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How To Enjoy Your Morning Cup Of Coffee Without Impacting Your Hormones

Updated: Mar 31

It’s that time of the day again!


The dreaded morning alarm goes off or perhaps the kiddos come running into your room desperately needing your help; either way, you know it’s time to wake up and get the day started once again.


Whatever the reason may be; perhaps you stayed up late to have some personal time, tried to check off a few more items on your to-do list or you’re just feeling outright exhausted from a busy week and are uncertain how you will survive an entire day ahead. If you’re anything like me, it’s routine to head straight for that morning cup of coffee. It helps you feel more energized and awake.



coffee

Now, what if I told you having caffeine first thing in the morning may actually be greatly impacting your energy levels for the rest of your day? That it may be wreaking havoc on your hormonal health.

Of course, everyone reacts differently to caffeine, but women, in general, are slow metabolizers of caffeine. If you require multiple coffees throughout your day to function or are experiencing a crash or lull in energy during the afternoon, let’s talk about the effects that caffeine has on your hormonal health and what strategies you can use to limit or reduce these effects.



Fluctuates Blood Sugar Levels


Healthy hormones prefer stable blood sugar levels throughout the day and when we consume caffeine regularly, it causes blood sugar levels to spike and ultimately crash after. General symptoms not only include that much-loved burst in energy, but some may experience temporary physical symptoms such as jitters and shakes, and ultimately regular consumption can lead to large fluctuations in energy and mood throughout the day. These fluctuations in blood sugar levels cause cortisol (stress hormone) levels to spike and fall and eventually lead to exhaustion of the adrenal glands, increased inflammation (contributes to oxidative stress), poor T4 to T3 conversation, and greatly impacts the immune system functions.


Increases Cravings for Sugar and Carbohydrates


As a result of the high blood sugar level fluctuation, when blood sugar levels do drop, the body will ultimately crave sugar and simple carbohydrates as a quick fix to help bring blood sugar levels back up. Simply by drinking a cup of coffee, you greatly increase the likeliness of experiencing extreme cravings in the afternoon and evening. These continuous blood sugar fluctuations paired with poor nutrient consumption greatly impact hormone health, especially that of the adrenal glands. If you struggle with cravings you can check out the 10-Day Sugar Detox program where you'll learn the steps you need to take to balance your blood sugar so you can get rid of the cravings for good.



Exhaustion of Adrenal Glands


Caffeine stimulates the adrenal glands to release more and more cortisol, and when continuously secreted, they’re eventually exhausted – often leading to unexplained weight gain, sleeping disturbances, low libido, hypoglycemia, worsened PMS symptoms, depression, anxiety, and fatigue. Although we experience a temporary improvement in our energy levels, drinking coffee can greatly increase the chance of dysregulation of the adrenal glands; decreasing overall stress response and increasing the chance of adrenal burnout.


Increases Severity of PMS Symptoms


Coffee is known to contribute to estrogen dominance, which generally occurs when either too much estrogen is produced in relation to progesterone, or there’s an imbalance in the estrogen metabolites (estrone and estradiol). Estrogen dominance can be extremely problematic, especially for those with thyroid conditions – high levels of estrogen increase thyroid-binding globulin and in turn makes the thyroid hormone less readily available to the body.


Impacts Conversation of T4 to T3 Thyroid Hormones


As mentioned above, coffee can contribute to estrogen dominance which inhibits T4 to T3 conversation, but it also decreases the absorption of the synthetic thyroid hormone, levothyroxine, commonly prescribed for those diagnosed with hypothyroidism.


Decreases Absorption of Nutrients


The caffeine in coffee causes the stomach to prematurely release acidic chyme into the lower gastrointestinal tract; increasing the body’s excretion of minerals such as magnesium, potassium, sodium, and phosphate. Caffeine also inhibits the absorbability of certain vitamins such as calcium, vitamin D, B vitamins (especially B6), and iron.


So What Exactly Can We Do To Lessen The Effects Of Caffeine?


  1. Eating a meal before consuming coffee, even a small snack that includes protein, fibre, and healthy fats will help stabilize your blood sugar.

  2. Add a dash of cinnamon, a great antioxidant, which can help to lower blood sugar levels and can help decrease sugar cravings throughout the day.

  3. Add some ghee, high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can promote increased energy, improve brain function and assist with weight loss. Ghee is a great substitute for those who like their coffee rich and creamy.

  4. Add in collagen, a protein-rich connective material that helps to keep your skin hydrated and smooth from the inside out, as well as maintain healthy joints and connective tissues. My favourite collagen is from ORGANIKA - use code LAURAMARTIRE25 to save 25%

  5. Ditch the sugar! As always, it’s not an all-or-none kind of deal, but each week or two try slowly decreasing by 1/2 tsp at a time until you are used to coffee without the sugar.

  6. Swap out your afternoon coffee for an alternative such as green tea (lower levels of caffeine), or herbal teas, or try out Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee for some added benefits from medicinal mushrooms such as Chaga and lion's mane.

  7. If you are an avid coffee drinker, be sure to supplement with calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D.


Looking for more hormone-healthy tips? Come follow along on Instagram @lauramartire.hw


 


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