There is honestly nothing more tempting then that beautiful aroma of freshly brewed coffee in the morning. Or, after finishing a delicious dinner sipping on the perfect little cappuccino. Coffee makes us feel happy, warm and energized, and some people swear that it has health benefits. However, coffee is not for everyone nor should it be consumed in excess. Additionally, many people add lots of dairy products and sugar to their daily cup of coffee. This adds calories and is difficult for the digestion. I have seen many patients that are drinking way too much caffeine and experience enormous health benefits once they cut out or slow down on the java.
Please read on for 7 reasons why I believe coffee should be enjoyed in moderation (or not at all for some)
- Coffee increases catecholamines, hormones released in response to STRESS. The stress response increases cortisol and insulin. This response can increase inflammation thereby making you feel tired.
- Coffee consumption has been associated with increased PMS!! Many woman also crave coffee close to their menses, but try and hold off- it may improve cramps, breast tenderness and irritability.
- It may impact your CHOLESTEROL levels. Some research has linked drinking unfiltered coffee to an increase in LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels. Unfiltered coffee has high amount of diterpenes. These diterpenes have been linked to higher levels of triglycerides, LDL and VLDL levels. All things you do not want to be high in your body!
- Coffee is not great for DIGESTION. The acidity of coffee is associated with indigestion, heart burn, GERD and changes in beneficial gut flora.
- Due to the impact coffee has on the digestive system, coffee may also inhibit the absorption of key nutrients such as magnesium, calcium and potassium.
- Drinking caffeine throughout the day may impact your SLEEP. This sounds pretty basic, but if you are having trouble sleeping at night cut out the caffeine (and switch to green tea) or limit yourself to ONE CUP BEFORE 11am. Do this for at least one month.
- Coffee can interfere with normal DRUG METABOLISM. Constituents in coffee can interfere with metabolism and detoxification in the liver making it difficult to regulate the normal detoxification process in the liver. Additionally coffee can interfere with absorption of certain medications such as thyroid and tricyclic antidepressant medications.
Many people have withdrawal from coffee, and this can last for up to a month. Try replacing coffee with green tea, herbal teas or coffee substitutes containing roasted grains (found at whole foods or other health food stores). I find that steeping a cup of Rooibos tea and adding in some almond milk or rice milk can give me some of the satisfaction coffee does. Again, some people tolerate caffeine better than others, however I would recommend making coffee more of a treat than a necessity.
Dr. Emily Lipinski, ND