Hello, my name is Savannah and I’m addicted to coffee. Hi, Savannah. Or at least I was until I began this crazy journey to heal my hormones and my skin. Sorry Lorelei Gilmore, this girl can’t do “coffee, coffee, coffee” anymore. If you’ve had hormone issues*, hormonal acne or maybe you’re just curious, today’s post is for you. I’m sharing everything I’ve learned along the way in the crazy journey to clear my skin and heal my body. And if you’re looking to decide if it’s time to break up with your coffee habit, you’re in the right place. Let’s chat caffeine + hormones.
Today’s disclaimer: ultimately you have to decide what is right for you. Despite what I’ve learned and what the studies I’ve gathered say, there is alway the potential to be biased. I’m sure there’s still more studying to be done with the relationship between caffeine + hormones. If you think it’s something that could potentially be affecting you, don’t be afraid to bring it up with your doctor or consider doing an elimination diet. You are the best advocate for your body.
How Caffeine Affects Your Body
This is a rather large topic that can be contingent on your sex, race and medical history. However, in the general case of women, caffeine is known to disrupt ovulation, increase infertility and elevate cortisol levels (1). In post menopausal women, there is an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease if you drink coffee and take hormones. It also can result in decreased iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium absorption (2).
For most women, caffeine has been shown to increase estrogen levels (3). In general, it acts as a stimulant within the body in the central nervous system (aka your brain & spinal cord). Caffeine can increase your heart rate, blood flow and body temperature. It’s also recognized as an addictive substance by the World Health Organization (4).
WHO SHOULD PROBABLY AVOID IT
If you’re looking to get pregnant or you are pregnant, it’s highly recommended that you avoid caffeine. There is an 87% increased rate of miscarriage for women & men who consume 3 or more cups of coffee per day (1). If you deal with anxiety, cutting back on the coffee might be a good idea as well. And for those who suffer from PCOS, hormonal acne or other hormonal issues, decreasing your caffeine consumption is also a good idea.
HOW TO KNOW WHEN YOU NEED TO CUT IT BACK
For me, the decision to cut back on my caffeine consumption came after my Everly Well Women’s Health test*. Learning that my cortisol levels were raised and that my body wasn’t properly flushing out estrogen prompted some serious change. I also heard someone I follow via instagram mention how they found their body did better with less caffeine for half their cycle. Truthfully though, it will depend on you.
If you’re already heavily dealing with anxiety, struggle to sleep or have an irregular period, you might benefit from less caffeine. Maybe you’re like me an looking to heal your hormonal acne and balance your hormones. If you think that consuming less coffee or caffeine will help your hormones, it probably wouldn’t hurt to try.
Personally, I opt for decaf lattes half of the month. During my luteal and menstrual phases, I find I’m more prone to uterine fibroids. However, decreasing my caffeine consumption to either half caf or no caf has been major for me. If I didn’t track my cycle using MyFlo*, I never would have noticed the difference. Now thankfully, I’m able to make the switch and find that my skin looks clearer and my periods are better.
WHAT ARE THE BEST ALTERNATIVES
As we learned during February’s fast, giving up coffee is hard. And really you end up trading one vice for another. I’ve tried quite a few of the herbal coffees on the market. None really blew me away. But if you’re looking to make a new, turmeric lattes, matcha lattes and even decaf coffee can be great alternatives. There’s also the option to switch to Four Sigmatic* (ps. use code: whatsavvysaid to save 10%). Or you can always go back to basics with warm water and lemon.
Inevitably, some of us are more sensitive to coffee and caffeine than others. If you’re over consuming coffee, it can’t hurt to cut back. And if you’re drinking coffee before eating each day, you may potentially be doing more harm than good to your blood sugar levels. If you choose to consume caffeine, be mindful and drink it in moderation.
Have you cut out or cut back on the caffeine? I’d love to know. Leave me a comment below and let me know how you are handling caffeine in your diet. Until next time. Xoxo, Savvy
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