Carol (Missy) Cohen MPH, CHHC

You Love Coffee… but Does Coffee Love You?

Every morning I ride the train into Boston and what I notice, day in and day out, is how many people are either asleep on the 6 am train or holding on to a cup of coffee for dear life. What many people do not realize is that their morning cup of joe, while giving them a jolt to getting started, is actually contributing to their fatigue later in the morning.

Many people in todays society are under chronic stress. That stress may be physical from an underlying bacterial, viral or yeast infection, emotional from going to that job that they hate everyday or struggling to make ends meet or environmental from taking toxins into our bodies from contaminated food or the air we breathe and struggling to remove them.

Caffeine contributes to our stress.

Coffee is one of the most agriculturally treated crops. On average, one acre of coffee is sprayed with 25 pounds of pesticides! The residue of these toxins is ingested  through drinking your coffee. You can reduce your toxin load by sticking to organic coffee. How does that translate to real life? Brew your coffee at home or ask questions. Your favorite coffee shop may or may not be brewing organic coffee.

It also contributes to our stress levels by making our bodies think that we are in danger and releasing a hormone called adrenaline. Adrenaline our “fight or flight” hormone. That’s the initial surge of energy that we feel when we have our first sip. The adrenaline homrone is eventually replaced with a long-term stress hormone called cortisol. Cortisol in our bodies normally fluctuates over the day but should be highest in the morning. Caffeine breaks cortisol down, decreasing the amounts we have available later in the day. The result is a great surge of energy initially  to late morning, early afternoon exhaustion which increases during the day until we can’t wait to crawl home after work and lie on our couches after eating take-out because we are too tired to prepare healthy options.

Coffee is acidic 

This acidity triggers digestive discomfort, heartburn, acid reflux and causes an imbalance in the bacteria that live in our gut and help us digest our food and create vitamins and health fatty acids for optimal health. In addition, our bodies function best when they are in an alkaline state.

Coffee has been linked to pre-diabetes and diabetes

Habitual use of coffee reduces your ability to take sugar into your cells, You become insulin resistant which means that your insulin which is produced in response to sugar in your blood, can no longer easily open the receptors that allow the sugar into your cells. Insulin resistance is one of the signs of pre-diabetes. When you continue to stress your pancreas to create insulin to push all that sugar into your cells, eventually your pancreas gets tired and can’t produce anymore insulin. When this occurs, you haveType 2 Diabetes.

Coffee is addictive. 

If you have a habitual coffee habit and you have ever had to go a day or two without coffee, you know exactly what I am referring to.  Coffee withdrawal has been compared to drug withdrawal with bad headaches, chills, fever and cravings. In addition, coffee is often served with sugar and cream, more addictive substances. Oh, and don’t forget that coffee is often associated with donuts, muffins or pastries. None of these things can make a claim on being health foods!

What to have instead:

Start your day with 1/2 of a real lemon squeezed into a glass of warm water. “But, Missy, lemon is acidic!” Yes, you are right. Lemon is acidic but when we consume it, the digestive process results in an alkaline ash which serves our bodies much better than acidic coffee does. Plus, we are starting our day by hydrating our bodies instead of hitting the with a diuretic which coffee is.

Want to see what is in my morning coffee? Click here!

Do you struggle with energy? I can teach you how to overcome that. Contact me for your initial session and get some tips on how to improve your energy.

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