by Katie Palmer, Certified Herbalist and FDN-P
Do you find yourself stumbling around, glaring at everyone, and murmuring words of frustration at the sun until you’ve had your first cup of coffee? Are you the type of person that constantly repeats the phrase, “Sorry, I haven’t had my coffee yet”? If so, this may be a sign of adrenal dysfunction.
What Happens When We Drink Coffee
Coffee may seem like the ultimate solution to our groggy mornings and A.M. exhaustion, but it is actually causing more stress than it’s worth. Extra caffeine puts our adrenal glands into overdrive, never allowing them to completely rest and heal. If you are a constant coffee drinker, you probably notice a burst of energy followed by a huge crash later in the day resulting in… the need for more coffee. Caffeine automatically puts our adrenal glands in the “fight or flight” mode. This lead to more exhaustion, trouble regulating blood sugar, weight gain, mood imbalances, digestive disorders, etc.
If we have not already reached adrenal dysfunction, the overuse of coffee will soon get us there.
How to Phase Out Caffeine Without the Headache
If you are someone with known or suspected adrenal fatigue, eliminating coffee may be one of the best steps you can take, and really is necessary during an adrenal healing protocol. However, if this seems like an impossible feat for you, let’s work on making really important small steps.
- Decrease the amount of coffee that you drink. If you are use to having two cups, try drinking only one.
- Increase your water intake. Drinking enough water is crucial for everyone but even more so if you drink a lot of coffee. (During cold months try warm water with lemon.)
- Drink coffee after you have eaten a breakfast containing high amounts of protein, and fat.
- Add cinnamon to your coffee, which helps to regulate blood sugar.
- Try bulletproof coffee. Blend 2 Tbsp coconut oil, 1-2 Tbsp butter or ghee, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 cup coffee, dash of cinnamon in a blender until frothy. This slows the rate that caffeine enters the bloodstream.
After mastering all of these steps (which I know you will!), reduce your coffee intake a little more until you find it is really not needed. Replace your morning caffeine kick with green drinks, a stretching routine, or a quick facial massage. These tricks will help you feel energized and send a little love to your adrenal glands.