The Oscars were last night and they definitely weren’t boring!! Viola Davis and Emma Stone are two of my favourites so I was glad to see them win. Plus they both looked gorgeous!! What happened with the Best Picture announcement?? Watching that was cringeworthy.
What Happened When I started drinking coffee again
As I shared last week, I stopped drinking coffee for a year. Obviously, it was never going to last and I recently rejoined the coffee brigade. It started small, a cup here and there. Eventually I started having a coffee (sometimes two) a day. Over time I started to notice some changes…
Acne. I started breaking out like crazy!! When I did some research I found out that there are 7 (!!) ways that coffee can trigger acne. That’s not the only thing that I found out.
When I started drinking coffee again, I noticed internally, the different ways that I could feel it moving through my body and how I felt.
When it comes to stress or anxiety coffee increases your body’s response. It makes your adrenal glands over-react to stressful events by releasing excess stress hormones. When your body reacts to stress your sympathetic nervous system is activated releasing three hormones – cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine – which prepares you for the flight or fight response. This goes for the big things and even the little daily stressors like work and driving. When the stressor is gone your body goes back into the parasympathetic nervous system mode and the stress hormones go away.
Except, most people are dealing with chronic low-level stress on a daily basis. Add coffee into the mix and you are basically doubling your body’s stress response. The stress hormones also triggers acne. So basically coffee makes you more sensitive to stress, and causes acne. Double bummer. Finding ways to reduce your anxiety and stress symptoms is definitely necessary and reducing coffee might be one of them.
It can also disrupt your gut flora and no amount of probiotics or yogurt are going to help you there!!
Coffee can also disrupt your sleep/wake cycle. For years I functioned off of a large supply of coffee. When I gave it up I discovered something surprising. I was actually more wakeful WITHOUT coffee!!
On the days that I do drink coffee after a few hours I feel like I need another cup just to stay awake. The caffeine gives you a jolt but after a while you crash back down. Just like with sugar. It’s much better to let your body regulate itself without relying on chemicals to do this for you. Especially since your tolerance for these external sources will keep changing meaning that you will need more and more coffee just to feel awake.
Going back to the body’s stress response, I found that with coffee everything felt more stressful. My morning commute started feeling a lot more anxiety provoking if the subway was running a little slower. Even though I had left myself plenty of time. I was never actually let for work but still felt the anxiety around it.
I could actually feel the caffeine coursing through my body – definitely a weird sensation!! My heart was beating faster and my chest felt tighter. My eyes also started twitching throughout the day which is not fun.
I also noticed that the muscles in my back were a lot tighter. Especially the ones around my lungs, which makes sense since coffee can be dehydrating. Basically one cup of coffee and I needed to drink enough water to fill a lake!!
So knowing all of this, does this mean I’m never drinking coffee again??
No. The thing is, I actually really like the taste of a good cup of coffee! I’ve always been a latte/cappuccino girl so that’s what I am sticking to.
Knowing how coffee affects me, I’m a lot more mindful of when and how much I drink it. Instead of having a cup everyday I started only having coffee on the days that I’m off from work. This way I can take my time and actually enjoy it.
Balance is what’s important and knowing what works for you. Since the accident, my body has been a lot more sensitive to things so you might not react exactly the same way that I did. Keep in mind that I spent a year not drinking any coffee or tea so of course it would affect me more. Being mindful and observing your body and how it reacts to your coffee consumption will be needed.
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