If you’re a devotee of the caffeinated lifestyle, you might be a bit skeptical right now. And that makes sense! In our culture, coffee is hyped up as the ultimate productivity booster, mood brightener, and day starter.
The truth is, it has a dark side and there are tons of reasons not to drink coffee. In this post we’ll talk about a few of those, and why this popular drink can actually be very dangerous for your health.
And if quitting your daily cup actually sounds like the worst thing in the world to you, don’t you worry. At the end of this post you’ll also find a resource that will help you get totally caffeine-free in just one week, without getting blindsided by withdrawal symptoms!
Alrighty. Let’s take a deep breath and dive in!
A few days ago, a judge in California ruled that Starbucks and other coffee companies should have to post warnings because their coffee contains an ingredient that is linked to cancer. This is a huge new development, considering the fact that for so long coffee has been touted as a method of cancer prevention (this was never proven, by the way).
The toxic offender is called acrylamide. This is a carcinogen (or cancer-causing substance) that develops in certain foods—including coffee beans—when they are boiled, fried, baked, or otherwise cooked. Acrylamide is, unfortunately, produced during the coffee bean roasting process as well.
During this court case, Starbucks as well as 90 other coffee companies failed to produce solid evidence that coffee is truly healthy. It was also stated that it is not possible to remove the acrylamide without ruining the flavor of the coffee.
As if one toxic chemical wasn’t enough for our morning brew, we also have to deal with a mold toxin called Ochratoxin. Yup, mold. Pretty gross, right?
Except it isn’t just gross. Here are some other reasons why Ochratoxin should be avoided at all costs:
Like acrylamide, it has carcinogenic effects
It is associated with brain damage, hypertension, and kidney disease
It’s an immune system suppressor
It is a teratogenic (something that causes malformation of an embryo)
That’s not all. The half-life of Ochratoxin is around 35 days, meaning that if a person drinks coffee on a regular basis, the amount of Ochratoxin in their body can actually build up over time.
Hold up... if it Ochratoxin was so bad for you, wouldn’t it be regulated by the government?
And the answer is, the amount found in coffee is regulated by the government...in the EU, South Korea, Singapore, and China. But not in the US.
The only way to truly avoid it is to stop drinking coffee.
Most Americans are experiencing moderate to severe stress, and 44% say that their stress has increased in the last five years.
The last thing we need right now is more stress.
Did you know that coffee can take a significant toll on your stress hormones? When you knock back a cup of coffee, the amount of cortisol getting produced in your body rises to levels comparable to when you undergo significant stress.
According to Mayo Clinic, here’s the kind of havoc that increased stress wreaks on our bodies:
Memory and concentration impairment
Clearly, it’s important to reduce our stress levels wherever possible. One huge way to do that is to cut out caffeine.
Caffeine is a diuretic, which is news to no one. That in and of itself is not a huge issue. The problem arises from the increased loss of important minerals through our urine.
One of the biggest nutritional concerns in this realm is calcium loss, a big contributor to osteoporosis later in life. Other important nutrients that tend to be lost through urinary excretion as a result of caffeine intake include iron, magnesium, and B vitamins.
Not only that, but caffeine intake limits the amount of vitamin D your body can absorb. Unfortunately it has the same effect on calcium absorption, meaning your morning coffee is taking a one-two punch at the amount of calcium you’re actually getting to benefit from.
If I asked you what the number one reason was that you liked to drink coffee, you’d probably tell me it’s because of the energy boost, right?
Here’s the hard truth about that.
Drinking coffee leads to increased alertness, but not increased energy... and, if you’ve built up a tolerance to caffeine, it doesn’t even spike your alertness anymore! All it does is bring you back to equilibrium—aka, where you would normally have been had you never started drinking coffee. Check out this post for more information on this. It’s called caffeine fatigue, and it’s the reason we feel “hooked” on coffee once we’ve started to drink it regularly.
When caffeine fatigue sets in, you’ve got two options if you want to feel good again: continually up your caffeine amount to increasingly toxic levels, or stop drinking it.
As we just talked about, caffeine doesn’t lead to an increase in energy.
In fact, it is known to mess with the quality of your sleep. If you’re like most (well... make that 100%) of humanity, you need your sleep to survive, and diminished sleep quality is pretty much a guarantee that you’ll wake up with less energy than usual.
Not only will coffee mess with your sleep quality, research shows that people who drink a cup six whole hours before hitting the hay actually lose an average of one hour of sleep.
I don’t know about you, but I’m getting a little sad even just thinking about unintentionally losing an entire hour of sleep, and adding low-quality zzz’s for the rest of the night onto that.
But there’s another way—we don’t have to keep giving up our sleep!
Why, oh why, do people continue to drink coffee if it puts their health at risk, robs them of sleep and important nutrients, hikes up their stress, and contains dangerous chemicals?
The biggest reason people continue to drink coffee is because they’re simply addicted to it! Caffeine is a drug, and like any other drug it is hard to quit once you’re hooked. If you’re a coffee enthusiast, you’ve probably experienced the nasty withdrawal symptoms before and so you’re hesitant to go through that again.
Luckily, your friends here at Sutra have put together an awesome resource for you if you’ve made the choice to stop drinking coffee—a reasonable choice, considering the info in this post! Click here if you’d like to learn how to quit coffee with minimal or even zero withdrawal symptoms in just one week.
If you’re looking for a substitute for that warm, satisfying cup in the morning, SUTRA is a spectacular alternative. SUTRA Black and Gold both deliver a boatload of health benefits while also providing natural, drug-free, chemical-free energy. Keep scrolling for more info!
Want to try our the SUTRA Black and Gold we've been raving about? The energy boosting superfoods and have ZERO caffeine? Try our healthy SUTRA's below!
SUTRA Black is a delicious activated charcoal detox drink that boosts energy naturally through the use of healing superfoods, without negative effects of caffeine and tastes like a smooth and flavorful hot cocoa. It's the perfect way to start each day or use as an afternoon pick-me-up. Add this delicious wellness superfood to your daily routine in place of coffee or to lessen your daily intake of caffeine.
It contains cacao for natural energy, activated charcoal for a deep detox, reishi for increased memory function, coconut milk for gut health, cinnamon/cayenne for a metabolism boost, vanilla/stevia for a touch of sweetness.
Our SUTRA Gold is a delicious antioxidant rich golden milk that boosts your energy naturally through the use of healing superfoods without the negative effects of caffeine. In fact it tastes like a smooth and flavorful chai latte. It’s the perfect way to start each day or use as an afternoon pick-me-up. Add this delicious wellness superfood to your daily routine in place of coffee or to lessen your daily intake of caffeine.
We combined inflammation fighting turmeric, energy-boosting maca powder, soothing ginger, gut-healing coconut milk, cinnamon /black pepper for a metabolism boost, and vanilla/ stevia for a touch of sweetness.
I’m a college lifestyle blogger on a mission to inspire other college kids to seek out adventure and live healthy, positive lives. Ever since about tenth grade I’ve been obsessed with all things health and fitness, and I love teaching what I’ve learned. In my free time you’ll probably find me writing, lifting, or doting on my handsome cat. Click here if you want to know more!