Drinking coffee is sometimes found to be good for you and sometimes bad. But there are a few things all coffee drinkers should be aware of before they reach for that morning cup of Joe.
Many Americans start each day with at least one cup of coffee. Annually, Americans consume 146 billion cups of this beverage. But, whether or not this drink is healthy is somewhat controversial among experts. Here, we’ll look at a few important things to know about how drinking coffee can impact your health and wellbeing.
Coffee is high in caffeine: the primary reason why most people drink it. While caffeine increases alertness, energy, and one’s ability to stay awake, repeatedly relying on coffee for energy has its downside. Caffeine is an adrenal stimulant, putting stress on the adrenal gland to pump out hormones similar to when you’re in “fight or flight” mode. Your body is designed to be in fight or flight mode when you’re in serious danger, but it can’t distinguish between the stimulation from coffee and the kind you get when chased by a bear. The long-term result can be adrenal fatigue or even adrenal burnout, which can cause many problems including hormone imbalance.
Addiction & Reliance
When you become accustomed to relying on coffee to wake you up in the morning, your adrenal glands become fatigued. The (eventual) result is a difficulty having any energy without the caffeine. Furthermore, other withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches, can arise from weaning off of coffee. Because of this, many people become addicted to and consistently rely on coffee rather than getting energy through nourishing the adrenal gland.
Anxiety & Sleep
Coffee consumption can often lead to anxiety and disrupted sleep. Especially if drunken frequently, or too late in the day, it can leave you feeling anxious with an elevated heart rate, and can interfere with your ability to sleep or sleep well. Some people can even experience panic attacks or heart palpitations from the effects of the caffeine.
Coffee consumption can lead to stress or worsen existing stress. Consuming coffee increases catecholamines, which are stress hormones. This stress response releases cortisol and insulin, which can lead to increased inflammation and fat storage around the middle. Frequent coffee consumption can decrease your insulin sensitivity, which can lead to diabetes.
Coffee is highly acidic, which can not only cause pH imbalances in the body, but it can also cause digestive problems, heartburn, indigestion, and can cause bone and joint pain.
Drinking too much coffee (what makes it too much varies from person to person) can lead to dehydration. Coffee is a mild diuretic, causing the kidneys to excrete water from the body, increasing the need to drink more water.
Coffee is high in something called oxalates, which bind to calcium in the blood and create something called calcium oxalate, a large component of kidney stones.
Coffee Bean Quality
There is a lot of variation in types and quality of coffee beans. Most Americans consume cheap coffee, which can have pesticides, herbicides, mycotoxins and more that disrupt a healthy gut. The possible benefits of coffee are going to be found when high quality, organic, and properly fermented beans are the source of the coffee you’re drinking. Some coffee is so bad it can make you sick.
Most people consume their coffee with added flavorings, processed sugars, processed creams, and other such additions. Commonly added ingredients such as these cause further stress on the adrenals, cause nutrient deficiencies, gut microbe imbalance, liver toxicity, and blood sugar imbalances.
Regular coffee consumption can stain your teeth a yellowish-brown color and lead to bad breath.
If giving up or minimizing coffee is not something you can commit to, the best way you can minimize these negative effects of coffee is to be sure to get organic, high-quality beans or coffee made from such beans, and to consume it with only high-quality ingredients such as coconut oil. It’s also important if you drink coffee frequently that you drink a lot of water to stay hydrated!