Posted on Jun 21, 2012
I know some of you coffee worshipers aren’t going to like this article so much, but I’d just like to share my own experiences with the beautifully delicious but devilish creature that is coffee. It’s been a few months now since I finally kicked the habit and so I can totally resonate with those in the process of giving up because coffee is definitely a big bad drug!
I was the biggest coffee addict who ever lived! In my opinion, many people are truly addicted to coffee, causing them to feel extreme ups and downs in their nervous systems. This is the very reason I decided to quit as I was constantly getting those ups and downs, highs and lows which were honestly just exhausting!
Originating from Ireland there wasn’t so much of a coffee culture growing up and I have to say it was upon arriving in Sydney 6 ½ years ago when my dirty habit began and quickly flourished. Working in the corporate world at that time, there was (and still is!) coffee freely available everywhere you look and at every corner throughout the city.
People are coffee crazy! Coffee for breakfast, coffee for mid-morning break, coffee at lunch and finally afternoon pick me up coffee! I soon fell into this seductive habit and it wasn’t long until I couldn’t go without my morning coffee ritual and sometimes even a coffee in the afternoon to pick me up.
I literally tried so many times to quit coffee during this time; I tried to tell myself that I didn’t have an addiction and that I deserved these 1-2 coffees a day. I worked hard goddamat and I deserved a little reward (so I kept telling myself anyway!).
At times I’d quit coffee for up to a month but then eventually I’d come crawling back to it (normally triggered and lured back in by the sight and smell of it whilst catching up with friends). I tried so many times throughout those years to quit but could never make it fully stick!
It wasn’t until I was introduced to Sally Fallon Morell of the Weston.A.Price.Foundation and many others during my studies as a health coach at IIN that it really began to sink in how unbelievably wicked coffee really was.
So finally I decided I had to end my relationship with coffee completely and entirely, once and for all as it was clear it no longer served me. It was making me feel burnt out and exhausting my poor adrenals. Did you know that caffeine jolts the adrenal glands and can eventually lead to adrenal exhaustion? Yes, just one of the many “gifts” from coffee….
The Dark Side of Coffee Dependence
The well-known but poorly understood hormone adrenaline is produced by the adrenal glands from the amino acids phenylalanine and tyrosine. When you eat protein-rich foods that contain amino acids, your body naturally produces these hormones and other brain chemicals that make you feel active and motivated and ready to get to work. If you take the coffee shortcut to get your quick fix of hormones you’re exhausting your adrenals — the very organs you need to help you produce more hormones.
Like sugar, caffeine is a stimulant of the neurotransmitter serotonin; this is a hormone in our brain that controls our sleep, mood and appetite. When our body depends too heavily on materials such as caffeine to control serotonin production and energy, this impacts on the body’s natural ability to regulate healthy serotonin production. This is the reason for the highs and lows you may experience after a coffee; I know I certainly got these dips throughout the day.
On top of this, it tricks you in to thinking that you’re not hungry and hunger is our body’s way of telling us that we need nutrients. My point is if we take a drug (caffeine) that interferes with our hunger mechanism, we are depriving our body of the stimulus it needs to function naturally. We continue to top up on coffee, further delaying and depriving our body of nutrients and the cycle continues in one big vicious circle.
Thinking of Quitting?
Something I hear a lot from clients is how tired they constantly feel and the lack of energy they have. They never stop to think that caffeine could be their problem. It often is.
So those of you who think you’re not a breakfast person and survive on a coffee each morning, try experimenting and abstaining from your beloved morning coffee for even a short period of time (say 1 week) and see if you notice any positive changes..you will!
You can either start by cutting out your afternoon hit or just go crazy and cut it completely out like I have done. It’s actually not as hard as you think and there are so many replacement options like; green tea, roasted dandelion tea, chai tea, rooibos tea, lemongrass tea etc. to name a few. So many more delicious herbal teas out there to experiment with, T2 is one of my favourite stores and a great place to start!
A study at Duke University showed that caffeine in your morning coffee is confirmed to put you in a state of sustained stress, affecting both blood pressure and heart rate all through the day.
10 reasons why you might want to kick that coffee habit!
1. Cardiovascular Problems
Yes caffeine does indeed increase heart rate, elevates blood pressure and can contribute to the development of heart disease.
Caffeine stimulates the flow of stress hormones, which can produce increased levels of anxiety, irritability, muscular tension and pain, indigestion, insomnia and decreased immunity. Increased levels of stress can keep you from creating healthy reactions to normal daily stress.
3. Emotional Troubles
Anxiety and irritability are guaranteed mood disturbances associated with caffeine consumption, but equally important are depression and attention disorders.
4. Blood Sugar Swings
Diabetics and hypoglycemics should avoid caffeine. Caffeine stimulates a temporary rush in blood sugar followed by an overproduction of insulin, which causes a blood sugar crash within hours. This roller coaster causes weight gain since insulin’s message to the body is to store excess sugar as fat.
5. Gastrointestinal Problems
Many people experience a burning sensation in their stomach after drinking coffee because coffee increases the secretion of hydrochloric acid, which leads to an increased risk for ulcers. Coffee, including decaf, reduces pressure on the valve between the esophagus and the stomach so that the highly acidic contents of the stomach pass up to the esophagus, which can lead to heartburn and gastro-esophageal reflux disease.
6. Nutritional Deficiencies
Caffeine inhibits the absorption of some nutrients and causes the urinary excretion of calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, and trace minerals. So you could be eating very healthy but then washing I down with a coffee only to be losing some of those nutrients from food.
7. Male Health Problems
Milton Krisiloff, MD, has found that in the majority of cases, men can significantly reduce their risk for urinary and prostate problems by making dietary changes, which include eliminating coffee and caffeine.
8. Female Health Problems
Fibrocystic breast disease, PMS, osteoporosis, infertility problems, miscarriage, low birth weight and menopausal problems such as hot flashes are all aggravated by caffeine consumption. Women on birth control pills are particularly at risk since they tend to have a decreased ability to detoxify caffeine.
Many people find that in their 40s, they can no longer tolerate the same level of caffeine consumption they could in their 20s and 30s. Production of DHEA, melatonin and other vital hormones decline with age, but caffeine speeds up that process. Caffeine dehydrates the body and contributes to aging of the skin and kidneys. It has been shown to inhibit DNA repair and slow the ability of the liver to detoxify foreign toxins.
10. Adrenal Exhaustion
Caffeine consumption can lead to eventual adrenal exhaustion, which can leave you vulnerable to a variety of health disorders related to inflammation and fatigue. This was enough to make me quit along with those female hormone health problems – no thank you!
ADAPTED FROM CAFFEINE BLUES: WAKE UP TO THE HIDDEN DANGERS OF AMERICA’S #1 DRUG BY STEPHEN CHERNISKE.
Are you “slightly” addicted to coffee? Can you relate to any of the above? Share you experience with us below!
Love & Light,