Q&A: What's the deal with coffee?

Ah, coffee.

While I’m not a coffee drinker {safe to say I bounce off the walls enough without it!} and tend to be one of those weirdly enthusiastic morning people without the help of caffeine, this is a question I get all too often. Is coffee good? Bad? Should I get off it? How do I know if it’s okay for me?

Here’s my honest take at the most basic level.

 I believe that there’s nothing inherently wrong with coffee. Just like chocolate. And wine. And basically any other food. I’m not into labeling things good or bad, as if you’re an angel for eating kale but you’ve gone and frigged up if, god forbid, you have some pizza sometimes. What it really comes down to is our relationship with it. There’s a difference between going for a coffee with friends to enjoy it in a healthy social setting vs. needing a constant IV drip of the stuff to keep you functioning in your day to day life. Just like having a glass of wine with dinner could be healthy good times, but drinking a whole bottle to yourself every night because you hate your life might be slightly problematic. If you rely on coffee as if it’s the be all and end all to get you out of bed and surviving work every single day, it may be worth assessing if this is a habit to keep moving forwards.

The big question: should you ditch it?

Real talk. I can tell you from what I’ve observed personally in friends and clients that almost everyone I’ve seen quit it has felt heaps better. They’ve all reported more stable, grounded energy, after the initial adjustment phase – ironic, one might think, given that most of us use coffee as the ultimate productivity booster and pick me up. So there’s that. At the end of the day, there’s only one way to find out how your body really feels about coffee {or any food/substance, for that matter}, and that’s to take a breather from it for a while.

A few things to keep in mind:

+ If you’re a high-strung personality and are always copin’ them anxious feels, you’ll probably do better and feel calmer off coffee. Caffeine tends to heighten anxiety for most people, so if you already tend to the erratic rabid squirrel side of the spectrum, you’re best passing on this one.

+ For my friends with adrenal issues, fatigue, and difficulties sleeping, coffee is likely not the best option for you either {sorry}.

+ The best way to find out how your body feels about caffeine? Get off it for a period of time and assess for yourself. If you’re a multi-cup-a-day user, cut back slowly to one cup daily before going off completely, and remember to drink plenty of water and eat regular balanced meals to help stave off withdrawal pangs and headaches. {Green tea is also a good option if you’d like something mildly caffeinated to ease the transition.}

+ If you’re an otherwise healthy person with plenty of energy and stable moods who doesn’t drink an excessive amount of coffee or rely on it to function, you’re probably just fine. Carry on as you were. Or, if you’re curious to see how you feel off it, why not experiment for a few weeks? You may surprise yourself and find you feel even better without it!

The takeaway: the single best way to know if it is or isn’t right for you personally is to try a period without it and see how you feel. Instead of labeling foods as good or bad {and consequently bringing guilt into the picture unnecessarily}, let’s focus on the relationship and reliance we have on them and how they honestly make us feel. Cool? 

So, what about you? Are you a coffee drinker? Have you ever tried without it? I’d love to hear your thoughts, and as always – any questions, holla at me! x