The best part of waking up is Folger’s in your cup. Or is it?
by Jennifer Peters | Aug 16, 2019 | Nutrition Notes
Coffee is a staple in America. What would we do without our morning “Cup of Joe” to get us up and out of bed? There are different opinions on whether we should be drinking coffee, how much and what kind. As with everything in nutrition the answer to the loaded question “should I drink coffee?” is…it depends.
Coffee actually can have health benefits. Ok whew, you are done reading – that is all you need to know!
It is rich in anti-oxidants, polyphenols and a few key vitamins and minerals. It can increase alertness, decrease pain sensations, and improve your memory and blood circulation. There are studies correlating caffeine consumption to reducing type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, certain cancers, gout, heart disease, depression and may even help you live longer.
And here is the part that you need to keep reading…
However, there are several reasons why the morning brew might not be a good idea. First, if you are someone who suffers from HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal)-axis dysfunction, caffeine isn’t a good choice. The adrenal glands help to regulate our stress response in the body and when they are already a little off kilter, caffeine can actually disrupt them even further. This could increase symptoms like anxiety, jitters, or have the opposite effect and decrease your energy.
If you are someone whose energy crashes in the afternoon, has difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep, has a hard time getting out of bed in the morning, or gets weak/dizzy often, you may be dealing with HPA-axis dysfunction. Second, if you are pregnant you definitely don’t want to be drinking caffeine as it can increase your risk for preterm and stillbirths. Lastly, if you are someone who metabolizes caffeine slowly, you may want to steer clear. Signs that you may be dealing with a sluggish metabolism may show that you have difficulty sleeping, unexplained weight gain, sugar cravings, constipation and even chronic fatigue.
Swapping Leaded for Unleaded? Make sure you do not have chemically processed beans!
If you are someone who is thinking about limiting your caffeine intake there are a few things to know. One of the biggest problems with decaffeinated coffee is that the process many of the beans go through to remove caffeine uses harsh chemicals. This can strip the bean of any of the potential antioxidants and minerals that make coffee beneficial in the first place. It can even change the chemical structure of the bean into something that is toxic for our bodies.
However, the integrity of the bean can be maintained if it is decaffeinated appropriately. If you are thinking of switching to decaf, make sure your beans are prepared with the Swiss Water method. This is a completely chemically free process that uses water to slowly strip the coffee bean of caffeine leaving the rest of the bean intact. This process ensures most of the caffeine is removed, while preserving the quality and taste of the coffee.
Coffee can absolutely be great to add into your daily life or it can be a piece to the puzzle of what could be dragging you down. You really do not know how coffee can be affecting you until you take it out of your daily habit for a while.
Once removed completely, you can see how your energy level, sleep, mood and overall well-being are affected. If you are looking for alternatives to coffee you can find some great herbal tea blends that are brewed to feel more like your morning cup (e.g. Mellow Roosters, Dandy Blend, Rasa or herbal teas). You can also switch to something less caffeinated which is also packed with awesome nutrients like Matcha Tea. Moral of the story is, no matter what you brew make sure it is actually good for YOU!
About the Co-Author
Kellen Kurtz is a wife, mama, budding athlete, lover of good food & wine and a passionate seeker of health, wholeness and all the good things of life. Kellen works with everyday athletes, families, moms, women and life enthusiasts.
Her journey in nutrition was rocked when, at the age of 3, her son was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes. Since then she has relentlessly searched for holistic solutions to help her son, and entire family, thrive through this life altering diagnosis.
Kellen is a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP), Restorative Wellness Solutions Certified and the founder of Rise Nutrition & Wellness.