Thursday, August 19, 2010

3 reasons to kick my coffee habit

I’ve been doing a lot of my food shopping at Essene lately (my favorite new store). Last night they had a free public lecture about nutrition. Throughout the talk, the speaker kept saying don’t drink coffee, coffee is toxic, coffee is poison...

Finally someone put up their hand and asked “But why is coffee so bad???” My thoughts exactly!

He then gave 3 reasons:
  1. Coffee is highly processed (But what exactly does that mean, and why is that bad?)
  2. Coffee contains unregulated chemicals and pesticides (Unless you buy organic, which I don't right now)
  3. Coffee stimulates the adrenal glands, putting the body under stress and causing the release of stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol (This is why I drink it!)
Part of me intuitively agreed with him on these, but this still did not stop me from making a cup first thing this morning (though it did stop me from making a second cup!)


  1. No offense, but you are very easily swayed! Who was this lecturer?

    I'm dubious about point two, and I'm not sure a priori why points 1 and 3 are "bad" things.

  2. 3 is really bad for women - overstimulated adrenal glands mess up with the female hormonal system.

  3. Haha, it's true, I can be easily swayed when it comes to coffee!

    The lecturer was a Philadelphia-area chiropractor who seems to do a lot of work on diet and nutrition.

    And yes, I agree that we should be skeptical about these points... they are things I will be looking into more :)

  4. As a holistic health practitioner for almost 20 years (and a yogi) I would not worry as much about points 1 & 2. Hey - pick your poison. What's the point of doing so many things right if you can't indulge a bit here and there. As toxins go, coffee isn't that horrible, although I'd certainly recommend organic fair trade.
    Otoh, adrenal exhaustion is a big issue. I'd say most Americans suffer from it, starting in their 20s. Stress, lack of sleep, too much sugar all contribute along with coffee. I've had many clients tell me caffeine has no effect, so they can drink it all day and night. Well, if that's the case, your adrenals are flat-lined. Not a good thing, and you should let yourself experience the fatigue you are really suffering from, so you can begin to recover. You will: the body is amazingly resilient.
    And I'd add a 4th point: that coffee is extremely acidic, which can lead to the body leaching calcium from bones and teeth in order to maintain homeostasis. Think osteoporosis.
    oh, and a 5th. I can usually tell from someone's skin whether they're a coffee drinker or not. Want a cheap face lift? eliminate coffee!

  5. V, please tell more about what you know of the relationship between adrenal stimulation and the female hormonal system? I'm curious!

    Fran, fascinating about the adrenal exhaustion. I read that the caffeine part of coffee actually alkaline, but perhaps the coffee beverage as a whole has an acidic effect?

    Interesting about your skin observation - I might have to self-experiment on that one.

  6. Isn't there another reason not to drink coffee? Doesn't it stain one's teeth?

  7. Yes it DOES stain one's teeth, very true!

    I've always thought coffee to be worth it though (and you can always buy teeth whitening toothpaste!)

  8. In a taste test between ice-cold water and hot coffee, cold delicious water wins by a mile every time for me.

  9. Some say ‘ the job of a Scientist is to make good predictions’ which seems to start with seeing the assumptions in all our ideas. I was happy to see so many of these comments touched on the correct issues already,,, this well-meaning chiropractor seems to have left some of his objectivity in lieu of dogma, as we all often do in trying to understand how this all works. We make daily chooses for joy,,,and life-long ones too, without always having double blind results to depend on, and even the scientific journals are highly faulty and undependable when one seriously’ looks under the hood’ so to speak. Thank you for this consciousness waking thread, we all need these reminders. Heartened to see those that are awakening…

  10. Christina, what I heard is that coffee creates a stress response this interrupts the pulsatile flow of the female hormones - unfortunately, that's about as much as I know! (heard it from my nutritionist, who given the impossibility of removing stress from my life decided I need to remove coffee instead).

  11. Thanks, V - so interesting! This idea of coffee leading to a stress response is something I need to look into more. The cortisol release in response to stress can certainly effect on the hormones that control the menstrual cycle/fertility. Thanks for bringing this up!