I know – who on Earth would make such an absurd statement so as to suggest you ditch your coffee even though you might still want the effects of it? Oh, right – me.
I do love a quality cup of free trade organic coffee once in a while, but after learning about the harmful effects of it on digestion, I drastically cut down my consumption. I was never a “can’t-survive-without-my-morning-coffee” kind of girl, but I do come from an advertising background which involved frequent visits to the poop-water coffee machine – that says enough in itself, doesn’t it?
Without going too Bill Nye on your tushie – basically, the food in your stomach gets broken down into a substance called “chyme”. Chyme is released from the stomach into the small intestine through the pyloric sphincter when the pH of the stomach reaches 2.3. But when you drink coffee (the same goes for nicotine), it goes into “IDGAF” mode by skipping all of that pH jazz and blasting itself through the pyloric sphincter with the food that has yet to be digested into your stomach, which can lead to digestive issues such as a damaged intestinal lining, leaky gut and food allergies. Alongside the havoc it can cause on digestion, it’s also not ideal for those that are more prone to stress or anxiety, in that it amplifies those feelings, making them 10X worse, while severely taxing the adrenals (the lovely glands that regulate stress and hormones).
All this to say, if you’re going to have coffee, do so away from meals (at least an hour away). But, if you’re willing to make a step in the direction towards optimal health, I strongly suggest exploring alternative options to coffee, such as dandy blend, herbal tea or a healing elixir, and get the energy boost you crave from coffee through these holistic alternatives:
1. Work out in the morning – We’re all familiar with that beloved endorphin high that comes with a sweaty grind, aren’t we? When you workout in the morning, you can soak up all of the benefits that comes with that endorphin high until 1 or 2pm in the day. And you thought you needed coffee …
2. Spinal Rolls – These bad boys became my best friend during my days in advertising and I still turn to them today when I’m feeling tired or stressed. Find an open and private area or the cleanest bathroom stall at your office. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and slowly begin to roll from the neck down, vertebrae by vertebrae, until your body is folded and your arms and neck are hanging loosely. Hold this pose for up to 30 seconds, taking deep breaths, allowing the spine to decompress and your blood to flow to your brain, and then slowly come up starting from the tailbone, up your spine, with your head being the last thing to come up. Repeat when you feel a rush of fatigue come on, as often as you wish!
3. CoQ10 – CoQ10 is produced naturally in our body but gradually decreases with age, warranting the need for supplementation, starting at age 40 with a minimal dose of 50-100mg/day and increasing the amount to 100-200mg/day at age 60+. CoQ10 is responsible for producing the body’s cellular fuel, adenosine triphosphate (ATP). It recharges the energy system in the heart to allow it to pump blood more efficiently, given that the heart muscle is constantly consuming mass amounts of oxygen and energy. CoQ10 also mops up harmful free radicals to help us steer clear of illness and disease. Win-win! Those who take CoQ10 on a consistent basis will discover a drastic increase in energy levels.
4. Bee Pollen – A spoonful of this goodness each morning will give you an incredible natural energy boost. The combination of carbohydrates, protein and B vitamins are just what you’ll need to help keep you going all day by enhancing your stamina and fighting off fatigue. Bee keepers are also able to remove pollen from hives without harming the bees or interfering with their routine, which makes us even more thrilled about this option. My go-to pollen of choice is Beekeepers’ Naturals.
5. Chlorella – If you can’t stomach the idea of taking a shot of this each morning, tablets might become your new best friend. But as long as you’re getting this blue-green superfood-packed algae, you’re in for a huge energetic treat! Chlorella is rich in protein (ringing in at a whopping 16 grams per 3 tbsp), iron, zinc, vitamin A and B vitamins. It is largely made up of chlorophyll which increases the number of red blood cells in the body and if we think back to anatomy class, we know that red blood cells deliver oxygen to our cells. The more oxygen we have, the more energy we have. We also know how great it is for detoxing heavy metals and for being our trusty sidekick for those with a Copper IUD. All that to say, happy chlorella-ing!