Raise your hand if you reach for a cup of coffee in the morning!
It’s one of the most popular beverages in the world so if you’re like a lot of folks a cappuccino or flat white is a great way to catch up with friends or run a meeting. Coffee might regularly keep you company on your commute, be in hand in the office or provide an afternoon boost too.
Is It A Good or Bad Guy?
While there are studies that show the health benefits of moderate coffee consumption, there is also evidence linking it to hormone havoc.
It gets confusing, doesn’t it? On the one hand, coffee is touted as a healthy antioxidant and is lauded for its many benefits and on the other, it’s a no-no.
It’s A Psychoactive Drug
Caffeine – the active ingredient in coffee – is the world’s most widely consumed psychoactive drug and stimulates our central nervous system. This is why it can exacerbate anxiety and disrupt sleep.
Not So Hormone Friendly
Functional medicine practitioner Alissa Vitti shared her perspective on coffee consumption in an article over on MindBodyGreen. Vitti believes that women, especially, should cut back or stop consuming coffee particular if you have hormone-related conditions such as PCOS, fibroids and endometriosis.
I tend to agree for women over 40 if they’re hormonally challenged as so many of us are.
When I’m going through hormonal chaos (read: moody, fly-off-the-handle irritable or tearful) I have to actively avoid coffee. But once I’ve detoxed my hormones and brought them all back into balance again I can have one or two a day with no problem.
You Say Tomato I Say Tomahto
Coffee – or more accurately – caffeine processing is very individual. Some of us have a good tolerance for it, others don’t. For women entering perimenopause and beyond I advise awareness as you could exacerbate symptoms such as anxiety, depression, mood swings and hot flushes.
Did you know?
1. Caffeine disturbs hormonal functionality for 24 hours:
2. Women may metabolise coffee differently:
Caffeine is broken down in the liver by the CYP1A2 enzyme. Interestingly, only ten per cent of the population makes enough of this enzyme to break down significant amounts of caffeine. The CYP1A2 enzyme is also responsible for breaking down estrogen. It’s possible that in some women, consuming caffeine may interfere with enzyme CYP1A2 and impact estrogen metabolism (which can lead to estrogen dominance, perimenopause symptoms and a host of hormonal imbalance!) Slow metabolisers of caffeine also have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease – one of the most common causes of female death in the world. Reducing caffeine consumption may reduce health risks more in women who have impaired CYP1A2 function. Genetic testing can determine your status.
3. Depletes body from Micronutrients:
Micronutrients are key for happy hormones and overall health. Coffee can easily deplete those from your body. The Journal of Food Science and Quality Management did a review that found “caffeine can cause nutrient depletion of important nutrients, like vitamin B6, and interfere with nutrient absorption of essential minerals, including calcium, iron, magnesium and B vitamins.” From mood management to sound sleep, caffeine can leach the vitamins and minerals your body needs.
We’re not saying that if one of your great loves is coffee you have to live without it for the rest of your life. However, if you can cut it out or even reduce it for a while it may be beneficial for your health most particularly if you’re post-40 and have sleep or mood issues.
Quick steps to quit caffeine:
Since coffee is the major caffeine culprit, it is tops on the punch list. Here are some quick tips to help you break your coffee addiction:
- Never drink coffee first thing on an empty stomach.
- Stop adding flavoured syrups, sugar, and rich cream to your coffee.
- Switch your mug to a smaller cup of it! A cup of espresso is better than a large cup of your favourite, sugary Starbucks.
- Half-caf. Cut your regular coffee with decaf or a single shot.
- Eat! Help stabilise your energy by focusing on good nutrition. Balanced blood sugar and a healthy diet offer sustained energy that supports your health.
- Wean yourself off by reducing your weekly intake by 50 per cent and then 50 per cent again. Try substituting with chicory or chaga (mushroom) coffee.
As with so many things, it’s all about mindset. Once you decide that you need or would like to quit coffee, small steps will help you achieve a bigger goal. Knowledge is power, so go with what you know and take baby steps. Your hormones will begin to balance, chronic inflammation should ease, and you will find that coffee is no longer a need.
We follow the same premise in our 21 Days Hormone Detox for happy hormones, happy weight and a happy life so if you’d like to shed some kgs and get radiant and energetic again you can join us here. It’s totally flexible – if you don’t like a food we substitute. Simple.
Hope that helps.
THANKS FOR STOPPING BY!
YOURS IN HEALTH & HAPPINESS 😀