How hooked are you? If you need a cup of coffee in order to get going in the morning, consider rethinking your relationship to caffeine. Keep in mind that caffeine is not just in coffee. It can be in sodas, soft drinks, tea, some herbal teas, chocolate and even some medications. Always read the labels!
Coffee is very acidic and dehydrating, and caffeine severely taxes the detox organs, such as the liver and kidneys.
Coffee is primarily consumed for its mood elevating and stimulating effects, which occur about 30 minutes after ingestion. Those energising results are due to its ability to increase both dopamine and adrenaline in the central nervous system.
Dopamine is a short-firing chemical, that drives pursuit and desire.
Adrenaline is also associated with drive and motivation. Adrenaline is one of our “fight or flight,” or immediate response, hormones.
The release of these two brain chemicals after a good coffee helps you feel more alert and ready to tackle whatever is ahead of you in your day. The increase in dopamine and adrenaline is achieved by blocking another brain chemical: adenosine.
Adenosine is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. It suppresses the production of dopamine throughout the day and plays a role in promoting sleep.
In short, caffeine keeps you awake and adenosine makes you sleepy.
Coffee has other effects on the body worth considering:
- over-stimulation of the central nervous system (leading to increased risk of insomnia, adrenal fatigue, irritability and heart issues)
- elevated blood pressure
- heartburn and other gastrointestinal problems
- compromised immunity
If you want to try to reduce your intake or try other alternatives see my top tips below!
Don’t go cold turkey.
You definitely don’t have to go cold turkey when quitting coffee. It’s best to taper off in small increments so as not to trigger the junkie-like withdrawal symptoms many people struggle with. The goal is to slowly reduce the caffeine so your body can acclimate over time. Here’s a painless strategy to try when you’re ready to unhook from the caffeine drip:
Day 1: Today, have your usual amount of coffee.
Day 2 – DAY 5: Blend your coffee 50/50 with decaf (preferably certified organic).
Day 6: Blend your coffee 25/75 with decaf
Day 7: Start drinking pure decaf or switch to green tea
Alternatively try some of the below:
GREEN VEGETABLE JUICE: To re-mineralise and hydrate your body, consume 8-16 ounces of fresh green vegetable juice daily, made at home or from your local juice bar. Use cucumber, celery, and lots of greens (kale, parsley, romaine, spinach). Add a bit of apple or carrot for sweetness, with ginger and lemon. Try this for one week and watch your energy soar. This is powerful stuff!
TECCINO: This is a super yummy coffee substitute made out of almonds and chicory. You can find it at Whole Foods. Mix with steamed almond milk and a dash of stevia.
CHICORY – This hot beverage tastes like coffee but is made of roasted chicory root instead of coffee beans.
GREEN TEA OR YERBA MATE: Yerba mate is a traditional South American drink that’s gaining worldwide popularity. It’s said to have the strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea, and the joy of chocolate.
BULLETPROOF COFFEE – Get on it, it has so many benefits, great for weight-loss as it curbs hunger for hours – check out the book ‘The Bulletproof Diet’ by Dave Asprey – Add a dollop of MCT oil or coconut oil for added benefits.
These are great coffee substitutes – energising and full of additional health benefits.
Consider doing a cleanse if you want to wean off the coffee.
I do a 21-day programme which includes a gut reset. For more information email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.