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Low Energy? Quit the Coffee & Do This Instead.
Lea Sharp - on June 16, 2017
Is Coffee Bad For You?
It’s no secret that coffee is considered an essential fuel by a large number of the population. It boosts energy and motivation, gives us the ability to ignore stupid people and makes us a nicer, more tolerable human being overall. Coffee has also been proven to be chemically addictive which is why you might feel like fighting me when I tell you to give it up!
‘Worldwide we consume about 145 million… bags of coffee a year – that’s almost 10 million tons of coffee. Coffee tastes like a little piece of heaven – but there’s a dark side to the story… See world coffee consumption statistics in real time and what you can do to avoid the dark side.’ The World Counts
Yes, coffee has its health benefits including an increase in metabolism, lower risk of Type 2 Diabetes and protecting against Alzheimer’s disease but are they enough to outweigh the many negative side effects?
I know you don’t want to believe me so here are some facts backed by science;
- Caffeine can increase catecholamine which is known as a stress hormone
- Caffeine habituation can decrease sensitivity to insulin
- Coffee acidity is primarily associated with indigestion, heart burn, discomfort, gout and poor gut health
- Coffee can cause restlessness and insomnia
- Caffeine contributes to the excretion of nutrients such as calcium, magnesium and potassium
- It also negatively effects the absorption of iron
- Caffeine consumption can cause high blood pressure and increase risk of heart attacks
- Drinking excessive amounts may lead to anxiety and agitation often referred to as caffeinism
- Drinking unfiltered coffee can cause an increase in cholesterol and triglycerides which leads to a greater chance of heart disease
- There is even some evidence to show that coffee can cause infertility in women and increase miscarriage risk
With the internet flooded with conflicting stories it’s hard to decide; is coffee good for your health or bad for your health?
It comes down to personal preference and how your body handles the consumption of coffee. Some healthy adults are able to tolerate coffee in moderation while others, myself included, are sensitive to the caffeine and may find the coffee particularly draining and suffer from adverse reactions.
How Much Coffee is Safe to Drink?
As I said above, some people may be able to tolerate more than others but the mayo clinic states that;
‘Up to 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine a day appears to be safe for most healthy adults. That’s roughly the amount of caffeine in four cups of brewed coffee, 10 cans of cola or two “energy shot” drinks. Keep in mind that the actual caffeine content in beverages varies widely, especially among energy drinks.’ – Mayo Clinic
How to Quit Coffee Naturally
Have I convinced you yet? If you’re ready to cut back on your caffeine consumption or even quit cold turkey, you may experience withdrawal symptoms including headaches, irritability and brain fog. Caffeine withdrawal is even recognized as a disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), by following a few guidelines you’ll be able to reduce the withdrawal side effects and kick the habit for good.
- Magnesium supplements may help to alleviate symptoms and support your nervous system
- Switch to an alternative with less caffeine such as green tea to cut down gradually
- Supplement with activated B Vitamins to combat stress
- Increase your protein consumption, especially for breakfast and lunch to avoid those mid-morning and mid-afternoon slumps
- Epsom salt baths are great for increasing detoxification and relieving nervous tension, add a few drops of lavender to help you sleep
- Get adequate sleep and take nana naps if needed!
Increasing Energy without Caffeine
Now that you’ve cut back you might be finding that you’re feeling a bit fatigued and unmotivated – This can be cause by tired adrenal glands. When you drink coffee it stimulates the release of cortisol which is a stress hormone designed to help you identify and get away from threats. Cortisol in small amounts serves a purpose but when the adrenal glands are pumping out this stress hormone unnecessarily, they will tire quickly and become fatigued. Recovering from this takes a bit of effort but with time and patience you’ll be on the road to recovery.
To increase your energy naturally and gently, here are a few tips;
- Practice yoga and gentle, uplifting stretches of a morning
- Eat fruits containing healthy carbohydrates and natural sugars
- Head to the gym for some light resistance and weight training
- Take a brisk walk outside for some Vitamin D
- Jump in a cold shower to invigorate your senses before starting the day
- Get your 8 (ish) hours of sleep every night and make sure you’re in bed before 10PM to support those adrenals
- Drink a healthy green smoothie or juice full of nutrients first thing in the morning
- Meditate for a few minutes everyday
If I can’t tear you away from your morning brew, here are a few tips to help your body cope;
- Eat a healthy, wholesome breakfast complete with fats, protein and carbs BEFORE your cup of java
- Drink 2-3 litres of water every day
- Add a good dollop of organic coconut oil to your coffee
- Take daily supplements including magnesium and activated B’s
- Eat plenty of liver supporting foods such as garlic, green vegetables, carrots and beetroots
Please check with a medical professional before taking any new supplements or going cold turkey if you’re a habitual coffee drinker.
‘Organic Coconut is an online health food store and healthy living blog based in Queensland, Australia. Specialising in Virgin Coconut Oil, Organic Coconut Foods and Natural Body Products, the team behind Organic Coconut aim to help you improve your mood, heal your body and enhance your life through an integrative approach.’