Oh no, cover your ears. It’s National Coffee Month and we can surely agree that America (and the world) runs on coffee. Whether it’s Dunkin (ew) or a specialty coffee shop near you, we just do. Did you know I’ve never been a coffee drinker, never have because I think it tastes gross. My husband is over here dying because he LOVES his coffee.
By the end of this post you’ll learn what caffeine is, where it’s found, what it does to our bodies and what to try instead. Oh and here’s a popular post on my Caffeine Free Latte.
What is caffeine?
Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant. It’s the most widely consumed psychoactive drug and it also happens to be one of the only ones that’s legal and unregulated (talk about a bought out industry!). Most importantly, it doesn’t have to be listed on nutrition labels so, you really don’t know where it’s chillin’. Examples of psychoactive drugs are alcohol, nicotine, amphetamines and cocaine.
Is caffeine good for you? Will I have withdrawals? I don’t think I’m addicted. Is there caffeine in decaf?
Don’t worry, we talk about all this today!
Where is caffeine found?
Caffeine is found in many different foods, drinks and plants. First, coffee. Then there’s:
- green tea
- black tea
- energy drinks (omg stop)
- yerba mate
- decaf coffee
- non cola soda (mountain dew, cream soda)
- weight loss pills (the most dangerous form of caffeine because it’s powdered and can be administered in toxic doses)
- pain relievers
- energy waters
- breath fresheners
- Perky Jerky *what the heck!?* it has as much as a can of red bull
What does it do to us?
Caffeine stimulates our CNS and when it’s overstimulated you can experience symptoms like:
- hormones out of balance
- panic attacks
- inability to chill
- poor digestion
- high blood pressure
- high cholesterol
- and the list goes on
Does this have you asking is caffeine good for you? Get this, just 1 Tbsp of coffee (like, brewed coffee) can lead to an addiction and dependance on it. Chronic consumption of caffeine can lead to HPA axis dysfunction (adrenal fatigue), hormone imbalance and sluggish digestion. Not to mention, it interferes with the absorption of both magnesium and B-vitamins; both of which are crucial for optimal hormone health.
More science behind the buzz
Chronic use of caffeine leads to increased urination and it can cause or worsen anxiety. Take it from my 1:1 clients who I recommend get off it and they quickly get their lives back and don’t feel like crazy people anymore! You can work with me 1:1 too and I’ll guide you through this. Then, the 1/2 life of coffee doubled when you take oral contraceptives (birth control). If you are taking Luvox (fluvoxamine) it’s 10Xed to 56 hours. You’re literally forever caffeinated.
Caffeine is metabolized by our liver. Then again, so is every other toxin that we are being bombarded with so, it’s likely your liver is already slugging like 99% of the women I work with in my nutrition practice.
Lastly, if you think you’re getting caffeine free coffee with decaf, think again. Decaf contains caffeine at lower amounts than normal coffee but it’s still up to 20 mg. Not to mention, the process to lower the caffeine normally occurs with chlorinated solvents. As I’ve talked about before, chlorine interferes with our thyroid = hormone issues = weight gain = acne and the list continues. Here’s a great post on the “worst”, “better”, “best” coffees my friend Leah did. (I’m not saying drink but I’m saying do your research if you’re going to).
What to have instead:
Luckily there are many different options for coffee and some even taste like coffee. Best of all, these will leave you un-addicted and with happy taste buds.
- Maca Latte
- Dandy Blend Herbal Coffee
- Rasa Herbal Coffee
- DIY Herbal Coffee
- Peppermint Tea
If you’re like Ashlee, I am going to keep drinking coffee, that’s your choice dude. I had my husband and coffee connoisseur do a post on how to select the best types of (mold free) coffee. Remember, you don’t have to do something just because everyone else in the world does it.