April 4th, 2015 | Posted By: Magdalena Wszelaki | Posted in Adrenals, Anti-Candida, Articles, Estrogen Dominance, Menopause, PCOS, Thyroid

11 Ways Coffee Impacts Your Hormones and How to Substitute It

11 Ways Coffee Impacts Your Hormones and How to Substitute It
If you had to give up either coffee or the internet for 2 weeks, which one would you choose? How about either coffee or sex for 2 weeks?

Yeah, that was me, too.

Warning: if you love coffee and can’t live without it, this article won’t sit well with you. And that’s OK. My job is to help you see the truth. In fact, if you find yourself dismissing and rejecting it, that could be called denial.

Because the change that we resist the most is the change we need the most.

I also want to share with you my own journey with coffee so you know that I’ve had my own share of denial, experimentation, and surrender.

I’ve had a long and turbulent relationship with coffee and caffeine. When you start drinking coffee at the tender age of 15 because your mom drinks it 4 times a day and the house smells of Italian roast all day long, you slide right into it and it becomes a part of you.

I’m serious about these beans. I did a barista course when I lived in Seattle and acquired a decent knowledge of roasting techniques, bean sourcing, and brewing techniques. Seeing and smelling the black and thick-as-oil liquid pouring out of my Italian $1800-espresso maker is what used to make my mornings.

Going to a new place meant finding a [good] coffee place that understood what good espresso was (I dislike American watered-down coffee) so I can get my fix first thing in the morning. Beans and I were inseparable. BFF.

Coffee, Hashimoto’s and I

As a person with Hashimoto’s, I’ve come a long way. Diagnosed in 2008 with TPOab above 1000 and feeling terrible and helpless, I managed to get them down to 66 by making significant diet changes (mainly repairing my gut), eliminating stress and honoring my body’s need for sleep.

However, my progress hit a plateau. And then, I was found to have estrogen dominance and wonky cortisol levels. Me? After all those changes? I know you can relate – how you just want to pull your hair out.

So I asked myself “what is the most difficult change I could make that I have been resisting all this time?”

And the answer was coffee.

“I’m only quitting coffee for two weeks, I can always go back to it” was a really good thing to say to myself as it didn’t make me feel like the umbilical cord between coffee and I was cut off forever.

It would require a new article to fully elaborate on my full health journey but for now, I will just share that coffee was a huge antagonist of my own healing path and the healing path of my clients.

I want to share with you what I have learned so you can be more educated and make the transition as well (if coffee is your antagonist.)

Taking steps to remove gluten, dairy or sugar from your diet can feel like a breeze compared to giving up coffee. However, as with anything that makes us feel that good, there is another side to your java fixation, and you need to know about it.

Benefits of Coffee

Many reliable studies are often cited and confirm that coffee is full of antioxidants and polyphenols. However, these same antioxidants and polyphenols can also be found abundantly in many fruits and vegetables.

In addition, there are also a variety of studies showing coffee’s role in the prevention of cancer, diabetes, depression, cirrhosis of the liver, gallstones, etc.

Beyond science, there is also the undeniable feeling of comfort in a morning routine – a stop at a favorite coffee shop, the smell, the buzz, and the energy boost and mental clarity that come with a good cup of joe.

Everyone Reacts Differently

Is coffee bad for everybody? Not really. Each of us can have a different reaction to coffee. Some people get jittery and nervous, while others feel uplifted for hours. Many coffee drinkers report feeling good for the first two hours (mainly due to a dopamine spike), but eventually, their energy and mental alertness will start dropping rapidly.

That was most certainly me – feeling delightful for a couple of hours and then slipping into depletion. The worst symptoms I discovered was that coffee made me very angry and moody hours after drinking it. My PMS got worse and most definitely the estrogen-to-progesterone balance was off – if you continue reading, you will know why that is so.

Coffee is metabolized in Phase I of the liver detoxification pathway, and some people have a harder time breaking it down – we call them “slow metabolizers.” This can either manifest immediately and present as shaky and jittery feelings, or in a delayed fashion with poor sleep and digestive issues.

What is so Worrisome about Coffee?

If you are suffering from thyroid issues, Hashimoto’s, adrenal fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, hot flashes, or hormone-related conditions, it’s important to be fully aware of the “other side of coffee” and make an educated decision about whether it is good for you.

Here are some of the lesser-known facts about coffee:

Increases Blood Sugar Levels

According to this study, caffeine increases blood sugar levels. This is especially dangerous for people with hypoglycemia (or low sugar levels) who feel jittery, shaky, moody and unfocused when hungry. Blood sugar fluctuations cause cortisol spikes, which not only exhaust the adrenals but also deregulate the immune system. This is highly undesirable for those of us with adrenal fatigue, Hashimoto’s or Graves’ disease. Such cortisol spikes are also highly inflammatory (read more below).

Creates Sugar and Carbohydrate Cravings

As the result of a sugar level spike, when our blood sugar levels come down, we need an emergency fix to bring them back up. This is why people who drink coffee at breakfast or indulge in sugary and processed breakfasts crave carbs and sugar by 11am or later in the day.

The change that we resist the most is the change we need the most.

Contributes to Acid Reflux and Damages Gut Lining

Coffee stimulates the release of gastrin, the main gastric hormone, which speeds up intestinal transit time. Coffee can also stimulate the release of bile (which is why some people run to the bathroom soon after drinking coffee) and digestive enzymes.

In a person with healthy digestion, this is not a big deal. However, for people with autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s and Graves’, compromised digestion (such as IBS, or “leaky gut”), can cause further digestive damage to the intestinal lining.

Exhausts the Adrenals

Coffee stimulates the adrenals to release more cortisol, our stress hormone; this is partly why we experience a wonderful but temporary and unsustainable burst of energy.

What many of us don’t realize is that our tired adrenals are often the cause of unexplained weight gain, sleeping problems, feeling emotionally fragile, depression and fatigue. Drinking coffee while experiencing adrenal fatigue is only adding fuel to the fire.

People with Hashimoto’s should be extra careful as the adrenals and cortisol also modulate the immune system, and Hashimoto’s is a condition in which the immune system is already out of whack.

If you have already given up coffee and are still experiencing adrenal fatigue, consider trying our own Wellena Adrenal Repair Kit to aid in supporting your recovery.

Worsens PMS and Lumpy Breasts

It’s well-established that coffee contributes to estrogen dominance (source), which can mean one of two things: we either have too much estrogen in relation to progesterone, or we have an imbalance in the estrogen metabolites (some are protective and some are dangerous).

PMS, lumpy breasts, heavy periods, cellulite, and even breast cancer (which is an estrogenic cancer) can be symptoms of estrogen dominance.

Estrogen is especially problematic for people with thyroid conditions. High estrogen levels (also known as estrogen dominance) rise thyroid-binding globulin, making less thyroid hormone available for the body.

Estrogen dominance is also often cited as the cause of thyroid nodules and even thyroid cancer development (medical reference here).

Gluten-Cross Reactive Food

50% of people with gluten sensitivities also experience cross-reactivity with other foods, including casein in milk products, corn, coffee, and almost all grains, because their protein structures are similar. Cyrex Labs provides a test for gluten cross-reactive foods (Array 4).

Many people report having a similar reaction to coffee as they do to gluten.

Impacts the Conversion of T4 to T3 Hormones

Coffee impacts the absorption of levothyroxine (the synthetic thyroid hormone); this is why thyroid patients need to take their hormone replacement pill at least an hour before drinking coffee.

The indirect but important point is that coffee contributes to estrogen dominance, cited above, and estrogen dominance inhibits T4 to T3 conversion.

Can Cause Miscarriages

This study showed that women who drink coffee during their pregnancy are at a higher risk of miscarriage. That’s scary. Why are our doctors not telling us this?

Is Highly Inflammatory

Any functional or integrative doctor would say the majority of modern diseases are caused by inflammation – a smoldering and invisible fire found on a cellular level.

This study found that caffeine is a significant contributor to oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. Chronic body aches and pains, fatigue, skin problems, diabetes, and autoimmune conditions are just some of the conditions related to inflammation.

Can Contribute to and Even Cause Osteoporosis

It is well-known that coffee changes our body pH to a lower, and thus more acidic, level. A low pH (which means a more acidic body) can contribute to osteoporosis.

This study has confirmed that habitual coffee drinking among postmenopausal women was the leading cause of osteoporosis.

Can Cause Insomnia and Poor Sleep

This study showed that 400mg of “caffeine taken 6 hours before bedtime has important disruptive [sleep] effects.”

This, again, is dependent on the individual and his or her ability to metabolize caffeine. Some people experience deep and restful sleep whether or not they drink coffee, while others do not, even if they stop drinking anything caffeinated at noon.

How sensitive are you and how does coffee impact your sleep? You will only find out when you give up caffeinated drinks for 5 days – then your body will tell you!

What About Decaf?

It’s a disputed area, but many health practitioners don’t suggest it for two reasons.

For one, many manufacturers use a chemical process to remove caffeine from the coffee beans. The result is less caffeine, but more chemicals.

Secondly, it is the caffeine in the coffee that has the health benefits we discussed above. Without it, you are left with little benefit.

The Change We Resist the Most is Often the Change We Need the Most

Many people I work with have made extensive dietary changes and they will admit that coffee was the last and hardest thing to eliminate. Coffee is our ritual; it’s our best friend.

But is it really? It is often said that the change we resist the most is the change our body needs the most. Let your intuition be your guide.

Bottom Line – What Can You Do?

You will only know how you really feel without coffee when you get off it for 3 to 5 days (and please don’t say it does not impact you until you try this experiment).

The first 2 days will be tough, but that tells you something important about this addictive substance, does it not?

Many women who have given up coffee and caffeine report better sleep within days, fewer hot flashes, less depression and anxiety, and many more other benefits over time.

I also wrote a blog post with tips and tricks I used to give up coffee. It will help guide you through the process of weaning yourself off caffeine.

What Are Some Substitute Options?

If you feel like you still need a slight kick, go for less-caffeinated options, such as green tea. Use the below infographic to guide you to make better choices, or download it here.
Coffee Alternatives Without Caffeine

Once you are ready to completely rid yourself of caffeine, herbal teas are a wonderful replacement.

One of my personal favorites is a Roasted Chicory Latte – it tastes like coffee, but it contains no caffeine. Making it into a smooth and creamy (yet dairy-free) latte makes the transition so much easier.

Tip: Learn how to add more hormone-balancing ingredients to your meals with our FREE 15 Breakfasts to Rebalance Your Hormones guide here.

Recipes for Hormone-Balancing Coffee Alternatives

Need some recipe ideas? Be your own barista with these hormone-balancing “coffee” recipes: 

Pumpkin Cinnamon Latte

If you’re worried about giving up your Pumpkin Spice Latte, have no fear. Give this delicious Pumpkin Cinnamon Latte a try. It uses Earl Grey tea along with real pumpkin, coconut milk, honey, and autumn spices. Blend it up, and serve with whipped coconut cream.

Get the recipe here.

Tulsi Tea Adaptogen Latte 

Tulsi, also known as Holy Basil, is a wonderful histamine-lowering, hormone-balancing herb. In this recipe, tulsi is accompanied by the adrenal-supporting herb, Rhodiola rosea. Both herbs help balance stress levels while giving you a non-caffeinated energy boost. Coconut butter makes it creamy, and collagen powder adds froth. Honey adds sweetness and cinnamon & ginger make it warming and delicious.

Get the recipe here.

Schisandra Beet Adaptogen Latte 

Colorful lattes are all the rage in the specialty coffee industry. Beet adds a vibrant fuschia color to this adaptogen-rich latte, which also uses thyroid-supporting ashwagandha powder. Cardamom, vanilla, and honey work together to make a true “Comfort Drink.”

Get the recipe here.

Ashwagandha Latte

Ashwagandha is amazing for our hormones, and it’s easy to add to your morning in this easy latte. It’s simply your choice of milk, ashwagandha, cinnamon, maple syrup, or honey. Warm the milk, add in the spices and sweetener and whisk it up. Pour in your favorite mug, and you have a balanced, yet energizing start to the day.

Get the recipe here.

Better Than Coffee Chicory Latte

This latte is actually a blend of chicory and roasted dandelion root. Both of these botanicals help support detoxification while having an earthy taste that is very much like coffee. This latte is a wonderful balance of protein, fat, and carbs to start you off right. 

Get the recipe here.

Coconut Mushroom Ginger Coffee

If you like coconut, you’ll love this creamy latte. It uses Four Sigmatic’s Reishi Mushroom elixir, along with cinnamon, ginger, and cacao — all blended with warm coconut milk and coconut oil. Reishi has a ton of benefits, as do the other medicinal mushrooms. But reishi is really great for promoting deep sleep. Try this one as your late-afternoon latte.

Get the recipe here.

Matcha Latte 

Matcha green tea has a touch of caffeine, but it also has the very calming amino acid, L-theanine. It’s a great latte to have for a calm, focused energy. This coconut milk matcha latte is naturally sweetened and has a hint of vanilla. Collagen adds froth for a very satisfying hot beverage.

Get the recipe here.

Turmeric Chai Latte 

This is a marriage between two popular tea lattes: chai latte and turmeric “golden milk” latte. It’s full of anti-inflammatory spices and healthy fats. You can make it either lightly caffeinated (black tea) or non-caffeinated (Rooibos or red tea). It’s soothing to the body and excellent for the digestive system. With a mug of this in your hands, you are truly golden.

Get the recipe here.

Rasa

Still want that coffee taste? Try the zero caffeine Rasa Bold here. Read more below about how Rasa can help you adapt to stress while giving you an energetic boost.

It’s amazing how many zero caffeine options are out there now. What’s really great is that not only are these beverages free of stimulating caffeine, they’re actually health-promoting.

Rasa Bold helps your body adapt to stress and become more resilient. It gives you a balanced energy that doesn’t make you feel overstimulated or jittery. Its 12 adaptogenic herbs (including ashwagandha, reishi, and chaga) help balance cortisol levels and promote restful sleep at night. You can wake up in the morning fully rejuvenated and ready to face the joys and challenges of the day.

If you want to kick the coffee, give Rasa Bold a try.

 

 

CFHB

You can find more information on how to rebalance your hormones in my book, Cooking for Hormone Balance. Drawing on current research and the programs I developed and used to help thousands of women, I offer clear, concise action plans for what to remove and add to your daily diet to regain hormonal balance, including guides for specific conditions and more than 125 easy-to-prepare, flavorful, and anti-inflammatory recipes that are free of gluten, dairy, soy, corn, and nightshades and low in sugar.

Get Cooking for Hormone Balance on Amazon here.

 

Resources

Effects of caffeine on glucose tolerance: a placebo-controlled study. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9846599

Coffee and gastrointestinal function: facts and fiction. A review. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10499460

Coffee and estrogen dominance. http://www.drlam.com/articles/estrogen_dominance.asp

Maternal caffeine consumption during pregnancy and the risk of miscarriage: a prospective cohort study. http://www.ajog.org/article/S0002-9378(07)02025-X/abstract

The effects of theaflavin-enriched black tea extract on muscle soreness, oxidative stress, inflammation, and endocrine responses to acute anaerobic interval training: a randomized, double-blind, crossover study. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=arent+s.m+black+tea

Dietary patterns and bone mineral density in Brazilian postmenopausal women with osteoporosis: a cross-sectional study. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25804275

Caffeine effects on sleep taken 0, 3, or 6 hours before going to bed. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24235903

76 Comments to 11 Ways Coffee Impacts Your Hormones and How to Substitute It

  1. While a lot of what you wrote is true; I have Hashimoto’s, Celiac and also destroyed parietal cells and I also drink one Swiss water process decaf Americano daily that I prepare out of my professional espresso machine. My antibodies test negative now and my CRP is 0.2 (a normal healthy American is a CRP of 3), I have no aches or pains. I have no symptoms of any disease. My secret was to quit eating all grain. My fasting blood sugar level is 76. My adrenals are now fine, my nails have also grown long which I could never do at any time in my life. I also no longer have period cramps. I do appreciate your article telling people about Cyrex and the miscarriages. I just want you to know that I have no inflammation or antibodies any longer and still enjoy my decaf Americano. I’m 5’7 and wear a size 6. I look 33 and I’m 46. I still have a 28 day cycle. All my food is organic and grain free. I suspect most people would rather give up coffee than grain. I also helped a 45 year old male who was very over weight with very high blood pressure, his blood pressure went down to 128/73 even though it was previously still very high at 20 pounds less than he is now, again he quit eating grain also at my direction. He still needs to lose 50 pounds. I suggest everyone read, “Grain Brain” by Dr. Perlmutter.

    • I’m the opposite. I’m vegan and I eat a high carb diet with quite a lot of grain (basically the McDougall diet, which is one of the healthiest ways of eating you can follow). Since I started doing that, my energy has sky rocketed, my skin looks amazing and I’ve lost 20 lbs, while eating more food than I ever have before.

      This stopping eating grain is an American fad that is not necessary for most people, as 99 percent of people are not allergic to gluten.

      Eventually, it will be replaced with yet another American-founded food fad (keto is the latest) as, sadly, so many Americans don’t seem to understand what constitutes a healthy diet — grains, pulses, fruits, vegetables and lots and lots of water.

  2. I am a tea drinker by heart, and only recently started drinking bulletproof coffee to get out of bed in the morning and function.
    What do you recommend for us gals that have zero nrg and rely on caffeine to function….obviously its a temporary crutch but what effective substitute is there vs being crippled with exhaustion?
    Much appreciated ~

    • Hi Peace, I suggest to address your adrenal health or whatever is the underling reason for you feeling so depleted. Coffee, Bulletproof, just burns you out.

      • Thanks, I will check it out. I enjoyed your talk on the thyroid summit. You addressed some things I needed to hear.

      • Hi is this even possible? I loved coffee for years but could never seem to get enough energy and one day I got either the flu or food poisoning idk which but had a fever throwing up and since that day i cant drink coffee at all it looks like tar now to me and i used to love it now if i even try it i gag . But I’ve noticed i feel better?

      • Hi Deanna, I found your article very insightful while I was looking into giving up my coffee, for a brief time, as an experiment. I am 56, very healthy; aside from some pesky blood sugar issues. Hence, my experiment. I wanted to see if giving up the GOBS of coffee I drink each day (organic, whole bean, black, and fair trade) would make a difference in my BS readings (mostly controlled through my diet), mainly by allowing elevated cortisol (presumably) to come down, thus also reducing glucose in my body, and reducing any inflammation. I’m a HUGE coffee SNOB and will only drink the healthiest options I can find. Which, leads me to this comment/question…… I needed to sub my caffeine with a decaf option; of course, only organic, black, whole bean AND…… Swiss Water Processed (no chemicals) for the decaf process. In researching this, I also found out that decaf by SWP also RETAINS all those great antioxidants and other benefits that coffee has to offer. I’m also testing to see if by going healthy decaf, if my cholesterol will come down. I am a plant based eater, occasional eggs, so there is no reason for me to have a TC of 155. In my research I found that there are Cafestol OILS in coffee that actually will cause high cholesterol in some. So I found clean processed filter bags to use in my french press; the bag captures the Cafestol oils and greatly reduces what you would consume. So, I have actually found healthy options for drinking DECAF. I’m enjoying the robust dark new blends so much that I don’t think I will go back to caffein. Would love to hear your thoughts on the points I made (discovered) 1. Healthy Decaf via SWP 2. SWP maintains health benefits 3. Removing Cafestol oils via a “clean” filter bag.

  3. Thank you for all this additional information. You answered many of my questions, but not the one I actually sent in during the webinar: Why ACV and not other kinds of vinegar? (My personal favorite is red wine vinegar.)

    • Hi Gene,
      TO answer your vinegar question, apple cider vinegar is made with apples so contains multiple types of antioxidants called polyphenols which can have beneficial effects on health. Other vinegars are often made by fermenting grain alcohol or ethyl alcohol which do not offer the same health benefits. Apple Cider Vinegar is considered the “Mother of Vinegars” I hope this helps answer your question.

  4. Dates are at the top of the Glycemic Index! What do we do if we’re on a sugar-balancing, anti-candida, low-glycemic type diet? Can we just not have this drink?

    That would suuuuuck. 🙁

    • Hi Ahnna,
      Perhaps you could use a few drops of liquid stevia as a substitute. Try it and let us know how it goes for you.

    • HI G,
      You can use coconut oil in any hot beverage. I prefer to use 1-2 teaspoons of organic coconut oil in my non-caffeinated hot beverages. I hope you can try it too.

  5. I am wondering if the same is true of organic decaf, as since I switched to that, and only drink 2 cups per day, I have eliminated most all of the negative symptoms of drinking coffee. I drink it because I love the taste and smell, and go without some days with no problem.

    • HI Suzy, If you are having difficulty stepping away from caffeine and coffee the decaf is a gradual step. However some of the chemicals used to process decaf coffee beans are harmful to the body too. You can gradually wean off coffee by going to green tea, then white tea then herbal teas in graduated stages. I hope you can try that.

  6. My husband was dx with Hashimotos a year ago. Through a Functional Medicine doctor. We started drinking Cafe Bustelo expresso, 99.7% decaffeinated coffee. We order it off of Amazon. He is now off his blood pressure medicine and has kept 30# off his frame. We are gluten free now 2 years. You could still bulletproof with this coffee easily. Just FYI.

    • Penny, Thank you for sharing your experience. I agree that caffeine can effect people differently. However, many people have benefited from eliminating caffeine from their diet and improving their adrenals and cortisol levels.
      Angela ~HB team member

  7. I definitely agree to this: “is dependent on the individual and his or her ability to metabolize caffeine” because my uncle always make it a habit of drinking coffee before going to sleep and he has really a sound sleep like a baby.

  8. I gave up caffeine a long time ago. Just one or two cups of anything caffeinated made my chest feel like a punching bag. I can enjoy it from time to time if I want, but I figure, why bother. If one can get their energy up through healthy food and good sleep (amongst other things), why resort to a stimulant like caffeine? Thanks for this article Magdalena. With so many coffee shops on every corner of every city, it’s good that people know the consequences of drinking so much of it. Don’t get me started on the environmental impacts of throw-away cups…. ;o)

  9. Tank you! for taking time to write about your experience, it is very inspiring! It is so hard for me to stop drinking coffee. Even though I’m only drinking one kop a day, it sometimes makes me really ill!

    • One thing that might inspire others: waiting to drink my cup til two or tre hours after I’ve got up in the morning is making me fell much better about it.

      • Hi Helle,
        Often times if you wait til later in the morning to consider having a cup of coffee you find that you don’t really want it. Especially if you are eating a PFF breakfast with good Protein, good Fats, and Fiber.

  10. I have been able to cut out brewed coffee by allowing only 1 cup of folgers instant coffee , only 1 tsp in 12-16oz hot water with cream. I’ve been doing this for 2 1/2 months now and it only has 30 ish mg caffeine , it’s the only caffine I have all day and I feel different already . It feels like my body is starting to heal. I also take vitamin b12 for energy . I hated the instant coffee but now I completely adjusted to it.

    • Nanette,
      It’s great that you have cut down on coffee. Instant coffee still contains caffeine, as you know. However it is more “processed” than regular coffee. I hope that you can eventually wean off of coffee and caffeine for good to see lasting results. I enjoy chickory and roasted dandelion root tea. It is a great coffee substitute and is great for your liver too.
      Angela,
      Hormones Balance Support

  11. I appreciate your article. What are your thoughts about this 2008 study on the “Effects of coffee bean aroma on the rat brain stressed by sleep deprivation…” ? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18517217

    I was wondering if even though one doesn’t drink coffee but has issues with insomnia and someone else in their household is drinking coffee late into the evening every night, could the aroma of coffee on its own possibly be the insomniac person’s cause of their sleep deprivation?

    Thanks

    • Hi Debbie,
      From what I could tell about the article you referenced, the study found possible clues to the potential antioxidant or stress relaxation activities of the coffee bean aroma. It sounds like more studies are necessary. Sleep can be a complicated subject and may require several angles to get it back in to a good rhythm such as food & eating patterns, exercise, creating an evening ritual and so on. Thank you for sharing the article.

  12. Does decaf coffee have any negative affects on hormones as well? I can’t find anything about it online. This is going to sound crazy, but I’m convinced that decaf coffee causes slight weight gain in me. Around 4 lbs. I stopped drinking it for a month and lost weight. Then started again and gained the 4 lbs back. I would drink decaf espresso 4 or so times a week with unsweetened almond milk.

    • Hi Tessa, decaf coffee is usually heavily processed and not recommended by Magdalena. The recipe she offers in the article is naturally without caffeine and quite tasty. Thank you for sharing some of your experience. ~Deanna HB Team

  13. So is it the caffeine alone or also the other elements in coffee that can be problematic?

    • Hi Colleen,

      Decaf coffee can be very heavily processed (with chemicals). Magdalena offers her chicory latte recipe in this article. It tastes so good! We hope you try it ~Deanna HB Team

  14. How does tea effect adrenal functions? I have the toughest time giving up all caffeine. I am telling myself just one a day. Then maybe low caffeine tea like twig tea. Green tea is great for a while, but always build a tolerance.

    • Hi Lisa,

      Caffeinated tea can take its toll on the adrenals as well. Magdalena recommends herbal tea (Tulsi). Also, you may want to do more to support adrenal healing to help with energy and balance. Please check out this free workshop https://hormonesbalance.com/cfb/ ~Deanna HB Team

      • Fantastic! I will share this with friends and clients. I have experimented with cutting out coffee from my diet for up to 3 weeks at a time and definitely notice a difference in improved mood and energy levels, less PMS and definitely better sleep. I think we all just roll with the routine of coffee without really knowing how it affects our hormones.

  15. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE POST!!!! I HAD NO IDEA!
    EVERYTHING YOU SAID CHECKS OUT WITH SYMPTOMS IVE BEEN HAVING SINCE DRINKING COFFEE!!!

    • Hi Melanie,

      We are so happy you have found this article to helpful! ~Deanna HB Team

  16. The pie chart seems to suggest supplements or foods for womens’ imbalances (menopause, etc).

    Do you have a chart for men’s imbalances?

    • Hi Dom, Hormones go out of balance when the “perfect storm” hits; typically caused by stress, nutritional deficiencies, poor sleep, diet and toxicity. Even though Magdalena focuses on women’s hormonal imbalances, men will also benefit from most of the information she provides as her fundamental foundation is: gut healing, sugar balancing, and liver support, which creates an environment in your body that can help you produce and metabolize your hormones efficiently. I hope this helps! ~ Jeanne HB Team

  17. I bought your book off amazon few months ago and it’s been mighty helpful! I am soooo glad that I read this article!! I was in the process of doing your Food Elimination and I eliminated coffee for a good five days and noticed a huge difference, I went back on coffee for three days and it finally dawned on my that coffee is my enemy. In the last two years I’ve been jntaking coffee more than I ever had and it’s a new brand that’s really really strong. My anxiety I noticed was much more noticeable, depression was a problem for me, my period was very very strange and non stop. I began to have stomach problems and the doctor told me that my gut line is probably damaged and so he prescribed me medication for it. My immune system was very very bad. I’ve finally came to my conclusion and I am so happy that I eliminate one thing that affected me entirely! Thank you! Thank you for this article and thank you for your book! My Gyno knows about your book and said I made n excellent choice.

  18. Hi,
    I am suffering from low blood pressure since childhood. Since I remember myself I always felt tired and sleepy. Tried many things to improve my health including coffee substitutes and diet changes. However the only thing that make me feel less sleepy is coffee. I cannot give it up. I tried to quit coffee for a month and still felt sleepy, and didn’t realise major improvements. Could you please suggest?

    • I’m no expert but I had this problem myself. I’ve found that the imbalance that coffee has contributed to has resulted in other dietary imbalances eg low iron, magnesium and b vitamins. Now I’ve started to add those in as supplements, along with gut healing practices so I can absorb the nutrients in my food, I’m no longer so tired. Magnesium also helps with deeper, higher quality sleep, so that also helps overcome tiredness.

  19. Hi Magdalena,

    I love your newsletters, and I don’t mean to be oppositional, but didn’t I recently read an article by you that said there is no such thing as adrenal fatigue?

    I’m confused, are you saying again that adrenal fatigue is real? Because the doctor you were talking about in your recent article said there is no such thing as adrenal fatigue and you were letting us know that you were wrong to say it was real. So which is it, true or false?

  20. This is really great I have had thyroid and adrenal issues for years and am now perimenopausal. I’m going to try giving up coffee and see if it helps! Thank you!

    • Hi Eviya, Thank you! Chocolate does not necessarily have the same issues as coffee in moderation. There are great antioxidants in chocolate. It does contain oxalates, so it would just be important to pay attention to any sensitivities that might come up. Thanks for commenting! HB Support

  21. This is 100 percent true! I’m 44 and starting drinking coffee two years ago. Six months into drinking it my breasts became so tender and sore. It was horrible! I went to a doctor and she asked me what I was doing differently in the last few months. I told her I started drinking coffee. She said that’s what it is! I immediately got off of it. I saw an acupunturist who helped relieve my symptoms and balance my hormones. I also discovered Wellena supplements with Magdalena and it’s helped tremendously with Estrogen dominance! Bravo!

    • Hey Jill,
      Thanks for your comment! It’s amazing how small changes and habits can have lasting effects.

      Healthy regards,
      HB Team

  22. I just read that dandelion root has high estrogenic effects. Is this true? So much different information out there. Thanks!

    • Hi Jean,
      Dandelion has estrogenic-like properties, but it most cases, when not using an absurd amount, it’s safe. It’s always best to check with your doctor beforehand.
      Healthy regards,
      HB Team

  23. Thank you for the article. I have IBS as well as Gluten Intolerance over the last year o had to really change my entire diet because I wasn’t following the diet I should. I as well have been drinking coffee since about age 15 I am not 32. I started a couple weeks ago to notice I was having a reaction to coffee which is devastating for me. I took it out of my diet as it was making my stomach swell to the point of looking pregnant, after I took it out that is also the only caffeine I intake because of the IBS I also can’t have any carbonated drinks so that’s most of caffeine, so removing the coffee also affected me. I than decided to drink a cup of coffee after trying tea which was not enough caffeine I’ve had headaches and been sick in the bed for days, right after drinking the coffee I threw up. 🙁 So now my question would be what can I do to substitute if the teas are not enough caffeine ? If there’s anything else you can suggest as well I would be more than appreciative.

      • I don’t understand. The main idea is to cut back to amount of caffaine, not to drink another products and remian the consumption of caffaine, right? If you cannot quit coffee, what’s the point to do all that and try to fix everything you have that is making you sick?

        • Hi Charlize,
          Yes, that’s correct. We try to find substitutes that have much less caffeine or other properties that help when you remove caffeine. Sometimes, things work different for different people so it’s most important to listen to what your body wants and needs.
          Healthy regards,
          HB Team

  24. You are absolute right about everything you mention about coffee, but it’s so hard to convince people who are so enjoy having coffee everyday. Especially in Taiwan, there are varies coffee shops all over the island, and people seem to ignore all the warnings about what a long-term relationship with coffee will bring to them. I am someone who suffers with endometriosis and hypothyroid, every time I have coffee, it impacts my pelvic, it swellings, sores, and sometimes cramps, so it my PMS, my heartbeat, my mood and my sleep, the experiments never get tired, the results is always the same.

  25. You are absolute right about everything you mention about coffee, but it’s so hard to convince people who are so enjoy having coffee everyday. Especially in Taiwan, there are varies coffee shops all over the island, and people seem to ignore all the warnings about what a long-term relationship with coffee will bring to them. I am someone who suffers with endometriosis and hypothyroid, every time I have coffee, it impacts my pelvic, it swellings, sores, and sometimes cramps, so is my PMS, my heartbeat, my mood and my sleep, the experiments never get tired, the results is always the same.

  26. Great resource thank you! Two things you missed out on for coffee replacements are dandelion root and there is a new coffee replacement product I’ve seen that is made of roasted figs. Dont underestimate the combination of coffee additives that are so loved like milk and sugar which also affect inflammatory responses as well as impact hormones.. Non-organic coffee is also very high in heavy metals I believe.

  27. Thank you for sharing, what about green coffee bean extract? will it have the same affect on your hormones?

  28. Your articles and the wealth of information are a godsend. I have tried to wean off caffeine for decades, and failed every time because of the brain fog which makes me unable to function, work, think. I just ordered the matcha and am going to give this another try using your tips — thank you! However, the one thing i struggle the most is the one thing omitted from these posts: not coffee itself, but the hidden caffeine in so many OTCs, foods and other items. Due to early morning brain fog headaches, I am addicted to 2 Excedrin a day… the caffeine and acetomenophin. Would these techniques here and things like tyrosine ease the bran fogs and headaches so can get off Excedrin? I tried chaga, rhodiola, Teecino chicory teas, lion’s mane… everything… and am still struggling to find a way to get off them. Any advice?

    • Hi Catherine. There is no question, caffeine is an addiction. It’s great to hear you are looking for new ways to overcome it. You might be interested in this article as well: https://hormonesbalance.com/articles/how-to-quit-coffee/

      Brain fog is often a symptom of imbalanced hormones. Have you taken our quiz to find out which hormones might be out of balance? https://hormonesbalance.com/quiz/

      When in doubt, it’s a good idea to discuss ongoing health concerns with a functional medicine practitioner. Caffeine addiction can be a tough one, and a great practitioner could help support you in making those changes. And if you have any questions for our Hormones Balance team, please send us a message at [email protected].

      – HB Team

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