coffee substitute

Healthy Alternatives To Coffee

too much coffeeIf you need to kick the caffeine habit there are many alternatives to coffee that taste just as delicious and can provide the necessary energy to get moving. There are many possible reasons why you might need to stop coffee, including stress, anxiety or a medical condition that requires you to completely cut out caffeine.  One of the most common health conditions coffee exacerbates is acid reflux (GERD). Coffee is actually fairly acidic and can cause issues for those predisposed to problems with stomach acid. Other issues include weight gain. Researchers found that too much coffee, including decaffeinated, resulted in a change in the utilization of fat in the liver and caused abnormal retention of fat within cells. This resulted in a higher degree of glucose intolerance and increased insulin resistance. Caffeine can also stimulate cortisol which leads to more stress and binge eating. Typically if you suffer from high blood pressure, sleep issues, headaches or bladder issues your doctor will tell you to cut out coffee. Regardless of your reasons, there are other alternatives to that cup of morning joe.

Wait, why not decaf? 

Decaf coffee isn’t totally decaffeinated and is actually more acidic than regular coffee. On top of that because of the extraction process using somewhat unsavory chemicals like methylene chloride, a base for paint strippers, and ethyl acetate, a dry cleaning fluid – it just doesn’t taste as good. There are options out there that are even preferred over a cup of Colombian roast.

Here’s a full list of all the alternatives to coffee and the health benefits. As you look at different alternatives make sure to look deep in the label. What are the benefits of the ingredients? Does it have added sugar? Does it use any chemical processes to extract the ingredients the way decaf does?

Finding a substitute that is right for you requires some trial and error. Some coffee substitutes are sweeter while others have that more dark rich flavor that traditional coffee drinkers love. Most coffee substitutes can be mixed with regular coffee if your goal is to not cut out coffee completely but rather to supplement and lower your caffeine intake. Check out our caffeine calculator to see whether you’re getting too much caffeine. You might find that you are exceptionally sensitive to caffeine, in which case even the slightest amount may make your heart race.


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How To Break The Coffee Addiction

coffee-addiction-caffeineIn such a fast paced world it’s easy to get addicted to something that helps boost energy levels in the short-term. But it’s more of a roller coaster ride as blood sugar increases and energy drops back down, with all sorts of other effects like increased stress, anxiety and less sleep. Caffeine addiction may be mild but it’s real for many people who try to stop all of a sudden. Each cup of coffee or caffeinated beverage causes a release of the adrenal glands and it impersonates a chemical that helps us stay feeling relaxed called adenosine. Too much regular coffee usage can result in a state of exhaustion, making you more and more tired and taking more coffee to get the desired effect. This is when your adrenal glands have been truly depleted.

Quitting coffee usually only produces mild symptoms but they can be quite disruptive. Headaches are common since caffeine constricts the blood levels in the brain (that’s why you see caffeine in so many headache medicines). Of course caffeine can also cause headaches. It’s best to avoid excessive excess sugar as this can exacerbate the symptoms. A little extra sleep will do wonders to help your body recharge and get back in order.

If you’re a regular coffee drinker you don’t need to quit all at once. It’s recommended to first cut out any coffee or caffeine ingestion after 2PM. You can supplement with Ramon seeds, Teeccino or Malero coffee alternatives. Once you’ve acclimated to the reduced coffee intake and gotten some more rest reduce another cup by using your favorite coffee substitute. You can also mix coffee substitutes with your regular coffee in order to reduce the dosage, this method is preferred by most since they still get some coffee kick and caffeine but at reduced levels. After a period of weeks your body will acclimate and you’ll no longer crave coffee in order to function about your day. You’ll have more energy, be able to sleep more soundly and be more productive.




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Coffee and Weight Loss

caffeine-fat-weight-loss-sugar-foodsCoffee and especially its key ingredient caffeine have been shown to lead to weight gain in several studies. One from the Western Australian Institute for Medical Research wasn't even looking into weight changes but came upon it in their data. They found that too much coffee, including decaffeinated, resulted in a change in the utilization of fat in the liver and caused abnormal retention of fat within cells. This resulted in a higher degree of glucose intolerance and increased insulin resistance. Caffeine in particular has been known to stimulate cortisol production. Cortisol is the stress hormone that was originally designed to give us a jolt to face a danger or stressful situation. This helped to save us from an imminent physical threat. Cortisol serves another purpose in that it promotes the release of insulin which we need to move glucose into our cells.

When you have a stressful period you typically feel an increased hunger, because cortisol is creating a run on blood sugar.

What's most surprising is that caffeine is included as an ingredient in many weight loss aids. While it may temporarily result in some benefit as it stimulants the nervous system and may increase metabolism, that effect is temporary and negated by the increase in cortisol and increased fat retention. For those that consume coffee after 2pm it may lead to decreased sleep, less sleep can lead to increased cortisol levels which would result in more eating.

Caffeine can induce hypoglycemia. It's thought this is because it impairs glucose metabolism. Glucose is a very critical source of energy for cells the body constantly works to keep the fuel flowing and within a normal range so you feel good and can continue on. When hypoglycemia comes on it results in headaches, fatigue, mood changes and a beating heart. Caffeine inhibits the release of GABA, which keeps us alert and is used by our body to communicate between nerve cells. When GABA is low it can result in anxiety and mood disorders.

On its own a cup of coffee only has a handful of calories but many prefer to add, cream, sugar and milk - this can easily add 100 calories. In fact, a latte can easily have as many calories as a piece of pizza as it's loaded with milk and sugar. Because of all these reasons many people have found that after quitting a long regular use of caffeine they experience weight loss.


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