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Six Not So Obvious Reasons to Quit Drinking Coffee (Caffeine)

Hello. My Name is Katie DeBakey and I've been a coffee addict since I was 18 years old.

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1. Coffee Is Hard on Your Heart and Arteries

One study indicates that caffeine elevates cortisol levels after each use. Cortisol is known as the ‘‘Stress’’ or the ‘’Fight or Flight’’ hormone as it is responsible for elevating your heart rate and blood pressure. Cortisol can be beneficial during times of actual distress, as in if your life or physical wellbeing are in danger but, to have those levels elevated daily can cause lasting damage to your heart, arteries, and overall mood.

2. Coffee Exacerbates Anxiety

When your body and brain are constantly stressed due to elevated levels of cortisol and adrenaline from ingesting caffeinated stimulants every day, you will inevitable become more anxious. It may not be noticeable by you or others as you are always in this state but, if you were to give it up for at least 30 days, you, and those around you might notice a difference in your overall demeanor. I used to work in call centers and when going over my recorded calls with management for QA purposes, it was always obvious what calls I took in the most immediate hours after drinking coffee. I could hear myself speaking very rapidly and the flow was just… Off. I could even tell in the recordings that some of my customers found it a little off putting.

3. It’ll Help You Lose Belly Fat

Remember how we discussed cortisol affecting your heart rate and blood pressure? Well, that sneaky stress hormone is up to even more shenanigans when it comes to wrecking your health. Cortisol contributes to visceral fat (The fat that accumulates in the belly around the organs). This makes you look like you have a pot belly and can be almost impossible to get rid of until you get your cortisol levels down. So, if you’re on a fitness journey and can’t understand why your belly seems to be the only thing still hanging on, try ditching the coffee and enjoy watching your midsection flatten out some.

4. You May Sleep Better

Caffeine is a stimulant (Duh, that’s why we all love it so much.) and has a half-life of about six hours. One eight-ounce cup of coffee usually contains anywhere from 100mg to one 120mg of caffeine. If you finish your second cup by 10:00am then, at 4:00pm you will have 120mg left in your system. At 10:00pm you will have 60mg left in your system when you lay down for bed. This makes it difficult to drift into deep sleep, the sleep that is restorative to your brain, and lack of deep sleep has negative affects on your cognition can cause a myriad of other problems in various areas of your health and life. So, try ditching the coffee for a while and see how much better rested you feel when you wake up in the mornings and throughout the day.

5. You’ll Feel Happier and More Energized… Eventually

As noted above, caffeine raises cortisol, the stress hormone. An increase in cortisol levels will increase your glucose levels, which causes inflammation. This can make you feel fatigued and lousy.

Once you’re past the initial caffeine withdrawal period (More on that in a coming article.), you’ll notice that your energy levels remain constant throughout the day, rather than spiking in the morning and crashing after lunch. No post lunch crashes mean a more stable mood as well.

6. Coffee is NOT Good for Diabetics or People with Insulin Resistance

If you’re living with diabetes or insulin resistance, you may want to hold off on that morning cup of Joe. A recent study indicates that caffeine consumption in healthy adults, decreased insulin sensitivity by as much as 15%! That’s a pretty hefty decrease and can put you at a disadvantage from the jump in the morning. Not a great way to start your day if you’re attempting to keep insulin levels or sugar levels under control.

This content is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for formal and individualized diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed medical professional. Do not stop or alter your current course of treatment. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2021 Katie DeBakey

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