This is more of a personal story than a list of facts, but here it is anyway:
From the standpoint of metabolism and adrenal recovery, caffeine is not the most helpful. It can tax the adrenals and spike cortisol making it difficult to completely restore the metabolism.
It is also used as a “diet aid”, as it can suppress the appetite and artificially speed up the system. This can only work for so long, eventually causing burnout, crashing and probably a slower system altogether in the long run.
I have been very addicted to coffee in the past. It was a crutch to my “intuitive eating”, and I would use it to stretch the time and hunger in between my “intuitive meals”. This was at a time when I was not eating very many carbs, and coffee was not only my appetite suppression, but my energy. I would always drink coffee with cream and no sugar. It was always the thing that I would go for if I was hungry but it wasn’t mealtime and I needed something to tie me over- it was very much my “happy” little vice.
It got to the point where no matter how much caffeine I drank, I didn’t feel a thing, yet I always craved it.
And while I don’t think that a life without coffee is anything that needs to be remedied, (if you don’t drink coffee, I am not telling you to start) my attempts at cutting out coffee completely made me sad! I really like coffee. I like the taste and I like the morning ritual. I didn’t want to be addicted to it, but I didn’t want to live without it completely either.
Adding It Back In
Of course we know that anything can be used and abused, coffee being a prime example of that, and caffeine is also addictive (they tell me). But after a few months without coffee at all (and upping my carbs) I decided to add it back in, thanks to reading Ray Peat.
He is a fan of coffee and claims that it supports the thyroid. How does that information compete with the evidence that it depletes your adrenals? No clue. One is wrong, both are wrong, one is right, one is wrong. Both are right. I don’t care. However, he always suggests it be consumed with food, or at least sugar. so it doesn’t spike and crash your blood sugar, which I have taken to heart.
So, I started back in with one in the morning with my breakfast….
and guess what?…
Having more carbs in general in my diet, makes me crave coffee way less as the day goes on. My body isn’t crying out for energy and stimulation as much as its used to be. And when I think I want a coffee in the afternoon like I used to have (due to boredom, or thirst, or hunger) imagining myself actually drinking a coffee -I realize I do not actually want it at all.
I happened to get my blood tested one morning after my coffee in that first week that I had added coffee back in, and the results came back without any elevated cortisol, so…. booya!
One cup (often a STRONG one) in the morning seems to end up being enough.
And I am very thrilled by the moderation…
Note: This is not a very scientific post…. obviously, but I figure some of you would like to know that a small to moderate amount of coffee isn’t going to senselessly ravage your adrenals.
Still, don’t forget about sleeping, working on stress, and eating food over drinking coffee, and you can probably indulge moderately.
So Fuck It! And drink a little coffee if you want.