Let’s talk about something that is a staple in almost all of our lives: coffee. You see it on first dates, lunch dates, the kitchen counter, and the lord knows we’ve seen it all over Instagram.
It’s what gets us through the day and for many college students, it’s what gets us through the night. We are all so prone to reach for it because we don’t want to stop or slow down. We are always on all the time, like the energizer bunny.
So when we find ourselves crashing, what do we do? Well, we pick up another cup.
The crashing feeling that you’re experiencing is because your body is saying no.
I know many of us would rather give up anything than give up our double shot Starbucks concoctions, but the truth is coffee typically causes more harm than good.
The chemistry within the brain changes to achieve the boost in energy we feel after coffee.
Caffeine strongly affects the activity of the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands secrete two key hormones: epinephrine and cortisol. Epinephrine is the body’s adrenaline, or what is known as the “fight or flight” feature within all of us. Caffeine also increases cortisol, which is the bodies stress hormone. Essentially, coffee causes the body stress. Compounding the problem, people tend to consume more caffeine during stressful periods (nearly every student during exam time knows well). They add stress to stress, potentially making things even worse.
Women with PCOS may already be experiencing this “fight or flight” feeling. You don’t want to put your hormones at risk if you’re already experiencing a hormonal imbalance.
Adrenal glands are very important for a healthy immune system and balancing out your hormones. You may be experiencing symptoms of adrenal fatigue because your cortisol levels are inconsistent or you’re putting too much stress on the body. People with adrenal fatigue often have less DHEA, which is responsible for creating many necessary hormones in the body-definitely affecting women with PCOS.
Symptoms of adrenal fatigue:
Brain fog or fuzzy thinkingDry unhealthy skinLow blood pressureCraving for saltHeart palpitationsDizzinessDark circles under the eyesExcessive sweating from little activityAn excessive craving for carbs/sweet foodsConstantly tired or difficulty getting out of bed in the morning
I was experiencing adrenal fatigue for months while drinking coffee and not allowing my body to rest. It was hard. I was tired all of the time, taking naps sometimes twice a day.
Fatigue is still a constant battle for me today due to my PCOS and endometriosis. Getting rest and cutting out caffeine was a major change but it was worth it. Since slowing down, I have experienced more energy, a better appetite, and a clearer mind to name a few.
Coffee is a stimulant. It causes the heart to race, kicking the body into high gear. This may be great for someone that needs that afternoon push, but not so much for someone that suffers from anxiety. When I was drinking coffee nonstop, my anxiety was out of control. I felt like I was a toy that someone just kept winding up. I was fearful of everything and I could never get my mind to relax. I didn’t realize how congested my thoughts were until they weren’t.
Many women that suffer from endometriosis also experience symptoms of anxiety or anxiety attacks.
Caffeine is shown to increase inflammation in the body. Inflammation causes the body to flare up. This is toxic if you have endometriosis. As the areas with endometriosis are already inflamed, adding an inflammatory drink that will be digested and eventually come in contact with these cells will essentially cause more inflammation and pain.
Not only did cutting back caffeine help with my pain, but I also saw relief in the redness of my skin. Inflammation does some crazy things to the body. It takes a major toll on the immune system and the body’s ability to heal.
An essential part of healing the body is by releasing toxins. When the body is dehydrated, the flow of toxins and the overall movement of the digestive system comes to a halt. This is important if you have endometriosis because you constantly want to keep the cells replenished. Hydrating your body is so important in the healing process, lots of water!
Almost all drinks on the market have traces of caffeine. Everyone has their drinks; coffee was mine. If you know you’re someone that consumes way too much caffeine, start setting limits for yourself. You don’t have to necessarily cut it out, but try to cut back. Find what works for you.
I just couldn’t go without my coffee in the morning. It’s a comfort thing. I discovered a coffee without the kick called NO CAF. I didn’t know it was possible, but once again the health gods have rewarded me. Many people are unaware that decaf coffee still has up to 5% of caffeine. Discovering this alternative has been a major lifesaver for me.
Natural Grocers has the best selection of herbal coffee I have found yet. I usually buy it in the store when I see it on sale. I know you can also buy this brand online for a fair price at thrive market. I usually top this herbal drink off with DF creamer or coconut milk, it’s so good!
There are so many recipes out there! Matcha, tea and mushroom coffee are all great alternatives that are loaded with more nutrients than coffee. Make it your own and find what you like! Try one of my favorites – this one’s easy.
1/2 cup organic coconut milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 1/2 tsp of raw honey or agave
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp of coconut oil
Add all ingredients to a saucepan and place over medium heat. Whisk continuously for about 3-5 minutes, do not let it come to a boilRemove and blend until frothy (careful the turmeric stains very easily)Enjoy!