Don't know what to believe when it comes to the pros and cons of drinking coffee? We debunk some of the confusion and share 5 awesome ways that let you drink your daily grind without the negative effects.
Who Doesn't Love Coffee
More than half of Americans over the age of 18 drink coffee and Northern European countries like Finland and the Netherlands are drinking over double the US quantity. Is the delicious flavour and coffee buzz worth the slightly nauseous and wiped-out aftermath?
The comfort and treat of a delicious coffee is very tempting to get you going on a cold dark morning. The problem is, coffee is powerfully addictive and after the initial 'high' you can be left feeling depleted and jittery.
Wouldn't it be great to get control over your habit and feel alive in the mornings without the coffee crutch? You can do it with the help of some deeper understanding and our tips and tricks, so here come the coffee facts...
When it’s bad
Physical negative effects:
- Triggers the ‘flight or fight’ response, releasing stress hormones
- Puts extra strain on your adrenal glands – which produce stress hormones
- Overworks the liver
- Disrupts energy balance
- Depletes the body of water and some nutrients
- Can irritate the stomach and affect digestion
"If you struggle with blood sugar despite avoiding sweets and carbs, caffeine could be the culprit!"
So, what’s the problem with high blood sugar levels? Excess sugar circulating in your blood can lead to all sorts of issues like increased risk of diabetes and inflammatory conditions, aggravated skin, overeating and weight gain. This also puts a lot of pressure on the pancreas, which produces insulin (our hormone that deals with sugar in the blood). For this reason, the digestive system also suffers because the pancreas has less chance to produce the all the enzymes we need to break down food.
What physically happens in our bodies when we drink coffee is only part of the story, there are other factors that can mean this lovely drink has knock on effects on our diet, lifestyle, health and relationship with food.
Emotional, environmental and performance effects:
- Regularly buying coffee on the way to work as a crutch to get you through your morning triggers the ‘reward’ mechanism in the brain, this habit-forming process leads to dependency.
- We are tempted by extras like syrups, whipped cream and chocolate – not to mention the array of muffins, pastries and doughnuts (all of which make cake for breakfast a socially acceptable choice!)
- The feeling of wellbeing caused by the temporary energy boost and elevated concentration is followed by a sharp crash, which can affect mood and mental health quite drastically.
When it’s good
Let’s face it, many of us enjoy the coffee buzz, and if we can harness the energy and focus it provides rather than taking a ride on the highs and lows of the caffeine rollercoaster, we could be on to something!
5 Ways to enjoy coffee without the side effects:
- EAT FIRST - Drink coffee with some food in your stomach to curb irritation to the stomach lining and energy disruption. A great tip is to add a spoon of coconut oil to your coffee.
- WATER FIRST - Ensure you’re hydrated before drinking your morning cup – I recommend at least a couple of glasses of water first.
- SUPPORT YOUR LIVER with detoxifying Organic Burst Chlorella – take a teaspoon in water with a great big squeeze of lemon juice (or 4 tablets) each time you drink a cup of coffee.
- AFTER LUNCH - Coffee stimulates the bile sphincter to release amazing digestive helpers into your intestine, so the Italians really have it spot on when they enjoy an espresso after a meal.
- BEFORE A WORKOUT - The release of too much energy into the blood stream is only a problem if we don’t put that energy to good use – so move your body, rather than sitting still at a desk. This is why many experts encourage a coffee shot before working out – it can increase blood flow to your muscles, help reduce any pain and increase endurance.
“Avoid the jitters from coffee by taking a spoon of coconut oil first!”
Or choose these totally clean alternatives…
How about the other options to help you be free of coffee’s hold? There are some fantastic alternatives available if you know what to look for:
- Maca-chino - our personal favourite in the OB office! Our maca is a caffeine-free energiser, which also strengthens the body and increases endurance. Try a teaspoon of Organic Burst Maca, with warmed almond/cashew milk, a teaspoon of maple syrup and even a sprinkle of cacao powder. You can froth it up easily using a milk frother for the true coffee shop effect.
- Naturally Decaffeinated coffee - as the usual decaf is full of pitfalls because industrial solvents (normally used in paint stripping or poisoning insects) are used to draw the caffeine from the beans. Look for decaf made with the Swiss Water Process that involves soaking and charcoal filtering the caffeine out.
- Barley or chicory coffee are other fantastic health store alternatives, the roasted flavour hints at the real thing, and many people grow to love their mug of barley or chicory.
"Try maca as a coffee alternative, 1tsp with warmed cashew milk is energising, warming and yummy!"
Now take a step towards improving your relationship with coffee – if there’s a mug in your hand right now, run up a flight of stairs in the next half hour!
LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK
Do you agree with this coffee approach? Tell us about how you manage your coffee habit below!