mostly sold out of Canada of course! I thought I could try it before this was published to give the lowdown, but still waiting for it.
Overall I feel a lot less stressed with everyday things, I feel like my mood is fairly even steven compared to what it was before. No need for afternoon naps or a second coffee because I can’t make it through a normal day. A huge plus of taking coffee out is I can wake up normally no matter how many hours of zzz’s, as opposed to dragging my heavy eyeballs out of bed in a grumpy mood and telling everyone to wait until I had my coffee! Feeling no anxiety or jitters, overall feeling really healthy. I know most people are not going to quit coffee, but thank you for listening and to be aware. If you do want to quit but aren’t sure how or just need support, contact me. Its worth a couple days of bad for a lifetime of good!!