Many of us need that morning cup of Joe to get our brain revved up to start off our busy day. That jolt of energy gets us up and moving. So, there must be something to that, right? But what if you’re dealing with adrenal fatigue – is coffee really the best option? You may be surprised to find that the answer is “no.”
Caffeine is a Brain Stimulant
Caffeine is widely consumed and is found in coffee, as well as tea, soft drinks, energy drinks and chocolate. Caffeine stimulates neuron activity in the brain. The neurons then send messages to your pituitary gland which stimulates your adrenal glands to produce adrenaline and cortisol. This instantly puts you into fight or flight mode, which happens when you are faced with danger.
Its popularity is attributable to its effects on the nervous system, including its ability to increase the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers.(1)
Pros and Cons of Drinking Coffee
There always seems to be mixed reviews on whether coffee is good for you or not. Some of the pros would be that it contains antioxidants and nutrients, increases energy levels, and can help burn fat. Studies have even shown that it can protect against Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, type 2 diabetes and liver disease. Caffeine can improve brain function and decrease risk of depression.
Some of the cons would be that too much coffee can affect your heart. Coffee leads to estrogen dominance symptoms such as fibrocystic, lumpy breasts and PMS. Coffee is acidic and can cause indigestion, heart burn and an imbalance in your gut flora. It affects your kidneys and increases urination which leads to dehydration. Too much caffeine can interact with medications, increase blood sugar levels, and raise blood pressure (1). Caffeine can also lead to bone loss.
Caution: Caffeine is Your Enemy if You Have Adrenal Fatigue
If your adrenal glands are fatigued and having a hard time producing cortisol as it is, which occurs with adrenal fatigue, then caffeine can cause your adrenals to overwork, making you feel like you are crashing. Caffeine pushes your adrenal glands to make more cortisol when they can’t, and burns out your glands. After long-term use of caffeine, your adrenals are weakened and less able to respond adequately. This is why coffee has less and less effect over time on people with adrenal fatigue. If coffee makes you actually feel sleepy, then you know your adrenal glands have had it.
Giving up coffee, and caffeine in general, is crucial for recovering from adrenal fatigue. Remember, coffee is addicting, so you may need to gradually wean off it. Stopping suddenly can cause headaches.
How do you know if you have adrenal fatigue?
Adrenal fatigue occurs when the adrenal glands cannot produce enough cortisol to meet the demands of your body. Your adrenal glands are worn out, so you feel increasingly fatigued, stressed, anxious, and have a tired, foggy brain. It can be caused by stress, injury, and illness, to name a few.
Signs that you have Adrenal Fatigue:
Severe fatigue/chronic fatigue
Anxiety or panic attacks
Muscle and joint pain
Dizziness or lightheadedness upon standing
Allergies and/or asthma
Irregular menstrual cycles
Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
Hypotension (low blood pressure)
Difficulty “bouncing back” from stress
Cold and heat intolerance
Alternatives to Coffee to Help Give You that Energy Boost
· B vitamins are essential for production of energy in particular B-6 and B-12, found in nuts, seeds, eggs, and lean meats
· Protein is energy boosting, found in nuts, seeds, white meat chicken, eggs, lean meat
· Fresh fruit
· Drink more water – dehydration can cause fatigue
· Organic vegetable juice
· Herbal teas that are caffeine free are full of B vitamins and nutrients
· Blend a smoothie with organic bananas, strawberries, spinach, and blueberries
Restore Your Adrenal Health Naturally
Coffee, along with chronic stress, can take a severe toll on your adrenal glands. Conventional doctors do not even recognize adrenal fatigue as a real condition, and you will end up being prescribed a drug for each of your symptoms. That won’t help your adrenal glands to heal, and will only prolong the problem and make it worse.
At Hotze Health & Wellness Center, we differentiate ourselves by emphasizing the importance of properly diagnosing and treating this common but often misdiagnosed problem of adrenal fatigue. We believe that you deserve to have a doctor and a team of professionals to coach you onto a path of health and wellness naturally so that you can enjoy a better quality of life without the use of pharmaceutical drugs.
Wondering if you have adrenal fatigue? Take our symptom checker quiz to find out today.