1. The caffeine in coffee increases catecholamines, your stress hormones. The stress response elicits cortisol and increases insulin. Insulin increases inflammation, and this makes you feel lousy. Inflammation is also linked to many diseases.
2. Habituation to caffeine decreases insulin sensitivity, making it difficult for your cells to respond appropriately to blood sugar. High blood sugar levels lead to arterial deterioration and increased risk of mortality related to cardiovascular disease.
3. Unfiltered coffee has the highest amount of beneficial antioxidants yet also leaks the most diterpenes into your system. These diterpenes have been linked to higher levels of triglycerides, LDL and VLDL levels.
4. The helpful chlorogenic acids that may delay glucose absorption in the intestine have also been shown to increase homocysteine levels -- an indicator for increased risk of cardiovascular disease, which tends to be elevated in diabesity.
5. The acidity of coffee is associated with digestive discomfort, indigestion, heart burn, GERD and dysbiosis (imbalances in your gut flora).
6. Addiction is often an issue with coffee drinkers and makes it really difficult to rely on the body's natural source of energy. Ask any coffee drinker about how it feels to withdraw from coffee, and you will mistake their story for that of a drug addict's...
7. Associative addictions trend with coffee -- who doesn't immediately think of warm, frothy sweet cream and sugar when they picture coffee? Surely the business of coffee has inspired a culture addicted to the sugary, fatty tastes of what has become more of a meal than a drink! That morning latte is the epitome of food lacking nutrition density yet packing energy!
8. 5-HIA, an organic acid and component of the neurotransmitter serotonin (the happy chemical) seen in the urine tends to be elevated in coffee drinkers, which means they may be at risk for lower levels of serotonin synthesis in the brain. Serotonin is necessary for normal sleep, bowel function, mood, and energy levels. It is a vicious cycle, as caffeine can disrupt sleep and promote anxiety and depression. We all know someone who tends to be tired, wired and over-caffeinated!
9. Elevated urinary excretion of important minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium have been noted in coffee drinkers. An imbalance in your electrolyte status can lead to serious systemic complications.
10. Constituents in coffee can interfere with normal drug metabolism and detoxification in the liver, making it difficult to regulate the normal detoxification process in the liver. Another issue to be aware of with coffee intake is how certain medications such as levothyroxine (thyroid) as well as tricyclic antidepressants are poorly absorbed, making symptoms curiously worse for patients.
It's a wise experiment to provide yourself a break from coffee intake and see what it feels like to live your life on your own fuel. Remove coffee and caffeine safely from your system and see how authentically energized you feel!
How to Avoid Withdrawal Symptoms
Those who consume the most caffeine, alcohol and sugar, and those who have the highest toxic load, tend to have the most difficulty initially. In any event, symptoms of withdrawal usually disappear after three or four days. It is best to slowly reduce your intake of caffeine and coffee.
Make sure you drink at least six to eight glasses of filtered water daily. Instead of coffee in the morning, take some warm water with freshly-squeezed lemon juice.
The best water to drink is water that has been passed through a filtering process. Common and inexpensive filters are available, such as carbon filters like the ones Brita makes. The best filter is a reverse osmosis filter that puts the water through a multi-step process to remove microbes, pesticides, metals, and other toxins. This can be installed under the sink. It's a great filtering system and cheaper over the long run. Avoid water in plastic bottles, which contains phthalates, a toxic petrochemical. Mineral water or still water in glass bottles is also acceptable.
To prevent headaches, make sure your bowel movements are regular.
If you are tired, allow more time for sleep.
Take 1,000 mg buffered vitamin C with breakfast and dinner.
Make sure you exercise daily to help fight off fatigue. Even simple walking is good -- 30 minutes daily.
Some people rely on substituting coffee for real food. When you are hungry make sure to eat and do not let your blood sugar get low. Have some protein in the afternoon such as a handful of nuts or seeds like almonds, pecans, walnuts, or pumpkin seeds, cooked beans, or a piece of steamed or baked fish.
Take a sauna or heat therapy in a bath.
Practice pressing the pause button. Withdrawal can be stressful and research has shown that meditation and other mindful activities can help calm an overstimulated and stressed system while boosting the immune system.
Keep a journal and track your symptoms. Note the difference in quality of energy you experience while off of coffee.
Consider a complete elimination program and avoid all refined sugars, flours, caffeine, alcohol, dairy, gluten and any other addictive substance. By allowing certain triggers to stay in the diet the body stays on the vicious cycle of cravings and addictive behavior. Reset your biology by eliminating all these dietary triggers for inflammation and fatigue.
I know this is a difficult goal, but I assure you that your body and mind will thank you. The sense of calm, clarity and restful sleep will reward you with the simple pleasures of innate health and an energy that is rightfully yours.