Coffee: Are You "Bean" Clever About Your Consumption?

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At what stage in our lives do we discover coffee?

When did you start drinking the addictive substance?

I know I hated coffee all my life (loved the smell of freshly ground coffee beans & freshly brewed coffee) but then one day a couple of years ago when I discovered that red bull was pretty much poison in a can and I felt I needed a "pick me up", I figured, let's see what this coffee malarky is all about...
So I went to my local coffee shop and ordered a long black (don't know how I went from hating coffee straight to the long black but I have never had much of a love for milk at all), after a few sips I thought, this stuff is alright you know.
Then of course the caffeine surge kicked in and I felt like a Duracell bunny! I was so full of zing I couldn't believe I hadn't drunk coffee sooner. So of course, the next day or two when my energy was low I fell back to the coffee, until eventually it just became habit to have a cup a day...almost as though the day was not complete without it, I found myself making myself believe I NEEDED the coffee to get the most out of my day.

A few months later I decided to embark on an anti-fungal diet (for weight loss and health reasons) ,this basically eliminates ALL sugars (bar a few low sugar fruits), coffee, grains, processed foods of course and most dairy. I did this strictly for 6 weeks and lucky for me I don't suffer from coffee withdrawals/headaches etc so it was more just breaking a habit. Of course the results were awesome, I dropped about 4 or 5kgs and a whole heap of body fat. The greatest thing though was the AMOUNT of energy I seemed to cultivate from being in this healthy state without ANY stimulants! I managed to happily train hard in the gym most days (a lot of those days I'd train twice without a worry) and woke up every morning jumping out of bed and walk enthusiastically to the gym with a desire to train!

Most people believe to get more energy they need a sugar fix or a coffee fix...WRONG! If anything, sugar and coffee actually zaps your body's energy stores and exhausts your immune system. If you add stress to that which could be stress from work/home/relationships/money etc you're in for a very low mood and low energy experience.

Coffee is habitual, there is no doubt about it!
It is also highly addictive!
Break the habit and you're onto a winner!

Other useful facts about coffee consumption:

  • It is one of most highly sprayed crops in the world, so if you're drinking lots of store bought or non-organic coffee then you're also ingesting a whole bunch of pesticides along with it. If you "have" to drink coffee...MAKE SURE IT'S ORGANIC!

Of course if you're a latte or cappuccino drinker then you are also consuming a whole lot of milk (not a good thing for most of us) and added sugar makes the drink even worse for you. If you have to drink coffee try and wean yourself off milk and sugar!

  • Again, if you're not ready to give up the caffeine fixes, try and at least minimise your intake. If you currently drink 5 cups a day, see if you can go a couple of days with only 3, work towards having only 1 cup a day and once you're there, go for some days of the week without any at all... :-o sounds ludicrous doesn't it!

Coffee is a major stressor to the body and raises your cortisol (stress hormone) levels, chronically elevated levels of cortisol can be damaging and this can leave your adrenal glands exhausted. High levels of cortisol have also been linked to increased amounts of visceral body fat storage!

  • Your body has to utilise vitamin C stores to metabolise the caffeine in the system so individuals who are highly stressed and drink coffee will more than likely find they have lower than average levels of Vitamin C.

Coffee is also a diuretic and leaves you dehydrated!

Personally, I know my body does not like caffeine, maybe that's why I've never been drawn to it until recent years. I recently went 2 weeks with no coffee and then had a cup one morning with breakfast to see how I felt and boy, my body knew about it! I seem to notice soon after having a cup that my stress levels rise, I feel myself getting anxious and my heart rate has noticeably increased, my mouth gets almost instantly dry and it's not a feeling I enjoy. I've decided to stick with my herbal teas and I drink around 3-4 cups of either green, peppermint or spiced teas. I'm sure it's not the last I'll see of coffee but I do know I will be mostly avoiding it. I do believe some of us handle the consumption of coffee better than others, no two people are the same.

How does coffee affect you?
Have you tried avoiding it for a few days and then seeing if there are any noticeable effects you experience once back on it?