Should you cut back on caffeine?
I get this question A LOT. Caffeine has been made into a villain, but it isn’t always a bad thing in moderation.
First off – common sense. Too much caffeine (more than 200 mg per day) is not good for anyone. But there really is no other blanket statement we can make as it affects everyone differently.
If you notice that you’re jittery or anxious, cut back. Listen to your body! I have had patients mix half regular and half decaf so they’re still getting their coffee fix, but with less of a jolt.
From a hormone health standpoint, there is some research that shows caffeine consumption impacts estrogen levels, as caffeine and estrogen share the same liver detox pathway (CYP1A2). One study even showed that 4-5 cups of coffee per day increased circulating estrogen levels by 70%.
Women with a history of endometriosis, osteoporosis, and endometrial, breast, and ovarian cancers should consider consuming caffeine sparingly.
Too much caffeine has also been shown to impact libido by increasing Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG), which binds to testosterone and reduces its bioavailability.
Here’s some tips on how to decrease your caffeine intake:
Caffeine headaches are real. If you stop abruptly, your blood vessels may suddenly enlarge and put uncomfortable pressure on the nerves surrounding your brain. Slow down gradually instead.
Shrink your cups
How big is your mug? The industry standard is 6 ounces, so you may be drinking more than you realize.
Do you need coffee to wake up in the morning? Consider a glass of water instead. You’ll feel more alert when you’re rehydrated, and you can sit down with your coffee when you get to work.
Espresso tastes more intense, but it has less caffeine than regular coffee. That’s because it’s made with Arabica beans rather than robusta. You may also want to try decaf or mix regular and decaffeinated coffee together.
Heavy coffee consumption may leave little room in your diet for the water your brain needs. Carry a refillable bottle around with you.
2 small cups of coffee per day or less and MOST women will see no significant effects (and you’ll also get the antioxidant benefits). But, make sure to pay attention to your OWN reactions and cut back accordingly.
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