Is your coffee habit affecting your health? As a practicing health coach and studying nutritionist, I ask this question a lot. I love coffee as much as the next person and I wish I could tell everyone that their daily coffee habit was A.O.K, but the truth of the matter is, there are a few things to consider before we move onto the next point of discussion…
- Are you iron or zinc deficient?
Coffee inhibits the absorption of iron and zinc as well as other nutrients. If you’re deficient in these minerals, perhaps it’s time to consider an alternative?
- Are you sleeping well?
It goes without saying that coffee can affect your sleep patterns, but what does that really mean? Ideally, we should be falling asleep easily and sleeping right through the night. Upon waking, we should feel rested. If you’re not experiencing any of the above, maybe your coffee intake might need some tweaking? I tend to recommend client’s keep their coffee intake at 1 per day, no later than 3pm.
- Are you stressed?
Caffeine increases your already elevated stress hormones (cortisol). This in turn, increases your insulin production, increasing inflammation and oxidation, increasing tummy fat and all in all, making you feel pretty damn crappy. If you’re already stressed, coffee might not be the best alternative. Because of this reason, I avoid caffeine during periods of high stress and balance is always restored.
- Do you have heart disease or impaired glucose intolerance?
Habitually drinking coffee makes it difficult for your body to respond to effectively to blood sugars. This can lead to an increased risk of heart disease. If you’re predisposed to such conditions (i.e. have a strong family history or a significant distribution of body fat around your abdomen), you might want to look into altering your daily dose.
- Are you oestrogen dominant?
Oestrogen and caffeine are metabolised via the same detox pathway in the liver (CYP1A2) and as such, excess caffeine can cause problems when the liver is trying to shunt excess oestrogen out the door. In addition, signs and symptoms of oestrogen dominance are only further exacerbated by excessive cortisol and it’s resulting decrease in the production of progesterone (Pregnenolone steal for the biochemistry nerds like me). If you have painful periods, fluid retention, bloating, tender or fibrocystic breasts and/or irregular periods this might be something to consider.
- Do you have a coffee addiction?
I always find the answer to this question interesting. When the need for coffee controls your morning or afternoon activities and/or your bowel movements, it could be time to rethink your strategy.
Now, don’t get me wrong, coffee does have some positive health benefits, but sometimes, we need to do a little work to get our bodies back to optimal function before indulging in this liquid gold. Addressing your coffee intake may be the missing link to your recovery process.
- Inhibition of food iron absorption by coffee: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6402915
- Effects on foodstuff and the absorption of zinc sulphate: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1091398
- The effects of coffee on melatonin production: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14592218
- Coffee, caffeine and blood pressure: a critical review: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10556993
- Coffee, caffeine and coronary heart disease: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18089957
- Caffeinated coffee consumption impairs blood glucose homeostasis in response to high and low glycemic index meals in healthy men: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1846924
- Oestrogen Dominance and caffeine consumption: https://www.drlam.com/blog/estrogen-dominance-part-1/1704/