Before I begin, I am a coffee lover!!! I would never, ever, tell anyone to stop drinking coffee completely and I realise that it's a sensitive topic for some people. BUT I have made a few changes around my consumption that have had a great effect on my overall health so I thought I would share some things I've learned along the way.
- The first and most important rule that I now live by is to NEVER drink coffee on an empty stomach! You're pretty much pouring it directly into your adrenals and ramping your whole system into overdrive, which is not really the best way to start the day. Always, always, ALWAYS eat something before your coffee!
- Order a small, as one shot of coffee at a time should be enough. Sometimes ordering a large can become a habit, I know it did for me, so try ordering a small each day for a week and see how you feel. If you really feel like you need more, then you should also take a look at your sleeping habits and why you could be feeling so depleted. Which brings me to my next point..
- Try not to use coffee as an energy replacement. The times when you feel like you NEED a coffee, are the times when you should choose a fresh juice, a smoothie, or a nourishing meal instead. If it's negotiable then enjoy it with a well- balanced snack but essentially, try to drink coffee because you enjoy it, not because you need it.
- Try to cut back to just one coffee per day and enjoy it mid-morning, rather than first thing. If you love a hot drink in the afternoon, replace it with a delicious hot choc (like this one), or a herbal tea. If you must have more than one, make sure your last coffee is before 2pm (or earlier!) so the caffeine doesn't disrupt your sleep and force you into believing you need more coffee the following day - its a vicious cycle!
- If and when you manage to cut back, try to have a coffee-free day (or two) throughout the week. When you first start doing this it can be helpful to go a whole week without coffee (or until you don't feel any withdrawal symptoms) otherwise you'll likely feel crappy each time you try to take a day off. It is a really good feeling to be able to enjoy a coffee when you feel like it, but not be treated to a pounding headache when you don't.
- Being more conscious of your coffee consumption is a great thing for anyone, but especially for women who are actively trying to conceive and those who are thinking about trying to conceive - studies have found that women who consume high levels of caffeine can take longer to conceive than those who consume the equivalent of one cup or less per day.
As with any opinion based article, take what resonates with you and leave the rest. We are all wired differently and what works for me, may not be the best fit for you.