Hello there fellow coffee lovers – Is it time for a coffee break?
Before you get all shaky thinking I am going to take your beloved coffee away, stick around, as I too, am an avid coffee lover! So I’ve got your back, despite me needing a coffee break every now and then.
There is nothing better than the fresh smell of roasted coffee beans, the smile of a friendly barista, and that first sip of creamy, warm goodness in the morning. And let’s face it, if you simply love the taste of coffee, no nutritious, creamy golden latte replaces the distinct flavour of the beloved coffee bean. There really is no comparison.
It is no secret that Australian’s looovvveeee their coffee and we have built a very inviting culture (and social media accounts) around our beloved lattes.
Fav coffee hub in Byron – 100 Mile Table. Check it out :)
But are we doing harm with our “daily coffee ritual” ? Well, the answer is, it really does depend on the individual and their circumstance.
Let’s take a look at an example comparison.
Meet Sally. Sally is a mum. Her sleep has been disrupted over several months, she has just started back at work, her husband works away and she juggles the responsibility of the kids, the house, and has little down time for herself.
She NEEDS a coffee or two or three every day to feel human.
Then meet Mick. He is a self funded retiree, who lives by the beach, every morning he strolls along the beach with his best mate, Boris the dog. He comes home to a freshly prepared breakfast that his lovely wife has ready for him. Next off, he goes down to the local golf club to catch up with mates for a hit and a mid morning coffee.
Mick enjoys his morning coffee but if he misses it, it’s no biggy he still functions the same as if he had had a coffee.
Whether you are a Sally or a Mick there are some important considerations to know before deciding if it is time to take a break from coffee.
Consideration Number 1: Coffee Metabolism
– People metabolise coffee differently. Fast metabolisers response to the effects of caffeine will be shorter lived while slow metabolisers will have a more prolonged effect. They are the people who when they drink coffee in the afternoon are still revved up and cannot sleep
– To find out if you are a slow or fast metaboliser you can get this type of genetic info from a company called 23andme. But most people inherently feel if they are fast or slow metabolisers.
Consideration Number 2: Coffee and the adrenal system
– Beyond how you metabolise coffee, where you are at in your stage of life matters.
– In particular the health of your adrenal system (aka your stress response network)
– If you are sleep deprived, exercising intensely or a lot or both, exhausted after workouts, not getting enough recovery, you have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, you wake up feeling tired in the mornings, you feel dizzy when you stand up quick, you feel exhausted in the afternoons, or you feel jittery or wired after coffee these are all symptoms of problems with the Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal Axis (you stress response system) and coffee is probably a BAD IDEA. (Despite it seemingly like a dam good idea – because hey your tired right?)
Consideration Number 3: Are you currently adding to the stress
– When you are burning the candle at both ends, coffee feels like your only friend. If you drink coffee and then later in the day your energy crashes, and you see this as a sign to refuel with another coffee, this is a classic sign that the coffee is messy with your adrenals.
– What most people don’t realise is that when they are in this situation and they are drinking more coffee, more regularly (because they are tired) it actually makes you more tired and it’s only when you stop that you realise, “Crap, it was actually making me more tired than awake.” This won’t happen after a few days, but rather a few weeks and with healing the Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal Dysfunction.
Consideration Number 4: How it should affect you
– If things are going well with you and your friend coffee, you should feel a natural lift and improvement in mental clarity. You should’t notice any highs or lows in how it affects your energy. If this is your case – you have the green light. Lucky buggers!
Consideration Number 5: Coffee can cross react
– Coffee can cross react with gluten so if you are celiac or have non-celiac gluten sensitivity there is a possibility you may be reacting to coffee.
Consideration Number 6: What else is in your coffee
– If coffee is a vehicle for a truck load of added sugar, artificial flavours and processed milk then this daily habit might need some revising
Consideration Number 7: The minority
– If you are the small percentage of annoying persons that can have up to 4 coffees a day, sleep well, have great energy throughout the day, can exercise and improve and have no jitteriness after coffee then who am I to argue.
Consideration 8: The benefits
– Quality coffee is loaded with phytonutrients and antioxidants and has shown benefits in reducing risk of diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimers, Parkisons and cancer.
So if you are a Mick, and can relate to the positive effects of your morning coffee and feel great for the rest of the day, I see no reason to give up the beloved coffee ritual.
However, if you are more of a Sally, or are going through a time in life that you can relate to feeling you are burning the candle at both ends, or are dealing with an illness, you need to come to terms that coffee isn’t your friend right now! It’s time to take a break! I didn’t say forever, just right now.
Easier said than done. Here are some tips:
– Don’t stop cold turkey. If you are drinking more than a cup of coffee per day, gradually reduce your intake over days to one cup. Then try alternate days or half shots. Then have a weekday free break and treat yourself of weekends only. Then try a week free break. Or if things are serious, try have a month off.
– Despite having some challenging days soon enough you will start to feel less tired and regain your energy levels.
– Substitute your routine with delicious calming and soothing herbal teas or some other delicious beverages like kombucha so you still feel loved
– Regaining your energy might require some additional work with a practitioner to get your adrenal system back on track
– As a general rule, if you start feeling like you NEED a coffee to energise you, that is probably the exact time that you shouldn’t have one. – Stressing an already stressed system is only going to further lead you down a dark hole and make it harder to climb out of.
Remember that nothing is forever, it’s just for now, a small sacrifice, to get things back on track.