Break Free From the Coffee Break

Coffee – For many of us, it’s the first thing we look for in the morning.  We believe without it, we simply couldn’t function.  It’s what gets us started in the morning, and if we can’t get it, we are soon overcome with fatigue and a pounding headache.

What we don’t realize however, is that while we’re enjoying the caffeine high, the long-term effects are contributing to the exhaustion of our adrenal glands.  The adrenal glands sit on top of each kidney and release the hormone cortisol as well as other important hormones in response to stress, whether it’s physical, emotional, or psychological.  These hormones help to strengthen the body’s ability to cope in stressful situations.  The roller coaster ride of energy and fatigue that results from caffeine consumption reduces the adrenals glands’ ability to react to stressful situations and leads to further overall exhaustion.  This is ultimately the reason why we need it in the morning to wake up and get a start on our day.

Even one cup of coffee in the morning can disrupt sleep that night.  In addition to its effects on the central nervous system, caffeine is a bladder irritant. It increases calcium loss in the urine, which contributes to the risk of bone loss.

If you have high blood pressure, you would be smart to cut coffee out of your diet.  Recent studies have found that even small amounts of caffeine may cause a temporary increase in blood pressure.  For people who are already experiencing high blood pressure, the consumption of caffeine could increase the risk of heart attack or stroke.

Caffeine is cleared from the system much more slowly in women than in men, and if you’re a woman who’s trying to get pregnant, limit your caffeine intake to no more than one cup per day.  Consuming more than this has been linked with decreased female fertility.

Coffee and tea, unless organic, are highly sprayed with pesticides.  It takes approximately two weeks to overcome the withdrawal symptoms of giving up caffeine.  Fatigue and headaches are common withdrawal symptoms, while your body rids itself of toxins.

So leave out the sugar. Try switching to decaf green tea or other herbal drinks. Have an apple: it can be more effective in waking people up than caffeine.


About Hannah Pidgeon, RHN

Graduated from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition in 2011. Consulting in Charlottetown, PEI. Mama to a beautiful baby girl.
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