The 3 Body Systems that Caffeine Negatively AffectsFebruary 1, 2022
Coffee, is it worth it?
Do you rely on coffee to wake you up? Have a bowel movement? Get through your afternoon?
Nowadays everyone drinks coffee, most drinking 2-3 cups per day, some with cream or an alternative and sugar. But if you knew all the ways that coffee affected you, would you still drink it?
Let’s have a look at how caffeine affects each body system:
Brain, Mind and Sleep
Caffeine is a stimulant which affects the central nervous system to increase alertness. Caffeine blocks adenosine from its receptors in the brain. Adenosine is a chemical substance released when you’re awake to eventually make you feel tired and ready to go to bed and while you sleep, adenosine levels drop. Since the caffeine in coffee isn’t reducing the amount of adenosine that is released, when the caffeine wears off, the adenosine still present can bind to those receptors, leaving you feeling more tired than before you drank your coffee.
Caffeine increases your stress response, which in turn increases the release of cortisol, which your stress hormone. When your stress response is heightened and cortisol is elevated, you may begin to experience symptoms of anxiety (i.e., feeling anxious, tense, overwhelmed, manic, agitated, shaky or tremors, and headaches). Coffee is also known to increase lactic acid which leads to panic attacks.
Melatonin, the sleep hormone is also affected by caffeine intake. Regular caffeine consumption disrupts the release of cortisol and melatonin, hormones that are released based on our internal clock and biological rhythms. By removing caffeine from the daily diet, cortisol and melatonin are released in their normal rhythms leading to more stable daily energy, and more restorative sleep at night.
Caffeine increases the amount of acid in your stomach and may lead to heartburn, GERD, reflux, ulcers and dysbiosis (disruption of the gut flora). Caffeine has also been shown to reduce the absorption of many minerals (manganese, copper, and zinc) and it interferes with the absorption of other nutrients such as calcium, iron, magnesium, and vitamin B6.
Coffee on its own is not calorically dense, however adding cream, sugar or alternatives can increase your caloric intake more than you think. The sugar that may be added to your coffee is also metabolized faster than the caffeine, and this can result in an energy slump within 90 minutes of consumption.
If you rely on coffee for your one regular bowel movement of the day, this indicates that you are constipated and have sluggish digestion.
Due to caffeine’s effect on cortisol, it also increases insulin release and insulin increases inflammation. Habitual coffee drinking decreases insulin sensitivity making it more difficult for your cells to respond to the sugar in your blood. This leads to uncontrolled blood sugar resulting in sugar cravings, weight gain, diabetes and increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
When the gut flora is disrupted and digestion becomes sluggish (constipation) or hurried (diarrhea), we tend to also see skin rashes or acne.
So Why Remove Coffee?
Removing coffee from your daily diet can restore your natural energy balance, and improve day time energy and night time sleep. Without coffee, you may also notice many digestive symptoms resolve (especially stomach upset, GERD, and reflux). Skin rashes and acne may also clear up. Reduced feelings of anxiety and stress is also common when coffee is removed, especially if you were drinking coffee on an empty stomach.
Luckily, there are many kinds of alternatives available to coffee! These are typically made of herbs, mushrooms or a combination, and some still have some caffeine in them but a significantly lower amount. These blends are made the same way as instant coffee, with hot or cold water!
Try one of these options and see the changes in your body and your energy when you switch from caffeine based drinks.
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