Coffee and Caffeine

Caffeine is addictive because it effects our central nervous system, and is referred to as a ‘mild stimulant’. If you’re a regular drinker and you pull coffee out straight away, you will experience withdrawals, the most common symptoms are headache (which goes away as soon as you have a coffee) and nausea.

How much is too much?

  • I would not recommend coffee be consumed more than once a day.
  • It has addictive qualities and we can become reliant on it.
  • Try having a morning coffee then swapping the arvo coffee for a green tea which still has a nice hit of caffeine but not as much as coffee.
  • If it's the earthy flavour you crave then try something like dandelion or chickory root tea, it as a similar taste. Plus, it actually stimulates the liver!

2. What does it do to you?

  • The most noticeable thing coffee does to us is to stimulate our nervous system (mind).
  • Being high in caffeine, it physically gives you an energy boost too.

Negative things:

  • Caffeine taxes our adrenal glands, these guys release stress hormones like cortisol when we over stimulate our adrenal glands we will eventually burn out! And an excess of cortisol in the body can lead to holding weight around your tummy area.
  • Caffeine also increases your blood pressure. In fact, it increases our blood pressure more than any other food humans consume!
  • Things like coffee, coke, energy drinks which are all high sources of caffeine are extremely acid forming in the body. We want our bodies to be slightly alkaline at all times to be in a state of optimal health.
  • Coffee is a diuretic, this means it makes you urinate more often than you normally would, so it has the potential to dehydrate you.

3. Alternatives:

  • Green tea: Not only gives you a mini detox and helps with weight loss. Has half the amount of caffeine as black tea, so a nice little caffeine hit!
  • Dandelion root: earthy flavour, liver cleanser, great for getting that glowing skin, contains no caffeine.
  • Chicroy: earthy flavour, contains no caffeine.
  • Dark chocolate: natural source of caffeine, so will really give you that boost should you feel you need a quick pep-up!

4. Coffee varieties? Difference between instant and brewed?

  • Brewed is made from freshly ground and roasted coffee beans which have been picked from a coffee tree. They are the actual seeds of coffee trees.
  • Instant was invented in 1901 so people could make a coffee in seconds rather than have to go through the whole brewing process.
  • Instant is made from coffee product, it's then freeze dried and re-hydrated again when the drinker wants instant coffee.

Cappuccino, latte, long machiatto, short black At the end of the day so long as it’s had in moderation, one a day, two max, then take your coffee the way you love it.

Lola Berry - leading Australian Nutritionist.