The downside of coffee for many is the gut devastation. For others, if we’re talking caffeinated, not decaf, it’s the jitters.
Some women rely on it for pooping. (That’s not good by the way. We may want to restore your factory settings, because you never needed this as a child, right?)
Your DNA may determine how well you metabolize caffeine but so can presence of other stressors, whether you have eaten or not, and medications.
Caffeine may temporarily raise metabolism, boost workout intensity and fat burning. But for those of us most likely to send up a cheer, it may not be us. The caffeine kick is only really supportive for those that don’t regularly consume large quantities of caffeine (>300mg/day).
When I was in high school, I rarely drank soda. I just didn’t. I wasn’t “not drink pop.” It just wasn’t a staple at my house unless someone had the stomach flu. I’m not sure at this point how effective 7-Up was but that’s when we most often drank pop. Or with a popcorn at the movies.
So when I first went out with a guy I’d been serious about for 5 years and we hung out with others at a pizza joint, and I had a Diet Pepsi without a second thought, I was up all night. The 9pm soda was not a wise move. When I told the guy, he was like, “I was hoping that was because of me.”
Maybe I should have played my cards differently, because although the guy was great, that sleepless night was most definitely the caffeine.
The next year at college I was introduced to soda regularly for the stay-up-all-night and don’t drink your calories benefit. The summer after that I was introduced to coffee by my brother and sister-in-law and diet cokes in the afternoon. I thought I’d discovered the secret to thin Southern women: they weren’t fit, they were dehydrated since they seemed to drink Diet Coke like it was water.
Throughout college and grad school, getting up to teach 6am classes or getting energy up again to teach 4:30 classes, I relied on Diet Coke way too much. To study before my 6am start and to teach another class at 4:30 or 5:30pm, I was relying on it.
It’s about then that the caffeine stopped helping me. I didn’t just reach for a can before a class. I reached for two.
You might guess what happened next. My gut was a hot mess. And though I didn’t know at the time, artificial sweeteners in diet sodas are 400x as sweet as sugar and still can trigger blood sugar spikes.
I was unintentionally a hypocrite teaching health and fitness and living kind of a junk food life with 24-packs of soda a part of my weekly grocery list.
My Coffee Drinking Start
Then, when it wasn’t my Diet Coke, it was coffee I was introduced to during my first summer of college. That substitute was unfortunately a concoction of chemicals, bad oils and artificial sweeteners or sugar or both. But from that point on I don’t think I’ve had many mornings in my life without caffeine.
Fast forward decades. I began offering DNA testing for clients who really wanted to deep dive into their genetic predisposition for disease, identify how they can exercise and eat most optimally and have the optimal expression of their genetics by changing daily habits.
I never share something I haven’t used first. So, in addition to information like I do better to include a higher percent of endurance training than others, I do well with a slightly higher carb count, and I’m predisposed for obesity, I also learned I metabolize caffeine quickly.
A coffee-drinking girl likes that! But, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t or can’t spike a mid-life woman’s blood sugar or wreak havoc with her gut.
If you regularly have more than 300 mg caffeine a day more isn’t going to give you an ergogenic aid nor will what you’re having already. Your body has adapted. Is it better to have that prior to exercise? Possibly, so you can metabolize it. For some though it makes you jittery or negatively impact your blood sugar during exercise.
If you tolerate caffeine, don’t have much regularly or have it infrequently within 30 minutes of exercise, it can boost fat burning. It enhances fatty acid release.
But… this is the downside of coffee
58% of coffee contains mycotoxins. These nasty compounds grow from mold on beans in various stages of production.
Mycotoxins can lead to, among other things, common symptoms of menopause (so be hard to sort):
- Brain fog
- Food sensitivities
- Gut issues not previously there
- Unexplained weight gain
- Mood disorders
So, it’s one reason I made the switch to Danger Coffee.
This is another. Minerals.
When a habit you already have can get an upgrade and first, no longer give you gut issues and make you feel guilty about it, and also ADDS minerals to your body, then its double good.
Most of us – 70% – are deficient in minerals – actually 70-80% deficient in some. Important things in small amounts make the body run well. Dave Asprey has taken the opportunity to make a habit we already enjoy and load it with minerals good for us (while also removing risk of mold – bad for us).
Is Coffee Good or Bad For You?
So when the age-old question, is coffee good or bad for you comes up, the answer is, it depends. What kind are you drinking?
Consider this. If you’re using coffee as an ergogenic aid, or one to help you get through a few more hours of fasting, you’re doing both for health right? You want better exercise results. You want longevity benefits of fasting. So why would you add a coffee that may have mold or isn’t tested and openly talking about these issues?
So many things we do daily – like exercise, stress, over-the-counter medications, Rx, conditions or conditions/disease – deplete our minerals. Soil is depleted and so then the plants and animals that feed off plants are lower in mineral content. So even with a healthy diet, we likely can’t consume all the minerals we need in food alone. Making the most of what you do consume is important.
Two of the compounds in Danger Coffee actually benefit the gut. This has been a game changer for me. If you’ve listened for a while you know most mornings for 3 years now, I’ve started with matcha. Like almost entirely kicked coffee to the curb. Til now. The reason was twofold: gut health and cortisol. My gut feels good on Danger. I still am a matcha fan and yet, I’ll decide what to drink now based on how I feel and what I’m doing in the morning. I’ve got options.
The Last Downside of Coffee
If you’ve got adrenal fatigue and you’re relying on it, giving it up can be one of the ways to accelerate healing. Your cortisol levels rise, so too does blood sugar. Now, we’re all doing that to some extent. You may be in a position to tolerate it.
Cortisol is used as energy for exercise. Thus, if you’re using it strategically, and not abusing it, this can work.
If you’re coasting til noon on coffee (through a period of time I find most women in our community do well to break a fast and get a high dose of protein in)…
You could also be inhibiting your thyroid, the master metabolism gland.
Some women can absolutely tolerate it. During phases of your life you potentially could. What we each have to assess is whether it’s working right now or now.
One thing is for sure, if you drink it, do so consciously deciding on the type and timing.
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