December 11th, 2020
December 11th, 2020
Why can’t you drink coffee or have caffeine on a detox or cleanse? Find out what caffeine really does to your body and how you can wean yourself off of caffeine.
One of the most popular questions we see in the Your Super Community is about coffee.
Specifically: Why isn’t coffee allowed on the 5-Day Detox?
While research shows that coffee is rich in antioxidants and has certain health benefits, there’s a downside to coffee, especially during a detox. And that’s caffeine.
Because caffeine crosses the blood-brain barrier, it’s classified as a psychoactive drug. In fact, caffeine is the most widely used drug in the world.
In the United States, more than 90% of adults consume caffeine regularly. The average consumption is more than 200 mg of caffeine per day. That’s more caffeine than two cups of coffee or five cans of soda.
As far as nutritional value, caffeine doesn’t provide any on its own.
Caffeine is absorbed through the gut, specifically the small intestines. Once it's dissolved into the bloodstream, it travels to the liver where it's metabolised and broken down into compounds that affect different organs.
CAFFEINE & THE NERVOUS SYSTEM
For the most part, caffeine’s biggest effect is on the brain. It stimulates the central nervous system by increasing alertness while blocking the effects of adenosine, a neurotransmitter that relaxes the brain and makes you feel tired.
CAFFEINE & THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM
Caffeine affects both the digestive and excretory systems. Those who consume caffeine often report experiencing heartburn. This is because caffeine increases the amount of acid in the stomach.
Ever wonder why you always have to “go” after drinking your morning cup (or two) of coffee? It’s probably the caffeine! Excess caffeine is processed in the liver and is removed through urine.
At the same time, caffeine can also “wakes up” your bowels. Because caffeine is a stimulant, it increases peristalsis, the contractions that move food through your digestive tract.
CAFFEINE & THE CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
After you sip (or chug) your morning cup of coffee, caffeine enters the bloodstream quickly. And studies have shown caffeine can temporarily increase blood pressure.
Caffeine can also cause your heart rate to increase, but this usually occurs only after drinking large amounts of caffeine.
We all know how caffeine consumption can significantly mess with your sleep. But the negative effects of caffeine go much further than that.
While low to moderate caffeine consumption is generally safe, higher doses can increase your risk of developing certain health problems.
Because caffeine crosses the placenta, women who are pregnant are also advised to reduce their caffeine consumption or avoid it completely.
What’s more, recent studies show that some caffeine users become addicted to or dependent on caffeine. Because of this, the World Health Organization (WHO) and some health care professionals recognise caffeine dependence as a clinical disorder.
Caffeine (especially from coffee), can interfere with your body’s natural detoxification process. According to Dr. Mark Hyman, “Constituents in coffee can interfere with normal drug metabolism and detoxification in the liver, making it difficult to regulate the normal detoxification process in the liver.”
Caffeine also increases your stress hormones. The stress response elicits cortisol and increases insulin, which increases inflammation and makes you feel terrible.
Relatedly, caffeine can trigger the release of adrenaline — the source of your “fight or flight” response. While this response is useful for life-threatening situations, it’s not so great for conducting everyday business.
While coffee, matcha (or green tea) and guarana all contain caffeine, the body metabolises each one differently.
Coffee: Caffeine in coffee enters the bloodstream almost instantly. It only takes 45 minutes for 99% of the caffeine in coffee to be absorbed in the body.
Matcha: The caffeine in matcha binds with the catechins (antioxidants). The combining of these two molecules slows down the rate that caffeine is released into the bloodstream. Matcha also contains L-theanine. And when it’s combined with caffeine, it has a calming effect.
Guarana: Guarana is a South American fruit that’s commonly added to energy drinks. It contains tannins, which is believed to slow down the release of caffeine.
If you think you’ll have trouble giving up coffee or other caffeine sources during the detox, reduce the amount you drink at least a week before you plan to start the detox.
Here is a sample plan to reduce your caffeine intake before detoxing:
Day 1-2: Reduce the amount of coffee (or soda) you drink by HALF. (Ex: If you normally drink 4 cups, only drink 2 cups.)
Day 3-4: Limit yourself to one cup of coffee (decaf, if possible!) or one matcha latte using Power Matcha.
Day 5-7: Drink only herbal tea (unlike green or black tea, herbal teas are caffeine-free).
WHAT ABOUT CAFFEINE WITHDRAWLS?
Caffeine withdrawals are very common if you reduce the amount of caffeine you drink, or you stop drinking it cold tofu.
Common symptoms include headache, fatigue, difficulty concentrating and irritability — just to name a few.
If you experience these symptoms, here are a couple of things you can do:
Caffeine not only a stimulant, but also a drug. Because caffeine is metabolized in the liver, which is your body’s main filtration system, caffeine is prohibited while doing the 5-Day Detox. Caffeine also affects the digestive system, which is part of the body’s internal detoxification system.
If you drink coffee or caffeine regularly, try to wean yourself off of caffeine before starting the detox. During the detox, remember to drink lots of water.
What about coffee after the detox? We personally don't drink coffee. On the days we need an extra boost in energy, we’ll drink Power Matcha or add some Energy Bomb to our smoothies. However, we don’t use it every single day.
If you do choose to drink coffee, limit yourself to one cup and make sure you’re not turning it into a liquid candy bar by adding sugar or dairy milk.
Do you drink coffee? How do your boost your energy?
Reset your body and improve your overall health with our Detox Bundle! This bundle was designed to improve sleep, reduce bloating, and boost energy and focus.
Written by Kristel