Hitting caffeine on the head

Why I gave up drinking coffee...


It's hard to get a straight answer out of anyone these days about Coffee. One day it's a health secret and we all should be drinking three cups a day, the next it's virtually poison and no-one should go near the stuff. Okay okay so I may be exaggerating a little bit here, but I think you get my drift.

I have always been a coffee drinker, until early 2015 that is. I started drinking it after school (high school) with friends while we played pool, or table tennis, and listened to old records. It was kind of cool to be drinking coffee. I've never been a fan of cow's milk, so I became a long black drinker. When you drink long blacks, or espressos with hot water on the side because some people water them down so much, you became quite the connoisseur. There's nowhere for the coffee to hide, the taste is out there in the open, unaltered, and for a below par barista it is very easy to ruin a long black. I got into soy mochas for a while too, until I learned about how the vast majority of soy is genetically modified, and it contains xenoestrogens which are not good for your system (or your childs), so I axed that and went back to long blacks! Then came the cold brew coffee. Actually my fave, because the cold brewing process reduces the amount of acidity and caffeine in the drink and you're left with a beautifully smooth coffee. Add in some nut milk and some chocolate omega sauce (raw cacao, macadamia oil and maple) and you've got yourself a delicious wee drink.

Anyway, I digress. Following the birth of my second son I suffered adrenal fatigue. If you've ever had it you'll know that it's debilitating. It's awful. There were days where I felt like I'd been hit by a bus and all I could do was lie down while my baby slept and my two year old played with toys. Other than the lack of energy hit by the bus feeling, I could not handle any stimulant whatsoever. One day I had a piece of chocolate. Generally speaking I'm a raw chocolate eater, pana or loving earth being my go to. Anyway, I had a piece of chocolate and started peaking out. I felt shaky, wired, weird, and not in a good space. Then the same thing happened with coffee. I immediately booked an appointment with my homeopath, and began my journey to recovery. Adrenal fatigue is something that is not really talked about, as conventional medicine is slow to diagnose, and most often its natural treatments that actually help with it – at least in the experience of myself and friends that have had it.

Anyway, at this stage I still felt like coffee was something I simply NEEDED, especially after a rough night with two little children. I certainly didn't drink it as much but once I felt like I'd recovered from adrenal fatigue I was back in. I liked it! I loved the taste. I liked trying new coffees, I liked coffee dates, and I liked it for the energy it gave me. I started to feel like I was using coffee, as all too often I was using it to help me get going in the morning, or get me through the day after a rough night. I kind of felt bad for the coffee...was this fair? Maybe it wasn't so good for me personally? I started consciously reducing my intake. Instead of saying I 'needed' a coffee, I started saying, when I 'feel' like a coffee. Although similar, I found that in reality they are quite different things.

Pretty soon I was down to one a week, then I went a couple of months and I thought hey, why not try for a month? I never went back. It's been at least a year and a half since I've drunk a coffee.

Okay so it wasn't just the conscious consuming that changed things for me. While I've read a tonne of things about coffee, including that it's incredibly good for you, I started learning more about the immune response to drinking coffee. We all know that coffee is a diuretic, but not everyone is aware that while it stimulates the central nervous and immune system, it stresses it as well. For every cup of coffee, of caffeinated tea you drink, your body has to relinquish up to three cups of water to remove the toxic caffeine effect from the body. If you're a coffee drinker, do you consciously consume three cups of water EXTRA than your normal daily amount, per cup of coffee?

When you drink caffeine, the adrenal glands are stimulated to secrete stress hormones and to trigger a strong immune response – one which gives you the impression that this energy and vitality has come from your coffee. Soft drinks, 'energy' or 'power' drinks and caffeinated tea also act like this.

As Andreas Moritz puts it, the secret behind these stimulants is that the immune reaction immobilizes enough energy for you to feel perked up and clear-headed, at least for as long as your body remains stimulated. To remove the caffeine from the blood, the body is forced to take water from its cells. This results in cellular dehydration and temporary thinning of the blood. Because the thinning of the blood makes you feel good, you won't notice the imminent danger of dehydration.

So, there you have it. The main reasons behind why I don't drink coffee. I still 'have coffee', but that is another post for another day. Do I miss it? No. Honestly I don't. I've substituted it with Matcha lattes or turmeric lattes pretty much. These are so easy to make at home, are more nourishing, and come without the energy slump.

Yours in Health,

The HH


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