A Love Affair with Coffee

by on September 1, 2017

I love coffee, most of us love coffee. It’s part of a daily ritual of starting the day and the calm before the rush of the day. To be completely honest, I could drink coffee all day, 3 or 4 cups of it, easy. I’ve spent lots of time living in Colombia and I love how they drink coffee after lunch and take a break in the afternoon to sit down and drink coffee. Despite this deep love for the drink, I stop myself from drinking too much and I periodically take long breaks from coffee. 

Ask yourself the question (and answer honestly): “Do I need coffee?” In other words, are you addicted to coffee? If the answer is yes, then you need to take a break from it. In fact if you have any of the following, you should take a break from coffee:

  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • PCOS
  • Hormone imbalances 
  • PMS
  • Insomnia
  • Diabetes 
  • Acid reflux / GERD
  • IBS
  • High blood pressure

Coffee acts as a stimulant, stimulating adrenaline and cortisol production, giving us a feeling of alertness. Coffee also stimulated dopamine production, leaving us feeling motivated and ready to take on the day. These are all great, but if your body is already in adrenal fatigue and you feel like you can’t function without coffee, then it’s like using your credit card knowing you can’t pay it off – you’re getting energy your body doesn’t actually have. The result of this will be blood sugar imbalance with cravings later in the day and an afternoon crash. Coffee can also make PMS symptoms worse, increase breast tenderness associated with the menstrual cycle and worsen hot flashes. 

Sure, coffee has lots of health benefits and it’s actually a superfood. Coffee is full of antioxidants and lots of runners actually use it before a race to improve their performance. These are great effects, but what’s even greater is to take coffee for these effects and not use it as a crutch.


Does giving up coffee seem scary? I know, trust me, I’ve done it several times and it’s just as painful each time. I would suggest weaning off slowly and even switching to decaf for a week. Check out the method I use here. Make sure you’re drinking lots of water to help prevent headaches during the few days of withdrawal.

Here are my favourite go-to’s when I’m not having coffee:

  • Green tea (still has caffeine but is balanced with L-theanine, which has a calming effect)
  • Turmeric Latte
  • Macaccino (by Organic Traditions) – this does contain coconut sugar though
  • Green smoothie
  • Hot water with lemon

Are you ready to take the challenge? Your hormones and adrenal glands will thank you!


Dr Renée Purdy is a naturopathic doctor in Moncton, New Brunswick. In her practice, she values making health achievable and long lasting. She explores the mind, body, soul connection in health, and her approach includes using food as medicine, mindfulness, herbal medicine, acupuncture and lifestyle coaching. Her focus is on digestive health, hormone balance, thyroid health, and adrenal health. Check out her My Soul Challenge if you’d like to bring more mindfulness into your life.

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