What do you do first thing in the morning? If you’re like many people, you reach for a cup of coffee. In fact, many are convinced that they simply can’t get going without that first caffeine jolt in the morning. Coffee is what they believe energizes them and makes them mentally alert.
Nothing could be further from the truth. While caffeine acts as a strong stimulant, which may give you a temporary burst of energy, it simply doesn’t last. If you’re fatigued because of lack of sleep or stress, coffee will not deliver a sustained level of higher energy.
In truth, coffee actually depletes the body of B vitamins and, in turn, depletes your energy. It interferes with the absorption of magnesium, which is very critical to regular, healthy bowel movements. Plus, when you drink coffee in the morning, you’re flushing vital water and nutrients from your body. In addition, drinking coffee dehydrates your body and interferes with digestion.
So, if you experience fatigue on a regular basis, maybe it’s time to listen to what your body is really telling you. It may be time for you to consider different lifestyle choices like going to bed earlier or exercising more to release stress.
Just remember that drinking coffee will not give you sustained energy or eliminate chronic feelings of fatigue.
You should also know that coffee beans are known to be a heavily sprayed crop. So, aside from the damage coffee alone can do, pesticides are contributors to a wide range of health problems, including prostate and other cancers, Parkinson’s Disease, and even miscarriages.
Now some of you may be saying, “But I have regular bowel movements when I drink coffee. Isn’t that a good thing?”
The answer is no, and let me explain why. Drinking coffee can over-stimulate the digestive system, which can induce a temporary laxative effect.
That’s how coffee can trigger a bowel movement. Unfortunately, the effects of the coffee also cause the release of this waste before it has had a chance to process and use vital water and nutrients in the body. So, in other words, using coffee to trigger a bowel movement is not a healthy way to eliminate waste from the body. Remember also that too much coffee can cause bowel problems like gas and diarrhea
The Impact of Coffee on Your Adrenal Glands
The adrenals are small but mighty glands, which sit on top of the kidneys. Their function is to release hormones that trigger the fight-or-flight response when we’re confronted with stressors. When adrenaline floods our bodies, our muscles contract and our heart rate quickens. Basically, the body is put on alert and is made ready for action.
Here’s the problem. Coffee stimulates the adrenal glands, which means that every time you drink coffee, you’re activating the body’s fight-or-flight response. But, instead of releasing adrenaline so the body can react to a true stressor, the adrenals are releasing this hormone in response to your coffee consumption.
What happens over time is that your adrenal glands start to burn out from overuse, which can lead to adrenal fatigue. Naturally, you can help to prevent adrenal fatigue simply by avoiding coffee, or keeping your consumption to a minimum. Does caffeine really give you an energy boost? Depending on how much caffeine you consume, it can make you feel as if you have more energy, especially within the first couple of hours after consumption. However, once the effects of the caffeine have worn off, you’ll actually feel more tired than you did before you drank it.
How Coffee Interacts with the Calcium in Your Body
Calcium has many positive health benefits, including the health of your bones. It’s a mineral that can’t be produced by our bodies, meaning that we have to ingest or absorb calcium from external sources.
Almost all of the calcium in our bodies is found in our bones and our teeth. This is an important fact since coffee is known to interact with calcium by decreasing the body’s ability to absorb it. As a result, regular coffee drinkers may not be getting the full benefits from the calcium supplements they’re taking. Additionally, if you’re an older woman, you may be putting yourself at higher risk for osteoporosis or bone fractures, depending on the amount of coffee you drink.
Ladies, remember what I said earlier. Caffeine dehydrates the body and elevates cortisol levels. This can lead to dehydrated skin and premature wrinkling. In his bestselling books, The Perricone Prescription and The Wrinkle Cure, Dr. Nicholas Perricone encourages people to quit coffee to prevent skin aging.
His patients have shown him the consequences of elevated cortisol levels on skin aging and wrinkling – dehydration and a decrease in collagen and elastin production. It’s a good reminder that we must drink 8 to 10 glasses of water a day to maintain healthy and beautiful skin, as all biochemical reactions in the body take place in the presence of water.
So, if you suffer from IBS, acid reflux, stomach ulcers, diarrhea, Crohn’s disease, colitis, high blood pressure, difficulty sleeping, or anxiety, isn’t it time to consider eliminating your coffee intake? Don’t worry. I won’t leave you without alternatives. In the next section, I offer you some healthy substitutes for coffee.
Natural Alternatives to Coffee
While you’re trying to wean yourself off of coffee and are searching for a satisfying replacement beverage, let’s not forget about water. Water is vital to the body and is truly the elixir of life. Drinking water is one of the most important things we can do every day to maintain good health. I always recommend that you drink filtered or spring water instead of tap or distilled water. And, stay away from fluoridated water. Natural water is best.
Tea – The Other Popular Beverage
Herbal tea is a great replacement for coffee, so why not try nettle tea. Nettle is very cleansing, and it curbs the appetite so it’s ideal for weight loss. It’s also very high in minerals. Nettle tea will give you a boost in the morning. Plus, it’s a gentle diuretic and is considered restorative to the kidneys and bladder.
Green Tea has many healthful properties and is another great substitute for coffee. Ideally, you want green tea that contains the entire ground tea leaf.Matcha green tea is what I prefer. It’s renowned for its numerous health benefits.
Matcha Tea is rich in nutrients, antioxidants, fiber, and chlorophyll.
Plus, it’s sugar-free, so it’s an ideal drink for diabetics and others wishing to reduce their sugar intake. The health benefits of matcha exceed those of other green teas because matcha drinkers ingest the whole leaf, not just the brewed water. One glass of matcha is the equivalent of 10 glasses of green tea in terms of nutritional value and antioxidant content.
Tulsi Tea (also known as Holy Basil) is another favorite tea of mine. It’s a powerful herb used in Ayurveda, which is an ancient system of medicine practiced in India. The thing I like about tulsi is that it’s an adaptogenic herb, which means that it helps to reduce the stressors that may be compromising your physical and mental well-being.
Tulsi also is rich in antioxidants so we know that consuming it will help prevent oxidation damage, which can leave our bodies vulnerable to disease. That’s probably why Ayurvedic practices often use tulsi to treat cancer, as well as headaches, diabetes, high blood pressure, and joint pain, among other maladies and diseases.
According to Dr. Ralph Miller, who is the former Director of Research for the Canadian Department of Health and Welfare, “Modern scientific research offers impressive evidence that tulsi reduces stress, enhances stamina, relieves inflammation, lowers cholesterol, eliminates toxins, protects against radiation, prevents gastric ulcers, lowers fevers, improves digestion and provides a rich supply of antioxidants and other nutrients.” Dr. Miller also stated that “tulsi is especially effective in supporting the heart, blood vessels, liver and lungs and also regulates blood pressure and blood sugar.” That’s quite an endorsement of tulsi’s health benefits.
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by giving these coffee alternatives a try. If you do try one of these coffee substitutes, let me know what you think.