By: Danielle DeGroot, MS, RDN, LDN
This has been a real hard break up for me. Having to wake up and look at my Nespresso machine every morning knowing we can’t be together right now.. Driving by a Starbucks with a longing look, since we’re so close, but so far from one another…
Okay, I’m being a bit dramatic, but I think you get the point. I’m a coffee lover. So I write this with love. Sure, coffee has many associated health BENEFITS. However, in some cases it’s doing more harm than good and today that’s what we’re talking about. So here are some reasons to consider a coffee break.
- If you have gut issues: If you have existing GI issues, drinking coffee can make it worse. And yes, even decaf is not your friend here. The acidic nature of coffee may worsen existing damage to the stomach or intestinal lining and is thought to exacerbate symptoms of heartburn and GERD. If you do have GI issues, book a free Discovery Call with us at Nutrition Dynamic to learn how we can help. If you’d like to work with me as your Coach, mention my name on the call. https://calendly.com/healthguide/discovery
- If you have anxiety: Caffeine is a stimulant. In case you weren’t aware of the definition of “stimulant” it is “a substance that raises levels of physiological or nervous activity in the body.” It literally tells you it makes you nervous in the definition. Caffeine can cause an increase in adrenaline. Adrenaline is released as a stress response, so by sipping your cup of coffee first thing in the morning (or all day long) you’re sending your body into “fight or flight” right at the start of your day (or again, all day long). Additionally, your genes could play a role in your response to caffeine. Adenosine is a nucleotide involved in cellular energy. The adenosine receptors, A1 and the A2a, in the brain are linked to how someone handles stress. Those with the A2a gene variance may experience more symptoms of anxiety when consuming caffeine.
- If you have sleep issues: Caffeine has a half life of about 5 hours for 40mg. So if you’re having more than 40mg (95mg on average in a cup of coffee), the effects of caffeine can be lingering in your system even after caffeine symptoms taper off. This can lead to sleep disturbances and lower quality of sleep.
- If you want healthier teeth: It is pretty well known that the tannings in coffee stain teeth, so if you want whiter teeth cutting out coffee is a great place to start. However, acidic beverages like coffee can also harm teeth by eroding the enamel leading to decay. Yikes.
- If you get headaches: Headaches are a common symptom of caffeine withdrawal. For some, even a tiny drop in caffeine can result in a headache. Or if you consume caffeine too quickly, this can cause the onset of a sudden headache.
For what to have instead of coffee, check out my article Coffee Alternatives For When You Must Part With Your Beloved Cup O’ Joe.
- Coffee and Your Digestion. Manhattan Gastroenterology Blog. 2021. https://www.manhattangastroenterology.com/coffee-digestion
- Alsene, K., Deckert, J., Sand, P., & de Wit, H. (2003). Association between A2a receptor gene polymorphisms and caffeine-induced anxiety. Neuropsychopharmacology, 28(9), 1694-1702.
- Timothy Roehrs, Thomas Roth, Caffeine: Sleep and daytime sleepiness, Sleep Medicine Reviews, Volume 12, Issue 2, 2008, Pages 153-162, ISSN 1087-0792, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smrv.2007.07.004.
- Ehlen, L. A., Marshall, T. A., Qian, F., Wefel, J. S., & Warren, J. J. (2008). Acidic beverages increase the risk of in vitro tooth erosion. Nutrition research (New York, N.Y.), 28(5), 299–303. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nutres.2008.03.001
- Shapiro, R. E. (2008). Caffeine and headaches. Current pain and headache reports, 12(4), 311-315.