July 1, 2013

Are you an addict?

Is it the smell and taste of the black gold that motivates your bounce out of bed? Are you a Coffee and Caffeine addict? Do you love coffee?
Is it the thing that gets you started in the morning? 

As I walk through the city, it never ceases to amaze me how busy the coffee shops are. Everyone, it seems loves their coffee; and it’s more obvious here in Melbourne. I often think I’m in the wrong business – but really I know I’m not.

Coffee is addictive, no wonder everyone is lining up to buy his or her morning fix. It’s a mild stimulant, which affects our nervous system; it also has an affect on our adrenal glands especially if it’s the first thing that hits your belly every single morning. If you are a regular coffee drinker and decide to take a break you will suffer from withdrawal symptoms; the most common are headaches and sometimes nausea, crankiness and tiredness. Those symptoms will eventually go away but the best way to avoid them is slowly reduce your intake.

Coffee may seem like a good thing because it peps us up, it stimulates our nervous system, it can make our mind more alert and sometimes this is a good thing, it’s also a great stimulant for endurance athletes, and is often added to weight loss products – eek! I suggest a few coffees a week and best to have yours mid morning well after breakfast with a glass of water preferably before and after. As it can increase your physical stamina, why not shoot a coffee when you need an energy fix.

Yet, there are also lots of negative effects of coffee.

Burnout & Weight gain: The caffeine in coffee puts stress on our adrenal glands, this in turn releases hormones such as cortisol. An excessive release of cortisol can contribute to you feeling burnt out and exhausted – does that sound like you? The negative effect of cortisol is certainly no good for your waist and weight loss either as it is the major contributor to that excess tire around your middle and the flabby ‘tuck shop’ arms!

Blood pressure: Caffeine has the power to increase our blood pressure more than any other food in our diet and we all know what a killer heart disease is in Australia! So keep those coffees to one a day, especially if you’re not very physical.

Stimulation: We all know that used well coffee stimulates us therefore it’s great if you’re constipated and need to go! But through that stimulation and it’s ability to contract it can also contract your uterus so best to avoid coffee in the first trimester especially for those that have had fertility complications. In fact, if you can, try and avoid it throughout your pregnancy – who wants an over stimulated newborn?

De-hydration: Coffee is a diuretic, which means it makes you urinate more often than normal, making it potentially dehydrating. Always best to have a glass of water before and after your daily fix. ;)

Acidity: Caffeine is extremely acid forming in our body and we all know we want alkalinity balance – cut your coffees down to a few per week, enjoy the taste, drink water before and after to balance your body.

Enjoy your coffee anyway you like it; latte, cappuccino, short black but best not to rely on it as your kick start to the day. If you’re after a coffee alternative Dandelion root is a great bitter and liver stimulating herb or try chicory root tea as another. Mix it up with some green tea too. Find alternatives that will give you your zing back. Let me know what you think of those coffee substitutes.

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