What is it about coffee and the adrenal glands? We always hear that coffee makes our adrenal glands produce adrenaline. So what?
Well… when you drink coffee you are not experiencing an energy boost at all – it is stimulation to the adrenal glands. The adrenals are responsible for the production or metabolism of over 150 hormones. It looks like these glands have a huge job! Stressing your adrenal glands is one way to accelerate aging. Ohhh… that is not good.
In response to this stimulation, the adrenals produce epinephrine, norepinephrine and cortisol… (don’t try to pronounce those words; just know they are the “fight or flight” hormones). When this happens the adrenals discontinue any non-necessary body functions, such as reproduction and digestion, in order to make sure that the body has enough energy for survival. Yes… survival! And, higher than normal cortisol levels suppress your immune system. Well… that’s not good either. Keep in mind that cortisol levels can stay elevated for as long as 18 hours after a cup of coffee. 18 hours… oh, my… there is a good chance that you might drink another cup of coffee in 18 hours and this immune suppression could go on indefinitely. Not good.
Withdrawal symptoms include really bad headaches, fatigue, drowsiness, depression, irritability, difficulty concentrating, flu-like aches and nausea. You may decide that the decaf you drink is not bothering you but if you want to wean yourself of drinking any kind of coffee you could stop cold turkey or mix your coffee (half and half) with a caffeine free coffee substitute like Roma, Pero or Kaffix (these contain NO caffeine – check the Food Pantry Store at www.askthefoodcoach.com ). At some point you could get yourself free from the coffee and feel satisfied with caffeine free beverages like water and herb tea.
I still love to smell coffee beans and coffee when it is brewing, but then I like the smell of lilacs, baby powder and ozone after a rain. But I’ll pass on all that… I’ll take my “naturally caffeine free” herb tea and water.