Ten Reasons to Quit Your Coffee!

by

Coffee: is it good or bad for us?

You might get media whiplash trying to figure that out.  The truth is, I find this subject to be as confusing as you probably do.  After all, the media certainly doesn’t help clarify whether America’s favorite cup of joe is going to land you in the Doc’s office or set you free with a clean bill of health.  

And when one night’s news report conflicts with another’s blatantly contradictory messages, it is no wonder why so many of you shrug your shoulders in utter confusion as you refill your morning mug and get on with your day!  And with the velvety aroma and promise of energy from that caffeine jolt, you might rather just assume that there must be something to those beneficial claims…

I know all about this adoration of coffee.

I too was smitten and enamored with Coffea Arabica. We had our courtship during the 1990’s when I worked over 80 hours in the emergency room and saw 30 to 40 patients a day. I traded sleep for espresso, authentic energy for Haagen Daz coffee ice cream and normal circadian rhythms for high speed caffeinated adrenaline rushes. 

But then, my body began to communicate to me what I had been attempting to not hear – slow down and let the natural systems assume their proper course. You can read more about how I successfully turned my health around here.

As I began to tune into my body and provide it with what it really wanted – fresh, whole, real, unprocessed foods, sleep, relaxation, and the time to enjoy the life I had created for myself and my family – I was able to break up with coffee and make up with my health.  You can too and I’m going to tell you how.  But first, let’s discuss what makes coffee such a hot topic widely disputed in today’s health circles.

While there are many controversies about coffee’s role in the prevention of Parkinson’s disease to breast cancer, I’m mostly interested in the conversation relating to its effect on blood sugar metabolism.  If you have read my latest book, The Blood Sugar Solution, then you already know how insulin resistance and inflammation are at the core of modern day chronic diseases.

The single most important healthy habit all of us can adopt is to manage our blood sugar by decreasing the triggers that push it out of balance.  Curious if coffee is one of those triggers?

As Dr. Walter C. Willet of Harvard School of Public Health says, “Coffee is an amazingly potent collection of biologically active compounds.”  Like any food-like substance, coffee has far reaching effects on the body and needs to be respected as a potent drug.

Caffeine, perhaps the most widely appreciated “drug” compound in coffee, only makes up a mere one to two percent of the bean.  The chlorogenic acids, caffeol, polyphenols, phytoestrogens and diterpenes are now beginning to be researched on their effects on human health and glucose metabolism as well.

In the 1980’s and 1990’s several prospective cohort studies were done to investigate the correlation between coffee and diabetes.  Many of those studies reported that there is an inverse dose-dependent association with the risk of type 2 diabetes.

This means that for reasons still unclear, all those research studies found that the more coffee people with normal blood sugar drank, the less risk appeared for developing type 2 diabetes. Several constituents in coffee might be responsible for these consistent findings.

Chlorogenic acid in coffee might inhibit glucose-6-phosphatase, an enzyme which regulates blood sugar metabolism in the liver.  It could also be due to the indisputably high levels of antioxidants which have a benign effect on insulin sensitivity. Not surprisingly, the news channels then sounded the bell that coffee was protective, and we all enjoyed our cup of joe without any remorse.

Until the next report.

Some curious minds wanted to know exactly who was protected. And why? How? These studies showed that in people with type 2 diabetes coffee intake was correlated with insulin spikes and increased blood sugar after a meal. Further research has shown that the caffeine in coffee might be the culprit responsible for the secretion of higher levels of insulin from the pancreas.

Clearly higher insulin and glucose levels are not the work we want to bestow on a body healing from insulin resistance.  Considering that diabesity affects nearly 1.7 billion people worldwide and growing, the nightly news now sounded the alarm of caution that perhaps our coffee habit is a detrimental addiction needing to be kicked to the curb.

I often am asked why coffee is removed from my programs. While certain populations of people may tolerate coffee and even enjoy some health benefits, it is evident that it is not for everyone.  Chances are if you are reading this either you or someone you care about is sick, inflamed, hormonally imbalanced, nutritionally-compromised, over worked, stressed out, fatigued, depressed, and toxic.  Coffee is not part of the medicine required for your healing.

Here are 10 reasons why:

  1. The caffeine in coffee increases catecholamines, your stress hormones.  The stress response elicits cortisol and increases insulin.  Insulin increases inflammation and this makes you feel lousy.
  2. Habituation to caffeine decreases insulin sensitivity, making it difficult for your cells to respond appropriately to blood sugar.  High blood sugar levels lead to arterial deterioration and increased risk of mortality related to cardiovascular disease.
  3. Unfiltered coffee has the highest amount of beneficial antioxidants yet also leaks the most diterpenes into your system.  These diterpenes have been linked to higher levels of triglycerides, LDL and VLDL levels.
  4. The helpful chlorogenic acids which may delay glucose absorption in the intestine have also been shown to increase homocysteine levels- an indicator for increased risk of cardiovascular disease which tends to be elevated in diabesity.
  5. The acidity of coffee is associated with digestive discomfort, indigestion, heart burn, GERD and dysbiosis (imbalances in your gut flora).
  6. Addiction is often an issue with coffee drinkers and makes it really difficult to rely on the body’s natural source of energy.  Ask any coffee drinker about how it feels to withdraw from coffee, and you will mistake their story for that of a drug addict’s…
  7. Associative addictions trend with coffee – who doesn’t immediately think of warm, frothy sweet cream and sugar when they picture coffee?  Surely the business of coffee has inspired a culture addicted to the sugary, fatty tastes of what has become more of a meal then a drink! That morning latte is the epitome of food lacking nutrition density yet packing energy!
  8. 5-HIA, an organic acid and component of the neurotransmitter serotonin ( the happy chemical) seen in the urine tends to be elevated in coffee drinkers which means they may be at risk for lower levels of serotonin synthesis in the brain.  Serotonin is necessary for normal sleep, bowel function, mood, and energy levels.  It is a vicious cycle as caffeine can disrupt sleep and promote anxiety and depression. We all know someone who tends to be tired, wired and over caffeinated!
  9. Elevated urinary excretion of important minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium have been noted in coffee drinkers. An imbalance in your electrolyte status can lead to serious systemic complications.
  10. 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.  Another issue to be aware of with coffee intake is how certain medications such as levothyroxine (thyroid) as well as tricyclic antidepressants are poorly absorbed, making symptoms curiously worse for patients.

Now what… If you think you can’t cut that coffee out, think again.  I did it and now I want you to feel the same level of renewal and restoration I experienced. It’s a wise experiment to provide yourself a break from coffee intake and see what it feels like to live your life on your own fuel.  Remove coffee and caffeine safely from your system and see how authentically energized you feel!

How to Avoid Withdrawal Symptoms

Those who consume the most caffeine, alcohol and sugar, and those who have the highest toxic load, tend to have the most difficulty initially. In any event, symptoms of withdrawal usually disappear after three or four days. It is best to slowly reduce your intake of caffeine and coffee.

  1. Make sure you drink at least six to eight glasses of filtered water daily.  Instead of coffee in the morning, take some warm water with freshly squeezed lemon juice.
  2. The best water to drink is water that has been passed through a filtering process. Common and inexpensive filters are available such as carbon filters like the ones Brita makes. The best filter is a reverse osmosis filter that puts the water through a multi-step process to remove microbes, pesticides, metals, and other toxins. This can be installed under the sink. It’s a great filtering system and cheaper over the long run. Avoid water in plastic bottles which contains phthalates, a toxic petrochemical. Mineral water or still water in glass bottles is also acceptable.
  3. To prevent headaches, make sure your bowels are clean. If you tend toward constipation, follow the steps to address constipation in my book, The UltraSimple Diet or work with one of my nutrition coaches.
  4. If you are tired, allow more time for sleep.
  5. Take 1,000 mg buffered vitamin C with breakfast and dinner.
  6. Make sure you exercise daily to help fight off fatigue.  Even simple walking is good.  30 minutes daily.
  7. Some people rely on substituting coffee for real food. When you are hungry make sure to eat and do not let your blood sugar get low. Have some protein in the afternoon such as a handful of nuts or seeds like almonds, pecans, walnuts, or pumpkin seeds, cooked beans, or a piece of steamed or baked fish.
  8. If you’re irritable or have trouble sleeping, take a combination of calcium citrate 500 mg and magnesium citrate 250mg before bed.
  9. Drink 1-3 cups of GREEN TEA.  The small amount of caffeine won’t hurt and the antioxidants will heal.
  10. Take a sauna or heat therapy in a bath.  See my book, The Ultra Simple Diet for how to create an UltraBath.
  11. Practice pressing the pause button.  Withdrawal can be stressful and research has shown that meditation and other mindful activities can help calm an over-stimulated and stressed system while boosting the immune system.
  12. Keep a journal and track your symptoms.  Note the difference in quality of energy you experience while off of coffee.
  13. Consider a complete elimination program and avoid all refined sugars, flours, caffeine, alcohol, dairy, gluten and any other addictive substance.  By allowing certain triggers to stay in the diet the body stays on the vicious cycle of cravings and addictive behavior.  Reset your biology by eliminating all these dietary triggers for inflammation and fatigue.

Take this quiz to find out how toxic you are.

I know this is a difficult goal but I assure you that your body and mind will thank you.  The sense of calm, clarity and restful sleep will reward you with the simple pleasures of innate health and an energy that is rightfully yours.

Now I’d like to hear from you…

Are you addicted to coffee and need caffeine to get through your day?

What have you tried to break free from caffeine and what worked best for you?

Have you developed an appreciation for teas and if so, which are your favorite?

Please leave your thoughts by adding a comment below – but remember, we can’t offer personal medical advice online, so be sure to limit your comments to those about taking back our health!

To your good health,

Mark Hyman, MD

Resources:

van Dam RM, Willett WC, Manson JE, Hu FB.  2006.  “Coffee, caffeine, and risk of type 2 diabetes: a prospective cohort study in younger and middle-aged U.S. women.” Diabetes Care (2) 398-403

Tuomilehto J, Hu G, Bidel S, et al.  2004.  “Coffee Consumption and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Among Middle-aged Finnish Men and Women.” JAMA 291: 1213-9.

Moisey LL, Kacker S, Bickerton AC, Robinson LE, Graham TE. 2008. “Caffeinated coffee consumption impairs blood glucose homeostasis in response to high and low glycemic index meals in healthy men.”  Am J Clin Nutr  87 (5): 1254-1261

Lane JD, Feinglos MN, Surwit, RS. 2008. “Caffeine Increases Ambulatory Glucose and Postprandial Responses in Coffee Drinkers With Type 2 Diabetes.” Diabetes Care. 31(2): 221-222

180 Responses to Ten Reasons to Quit Your Coffee!

  1. Scoobyb4me June 13, 2012 at 10:02 pm #

    Thank you so much for this information. I have hypothyroid and have tried almost everything to get myself on track, except, coffee. I drink it every day. Will try to cut it out completely to see if it helps :-0) thanks again.

    • JACQUELINE August 10, 2014 at 1:56 pm #

      Thank you for all the valuable information that you have researched & provided via PBS specials & your books.
      I have viewed several of the programs & recorded them so as to review. I also have you book,The Blood Sugar Solution.” Excellent ,very detailed ,great reading! Thank you. I have a question regarding water consumption in
      your book, as stated previously I saw no mention of ,” Alkaline water consumption .” Having a filter, to filter out
      the impurities and bringing it to a more alkaline state about 9.0 PH vs an acidic state . Can you comment on this, please .
      Thank you again.

  2. Scoobyb4me June 13, 2012 at 10:06 pm #

    Thank you so much for posting this on coffee. I have hypothyroidism and have tried everything to get on track to no avail. I’m going to try to get off coffee, see it it works.

  3. Scooby June 13, 2012 at 10:34 pm #

    Thank you so very much for this article on coffee. I have hypothyroidism and have tried just about everything to get my body back on track. I’ll see if getting off coffee will help. Thanks again!

    • Lana April 20, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

      You may want to look into the effect of gluten on thyroid function and start eliminating gluten in all forms.

  4. Kari June 14, 2012 at 1:00 am #

    It seems every time my wonderful parents visit I join them in their morning ritual and soon become very addicted to coffee. I notice that when I wean myself off of it, I sleep better, dream more, and I don’t get as tired in the evenings. I’ve found a great coffee substitute called teechino that I can use to gradually wean myself from the coffee, without headaches, while still enjoying a hot cup of joe (www.teeccino.com). It tastes great and seems to have healthy ingredients, but I’m wondering what you think.

    • Avatar of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff June 22, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

      Hi Kari,
      As long as you tolerate gluten well than this is a suitable sub for coffee… The barley in teeccino is a source of gluten so just an FYI that any symptoms you may have could possisbly be attributed to some of the gluten here…Otherwise, it is a great source of a non caffeine-beverage

  5. Sharon Griffith June 14, 2012 at 12:58 pm #

    Hello Dr Hyman!

    At our company, we are having Health and Wellness Classes to promote your CD’s and related topics. Our staff has expressed interest in life style changes so we are wondering if you know of any local doctors to our area (Greensboro, NC) who are also practicing Functional Medicine? We would like to be seen by a physician that may be closer to where we are located?

    Best to you,
    Sharon Griffith
    Greensboro NC
    336-552-6149 (cell)

    • Avatar of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff June 15, 2012 at 6:32 pm #

      Hi Sharon,
      Thank you for involving your community in Dr Hyman’s work! We would recommend you go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your zip. Progress accordingly from there. This should help you find someone local in Greensboro!

    • Susanna N June 16, 2012 at 7:44 am #

      I love your roundup of research. I always appreciate the way you never dumb-down the discussion of biochemistry behind the conclusions. Also you’re drawing our attention once again to your main thesis which is that food is essentially a drug — and that synthetic and junk foods must be avoided.

      Having said that, perhaps what we’re really learning is that advice in diet must be individualized, especially with a powerful drug like coffee. What would be helpful would be a decision-making matrix where you could input your risk for depression, diabetes, and alzheimer’s (a risk that coffee reduces) vs. osteoporosis etc.

      Until that matrix evolves, isn’t moderation (one cup a day) a possibility? Why must the default advice be total abstinence, when there is research strongly supporting benefits of coffee? Yes, we’re very addictive in this country, but can we begin to address that directly through eating support groups? If addiction is the issue, let’s tackle it directly rather than encouraging more black-and-white thinking around food.

      Ditto wine. It is very possible to learn to have only 6-8 oz of wine per week — it’s all about looking at the emotions underlying craving and dealing with them directly.

      Abstinence is an unreasonable expectation for many, at least over the long term. Please, let’s set that horizon a little closer to “what’s possible” over the long term, and let’s look a little closer at what constitutes addictive behavior, including falling into patterns of extreme thinking.

      • Avatar of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
        Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff June 22, 2012 at 6:08 pm #

        Hi Susanna,

        Thank you for your response. Dr Hyman advocates a trial off of addictive substances so that you may feel your true status of health. Than of coruse it is up to you to take that information which is solely yours, and do with it what you will to increase your vitality and health. So, it is not abstinence for everyone, but a suggestion to be playful and lossen the addictive nature between the human mind and certain attractive substances…

        • Liv Ulsterman August 25, 2012 at 11:15 am #

          How can we take your advice seriously when you don’t even know the difference between “then” and “than”?

          • Avatar of HymanStaff
            HymanStaff August 30, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

            Hi Liv,

            Thank you for your sharp eye!

            To your health,

            Dr. Hyman Staff

    • Juanita June 16, 2012 at 10:28 am #

      I read your article regarding the effects of caffeine. I want to share that I had been reading a book at how the adrenals get taxed with coffee drinking. I also had a lumpectomy in 2009. I have been getting thermography checkups instead of mammograms. This technology will detect inflammation inside the body. I just had my six month checkup and saw that the latest images of the breast area looked blue and green, exactly what you want in good healthy breast tissue! Compared with my previous six month images, it was evident that the area that had appeared orange (a sign of inflammation) was no longer there! I didn’t suffer too many side effects from withdrawal, and have also started drinking green tea which I enjoy.

  6. Jackie Novick June 14, 2012 at 9:46 pm #

    Should we also avoid decaf.

  7. aynzan June 15, 2012 at 1:18 am #

    It’s almost three months since I stopped drinking tea and coffee and I think I am doing fine without them.I just finished reading The blood sugar Solution and already implementing some changes in my diet.Thank you for the loads of information.

  8. Danny June 15, 2012 at 2:23 pm #

    I enjoyed reading this article with my morning cup of coffee.

  9. Jen June 15, 2012 at 3:29 pm #

    I quit drinking coffee about 4 months ago and feel great! I did it slowly by drinking half caf/half decaf, then all decaf, then green tea. I now drink different herbal teas and occasionally green tea. I truly look forward to my soothing ginger tea in the morning!

  10. suz June 15, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

    LOVE the taste of *good* rich coffee… not the kick… so i only drink it occasionally with friends (like wine)… *really* enjoy it and only decaf. i’ll always be a coffee drinker at heart… this balance works great for me.

    (used to drink a whole pot of coffee in the morning when my kids were little. when i felt jittery and nauseous by lunchtime, i thought i was just hungry! took me a long time to realize it was the coffee. eventually, i also connected the coffee with my crazy pms … stopped drinking regular coffee at least 25 yrs ago… decaf only since then. gradually backed off that, too. now it’s an occasional treat. i’m not like an alcoholic who must abstain totally or go back into the dregs… luckily!)

    never was much of a tea drinker cuz i don’t like the taste as much as coffee… but for many years now i drink gallons of very weak green tea – sometimes decaf, sometimes not – usually with lots of mint plus lemongrass or lemon balm or verbena from my herb garden… hot in winter, cold in summer. nothing else in it.

    “purified” (probably mostly RO) water in large glass bottles (used to get apple juice in them) for coffee, tea and just plain old water… with or w/o lemon or lime or orange (or all 3!)

    sudden raw vegan lifestyle meant NO menopausal symptoms… which was very nice considering how crazy my pms used to be. now i’m sure it was mostly diet-related (tho i was clearly susceptible genetically). lucky timing for me.

    so grateful for the vegan balance in my life… have Blood Sugar Solution… haven’t read it all yet.

    appreciate your work, Dr. Hyman! — S :D

  11. Colleen June 15, 2012 at 5:58 pm #

    Love the information you provide, Dr. Hyman. I have never been a coffee drinker and when I have tried it I always feel sick – like being poisoned.

    The one thing you might reconsider is the information on reverse osmosis. Reverse osmosis water is not a good option – it is wastes a lot of water, makes the water very acidic, and removes many of the good minerals in water. A filtration system is a must for most home water systems, but reverse osmosis is not the way to go.

    Be well!!

  12. erika teran June 15, 2012 at 11:31 pm #

    I am having the same question as of above. Is decaf ok? or not at all?. Thanks for your great guidance!

  13. Thomas June 16, 2012 at 5:24 am #

    What about decaf coffee or tea?

  14. Andrea June 16, 2012 at 7:14 am #

    One of the most effective things I have done when taking a break from coffee: I note any patterns in my use of it, such as time of day, preparation (black, latte, etc), routines, and I make a point of interrupting those patterns. Usually, for me, the crucial change is to choose not to have coffee first thing in the morning. I see two important results from just this step: I start my day with a choice that affirms and respects my big picture, long term values and goals for my health; and, I get to experience entering my day without the intervention of coffee into my own energy, mood, rhythm.

  15. Cedar Wilde June 16, 2012 at 7:24 am #

    I drink decaf almost always, never caffeinated. Is this OK or should I give up my decaf?

    • lilo June 16, 2012 at 1:36 pm #

      I have been off coffee for about 6 mos. Sleeping better than ever, and most of the time I don’t miss it. (I did do “1/2 caf” at the beginning!) Now I drink decaf in the a.m. & herbal tea in the afternoon. My favorite is green tea mixed w/blueberry tea- both decaf & delicious hot or iced. I don’t like the taste of green tea, that’s why I mix the blueberry- I’m sure any flavor herbal tea would work.

  16. Dr. Barna Bordas June 16, 2012 at 7:32 am #

    Ten Reasons to Quit Your Coffee!

    Dear Dr. Hyman, you might add the presence of AGEs (Advanced Glycation Endproducts) in coffee as the eleventh reason for kicking the habit.

    Sincerely,

    Dr. Barna Bordas

    research chemist

  17. Karen June 16, 2012 at 7:32 am #

    Can coffee be a cause of chronic cough?

    • Avatar of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff June 22, 2012 at 6:11 pm #

      Hi Karen,
      Thank you for your interest in Dr Hyman’s work. Unfortunately chronic cough could be due to several inflammatory triggers. While coffee might be causing inflammation you would benefit from a trial elimination to know for sure. If you would like more information about how to effectively eliminate common allergens from your diet please visit Dr Hymans nutrition coaches for private nutrition guidance:http://store.drhyman.com/Store/List/Coaching-Programs

  18. Peggy June 16, 2012 at 7:34 am #

    Interesting and I suspect i am one of those who does not dis-benefit from coffee. I only drink 1 cup a day (on rare occasions 2), take without sugar and feel no “buzz”. on the other hand tea sends me up a wall – I can only drink herbal teas. I have always been able to sleep at night even after a turkish coffee or an espresso. 2 of my sons drink a lot of coffee (I will send them the article) and 2 don’t (one never did; the other decided it was doing him no favours and gave up – interestingly he can drink tea without side effects – the opposite of me). on a separate note, I give your books to everyone and I am a plant eater now which I found easy enough as I have always loved vegetables and like to cook. Keep sending the message out!

  19. Kelly Carlson June 16, 2012 at 7:36 am #

    What about decaf coffee? Is it a healthier alternative to coffee especially as one weans herself off real coffee? Thanks!

    • Avatar of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff June 22, 2012 at 6:09 pm #

      Hi Kelly,

      Yes, you can try to wean off by using some decaf and some caf for sure but keep in mind the end goal of trying to be off of both types for a couple of weeks or so to see how your body feels.

  20. Jenn June 16, 2012 at 7:51 am #

    Love the term “media whiplash”!

  21. Gina June 16, 2012 at 8:33 am #

    Waahhhhhhhh, I don’t want to give up my coffee – I too am waiting for the answer to the decaf questions

    • Avatar of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff June 22, 2012 at 6:04 pm #

      Hi Gina,

      Its always good to just to experiment and see how you do off of coffee (even decaf!). You never know what you’ll find in terms of how you feel…

  22. Vic June 16, 2012 at 8:33 am #

    I have been a coffee drinker for a very long time. I recently, and quite unexpectedly, started drinking Steaz brand water with green tea extract, natural flavoring and stevia. I very clearly see how having a drink of this in the morning in place of coffee makes me feel so much better with energy and well-being. This “experiment” wasn’t planned, it just came as a matter of convenience one day. I didn’t realize that coffee actually made me feel worse rather than better. What a shock that was!

  23. Leslie June 16, 2012 at 8:33 am #

    what about black tea??

  24. Cedar Wilde June 16, 2012 at 8:40 am #

    Is Rooibos (Redbush) tea OK? I like to drink it at bedtime because the producers claim it is caffeine free.

    • Mandy June 16, 2012 at 5:06 pm #

      Rooibos tea is caffeine free and high in anti-oxidants. Its a great substitute for coffee and regular tea, as long as its organic and unflavored.

  25. Avatar of Yvonne Kochanowski
    Yvonne Kochanowski June 16, 2012 at 8:58 am #

    Is decaf coffee acceptable or not on the program? I’ve been off caffeine for years (including teas and no sodas). Thanks for a response!

    • Avatar of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff June 22, 2012 at 6:02 pm #

      Hi Yvonne,

      Dr Hyman suggests a trial elimination from caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee. Try some green or white tea for the light caffeine and strong antioxidants.

  26. Cathy T June 16, 2012 at 9:02 am #

    I’ve been reading the Blood Sugar Solution. This article seems to go into much more detail on why it’s important to lay off the coffee. Thanks for the details/clarification.

  27. Robyn June 16, 2012 at 9:05 am #

    Wow what an article, it is now 12 months since my very large brain tumour removal, of course being on steroids and anti seizure medication etc., wasn’t easy. I have always had a cappaccino each day only ever one, so after quite some months of my operation I finally submitted to my first coffee and to be really honest rarely miss a day without one, it is the only coffee that I drink as I drink water, coconut water and herbal teas, but the reason I kept having the coffee was the feeling of energy which I had been lacking after my operation which gave me a reason for my walking and exercise to try and get stronger.

    Since my operation I have now become in the non diabetic range and am on a very low dose of metaformin, my blood glucose is amazing although it does spike after the coffee, but comes back within an hour or so. I am confused, am I really harming myself, last bloodtest showed great kidneys and liver etc.?

    Also there is a worldwide shortage of metaformin at present, apparently it is made in Norway or Sweden and a drug company in Australia is trying to get permission to produce, and this shows how correct you are there is a worldwide diabetic problem.

    Love receiving your newsletters and to all our good health.

  28. Davee3 June 16, 2012 at 9:08 am #

    Please – Swiss water process Decaf ok or just prologues the agony to abstinence ?

    • Avatar of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff June 22, 2012 at 6:34 pm #

      Hi Davee3,

      It is really based on your health goals and your current health status? What are you looking to accomplish from eliminating the coffee? How do you want to feel and what do you want to get out of this experiment? If you would like some further coaching on this please visit your nutrition coaches at http://store.drhyman.com/Store/List/Coaching-Programs.

  29. Merelyn June 16, 2012 at 9:13 am #

    Can I have just one coffee a day? A quick picollo latte?

  30. Paula Harrison June 16, 2012 at 9:23 am #

    I go through cleansing phases and quit coffee but always seem to come back to it. I know I feel much better when I am off coffee. Thanks for this article as a reminder. Now that this week is going to get really hot here is a good time for me to try and quit again.

    There are 2 teas I love one is Dandy Blend because it tastes just like coffee and it is so good it doesn’t need sugar or cream. My favorite green tea is Eden brands Sencha.

  31. Mari June 16, 2012 at 9:35 am #

    I’m preparing for Phase One of the Blood Sugar Solution program and gearing up for my mornings without coffee (the thought of my pre-set coffee machine having my fave brew ready in the morning is often the only reason I can yard myself outta bed during the week). Anyway, I, too, am curious about tea. I thought even black tea was full of antioxidants. I am prepared to use green tea but do love my black tea too. Please advise. Thanks.

    • Avatar of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff June 22, 2012 at 6:32 pm #

      Hi Mari,

      Black tea has its benefits as well. Green tea offers a few special benefits which can help with weight, cravings and normalization of blood sugars. Excited for you to get started on the program and we look forward to hearing how you do!

  32. mm June 16, 2012 at 9:53 am #

    When the quiz for toxicity, noted in the above articel, is clicked, it takes you to a page for selling supplements.

  33. Judy Hammond June 16, 2012 at 9:53 am #

    I always fix a mug of coffee first thing in the morning and it just goes down so good! I rarely drink the entire cup, probably 2/3 of it. My blood type is O neg – I don’t know if that would make a difference. I can’t see where it gives me extra energy. Odd but this is the only time of day that coffee really tastes good.
    I have all three of Dr. Hyman’s books and have implemented a number of things in them but I’m going to continue drinking coffee – I don’t see how this is detrimental. Perhaps it’s an individual response??

  34. Beb Inv June 16, 2012 at 10:16 am #

    To Colleen:

    No, reverse osmosis does NOT make water “very acidic” and most water sources.do NOT yield water with significant amounts of “many good minerals” (you likely mean calcium and magnesium?).

  35. nancy monteith June 16, 2012 at 10:18 am #

    ..please solve this puzzle…I have been drinking coffee for 64 years….I feel healthy, and every year I have a yearly check-up with my doctor….blood tests, etc., are normal….I usually drink 1 cup a day…I’m not opposed to trying something else to give me a boost in the morning…I may try your tea suggestions… I am wondering if I should stop the coffee habit, or start drinking 1/2 cup, then 1/4 cup, to ascertain if this will work for me and my brain…….
    ..Dr. Hyman I have your book, and I feel like I am back in school, studying !!! Thanks.

    • Avatar of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff June 22, 2012 at 6:28 pm #

      HI Nancy,

      Dr Hyman advocates that all of us at the very least try to take a break from coffee to see how we feel without it in our system. This information alone is quite powerful!

  36. Danielle June 16, 2012 at 10:23 am #

    Thia article couldn’t have come at a better time…I recently have been experiencing reactive hypoglycemia and anxiety, both of which I’ve dealt with off and on since college. Reading this, it occurred to me that I recently started drinking mocha coffee from Starbucks about three months ago when I started my new job that requires I work long days and weekends. The last time I drank coffee was in college, again with long days and busy weekends of studying and work. My stress, sleep, anxiety, and feelings of low blood sugar have taken a toll on me and so I decided to get rid of the coffee and tea because I was relying too much on it. Its been about two weeks and I can feel a difference in my energy level, especially mid afternoon. Would caffeine have any connection with feelings or triggering LOW blood sugar? Aside from small frequent meals, is there something I can do to make sure my hormones are stable or there isn’t another underlying cause? Thanks for your advice and wonderful articles! Hope to hear back soon, preferably by email.

  37. Sandra Chilton June 16, 2012 at 10:27 am #

    Age 66. Former scrub tech/ certified surgical assist. since the mid 1960’s. Type 2 diabetic.In Jan. had a hernia repatr from the previous colon resection a yr. ago with removal of lower abd. fat over load. Had two surgeons. Colon & plastic Dr’s with a stratice repair half the size of a baby blanket.Six hr. in the OR. Family was told I might not make it through the surgery. Heavy coffee in the am & newmans own organic tea in the pm.
    I use stevia for all drinks & strawberries etc. Very little if any salt at all. Allergy shellfish & even reg. fish now. Beef & chicken are the meats now. Still don’t eat like diabetics are suppose with small meals & snacks. Coffee is my breakfast & lunch. Low sodium V8 juice in the pm & one meal in the later pm. Now your telling me about the coffee. I’m glad you did tell me. I have cut back some already because it does trigger nervous system. I suppose I could brew a pot of green tea for the morning coffee & have the organic tea with my meals. I already use Brita filter water.
    Watch you on TV a few times & enjoy your input on health if I listen or don’t I appreciate what you are doing. Thank You so much.Unable too purchase your products. Social security & unable working in over two years now. I hope others who read your emails can & will use the diabetic healing products you offer.I already live longer than I thought so I’m leaving myself in God hands. Correct some of my english if you care sharing any of this. Fine with me.

  38. Eva June 16, 2012 at 10:30 am #

    I know you’re right about this, Dr Hyman, but I have to be honest. I’ve got early symptoms of prediabetes, and I’ve given up bread, and pastries, and pasta, and desserts, and pancakes, and alcohol. In July I’m going gluten and dairy free to see if it makes any difference. I just can’t brIng myself to give up my one or two coffees a day, too.

  39. Cheryl June 16, 2012 at 10:43 am #

    I finally quit coffee after a nearly 30 year habit! It was not easy. I have to admit that I felt sort of foggy for about 2 weeks, but once that was over, I felt better than ever! The main reason I quit was that I read that some people who are gluten sensitive have a sort of cross-reactive reaction to coffee, where your body can actually treat coffee like gluten! Not sure if this is true, but I do feel so much better.

    For the first couple of days, I drank a large iced tea in the morning. I’m not recommending it, but I just had to have a little help. Then I moved on to yerba mate tea, which I heard has a different kind of caffeine. I didn’t really love it, though. Then I decided to explore the wonderful world of green tea! I took a class at my local tea shop, where you can taste all sorts of teas, and I found one that I love. I think tea preferences are very individual, so tasting lots of teas is a good idea. The thing that made a HUGE difference for me was preparing the tea properly: for green tea, if you use boiling water or steep it too long, your tea will taste bitter. (some people like this, but I don’t!) So… now I get my water to the right temperature for me, steep for 2 or 3 minutes only, and I love my green tea in the morning.

    If you think you don’t like green tea, experiment a little bit. You might surprise yourself!

    • Tracy Sturdivant June 19, 2012 at 9:33 am #

      Hi Cheryl,
      Thanks for the great comment about green tea. It was inspiring and I hope many people will try green tea
      because of it. I too had to try many different green teas and many different brands before I found my favorite.
      I love Rishi Teas, and my favorite is Jasmine Pearls. Rishi also has many white teas that I love which have even
      less caffeine. The greatest thing about Rishi loose teas is that you can steep them up to 3 times without sacrificing
      flavor. Also, after the first steeping there is no caffeine left. This is very cost affordable. And yes, not using
      boiling water to steep is key. I let mine cool for one minute before pouring over the leaves.

  40. Avatar of Lana
    Lana June 16, 2012 at 10:43 am #

    What is your opinion about green coffee bean extract?

    I purchased it but did not start yet.

    Green coffee bean extract was mentioned among top supplements to increase the level of adiponectin.

    Now I read in your article above that:

    ” 4.The helpful chlorogenic acids which may delay glucose absorption in the intestine have also been shown to increase homocysteine levels- an indicator for increased risk of cardiovascular disease which tends to be elevated in diabesity.”

    Does it mean it is better not to take green coffee bean extract for someone with insulin resistance?

    • Avatar of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff June 22, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

      Hi Lana,

      Dr Hyman does not have a formal stance on green coffee bean extract as of yet because the literature is fairly new. However it does appear that the extract can be a source of antioxidants which is helpful to those with insulin sensitivity issues and related oxidation.

  41. LC June 16, 2012 at 10:53 am #

    Wait, of the four studies cited in defense of your position, two of them show beneficial effects of coffee drinking, and the other two speak to glucose tolerance problems only as it relates to caffeine; one in people already with glucose tolerance problems because they have diabetes, and the other, a study including only 10 male subjects. That’s pretty weak evidence to then make the sweeping generalization for stopping coffee. The evidence I could find on diterpenes relates to boiled, unfiltered coffee, not a common method of preparation. There is no evidence cited to support your statement on 5-HIA. Does your evidence control for all the other things that also increase urinary 5-HIA, like aspirin, medications and alcohol? You state it as “coffee drinkers”, but the evidence is only for caffeine.

  42. Connie Rogers June 16, 2012 at 10:55 am #

    I have not had coffee in over 25 years. Five years ago, I eliminated meat, dairy, sugars except honey from my diet and eat grains, greens, beans, veggies and fruits and soy products. and half gallon of water mixed with Cal Max which I measure out to get calcium 1000 mg , magnesium 400 and Vit C in it and know I need it finish it each day. I walk 2-3 miles per day. My HDL went from 25 to 60. I feel great. My weight is 134, my ht. 5’7″ It is no secret but most folks do not want to go on such a rigid diet…..they lack discipline. I prefer not to take any meds. My Doctor had wanted me to go on statins but in my research, they do not help raise HDL……my routine works and is worth it.

  43. Jill Cohen June 16, 2012 at 10:58 am #

    Hi Dr Hyman,
    while following the Ultra Simple Diet, I prepared myself by cutting my caffeine slowly over a week’s time until I was off. I drank Green Tea instead. I can say that I did not recognize myself during those 3 months of being off coffee. I didn’t have the ups and downs of energy. I was calm, I slept better, I was exercising more. That was during the summer months and I felf GREAT!! When the fall came the weather cooled down but my schedule heated up and I began to drink coffee to stay up late to finish my work etc… I returned to having the highs and lows in my energy, I was exercising less and having distrupted sleep. I have been drinking coffee again since last fall. I just read the 10 reason’s to quit coffee and am reading the Blood Sugar Solution too and I can’t continue in that addictive denial state of mind any more. It’s even a bit scary to give up the coffee addiction as I am so used to using coffee to “keep me going”, but I have made a committment to myself to make all necessary changes in my life to reverse my diabesity. I want to live in health so i can be a good role model to my baby granddaughter as she grows.

  44. PK June 16, 2012 at 11:05 am #

    I work with an acupuncturist who guides people through detoxes and helps them establish and follow new, healthy and fulfilling ways of eating for life. We do recommend Roiboos tea. Try it!

    Getting off of coffee can be daunting at first, but you can do it! And when you do, you’ll see a difference in the way you feel. I can’t count how many times I’ve heard, “I really don’t miss it”

    Another recommendation we make is lemon water. I make mine with my Keurig. Just squeeze 1/4 – 1/2 of a fresh lemon (depending on the size of the lemon) into a coffee cup and add hot water to taste – kind of like making a tea. Sit down, relax and enjoy. If lemon water doesn’t sound appealing to you, I encourage you to try it at least once. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

    Another product for you to look into is a magnesium product called “Naturally Calm”. If you’re quitting coffee, this can be a terrific addition. Magnesium can help with constipation. What we like about this product is you can make it just like the lemon water – add some warm water to the powder in the evening before bed, sit down, relax and enjoy.

    I wish you all excellent health! Thank you Dr. Hyman and staff for your continued advocacy, and for sharing such important and actionable information.

  45. Lisa June 16, 2012 at 11:05 am #

    I been drinking tea and coffee since I was a toddler. I don’t feel the effects of the caffeine. I’ve gone off of it for periods of time and don’t feel any withdrawals. I like the taste of coffee, but I need sugar and cream. I also like tea, which I was raised with sugar and cream, but I don’t need it for rooibos tea or herbal teas. I really like the relaxing teas like chamomile and also peppermint. I keep going back and forth on drinking coffee. I am autoimmune, so it probably isn’t the best for me. Like you said, it’s so hard to know with all the contradictory reports.

  46. Courtney June 16, 2012 at 11:07 am #

    Also wondering about Decaf? I know it still contains a small amount of caffeine, but is the caffeine the problem or is it the chemicals you addressed?

    • Myrto Ashe June 16, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

      Decaf still has about half the caffeine, an unknown amount of the other chemicals, plus leftover processing chemicals from removing some of the caffeine. I’m not sure there’s an obvious answer other than try to switch to green tea.

  47. Mark Gibbs June 16, 2012 at 11:27 am #

    Wow!

    I am clearly a coffee junkie. I know it & have known it (no shame, no excuses).. Don’t have that many vices & coffee is one I’d kinda like..to keep.. I am in the process of reading Blood Sugar Solution & am starting to get wrapped around the changes…. Too me….it’s scary!… Both from the wow, is this what my diet is doing to me & from the no I can’t quit that or do this perspectives. .I had quit coffee once before… But then I was in my twenties & working a physically demanding construction job…The life style then helped me to quit… I’d hurry through breakfast, get to work & “hit the deck a-running” Later in life came a more sedentary job… I found it difficult to stay awake, reading, shuffling paper, answering the phone, office type work etc. without a caffeine jolt & started with coffee again…. That was almost 30 yrs. ago…..

  48. Janet Claassen June 16, 2012 at 11:27 am #

    Dr. Hyman, Thank you for the vast array of info, I have tried to inform so many of my family and friends about for many years!!! But now, coming from a Medical Doctor, more people will be aware of the truth. We are all”What we eat and drink.” Obesity is more than eating alot, it is what we eat !!!! I became a Hypothroidism ,when I had a bout with the mumps (on both sides of my neck). I was 7yrs old. and was a normal weight…From that point on I gradually gained weight. It was not diagnosed till I was in High School.(16yrs)…The cause was not recognized till I was well into my 30’s…Your efforts to make us aware, of the causes of disease, is so needed. Thank You and please continue !!! I can agree with your info on coffee. Having been addicted to coffee for many years, I learned the hard way, that the ingredients in coffee intensified my pain (arthritis )(stress) etc. So I went to decaf for a while, wth increased water and eventually stopped coffee alltogether..I have always believed in a well balanced diet. Therefore, I am fairly healthy.. Managing pain is much easier with no caffiene, which I can also atest to, intensifies depression, as noted in your info!!!! Please keep on educating us on the true route to better HEALTH !!!!! By the way, I am now 69yrs.of age!! Gratefully, Janet

  49. Diana Roemer June 16, 2012 at 11:46 am #

    I like the series of Good Earth teas – they are the best – find them at http://shop.goodearth.com/?gclid=COf8oK-N07ACFSQDQAodYFIb2w

  50. Carola June 16, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

    I have drank different coffees all my life. I doctored with sugar and ‘milk’ products. Then I turned to the powdered drinks they call coffee in convience stores. After 10 years and about 20 extra pounds I have changed to espresso. I hope the skim milk, hot chocolate mix and coffee aren’t as bad for me.. the lesser evils so to speak. Nothing else tastes as good to me… and tea seems to upset my stomach.. too much acid… I need to find a hearty tastey drink that is healthy to replace coffee and the goodies it comes with!

  51. FP June 16, 2012 at 12:48 pm #

    Quoting Dave Asprey from Bulletproof exec (http://www.bulletproofexec.com/why-bad-coffee-makes-you-weak/) “Decaf coffee is even worse. Caffeine is a natural anti-insect and antifungal defense mechanism for the plant. It deters mold and other organisms from growing on the beans. Mold is everywhere, but caffeine helps prevent it from growing on the beans while they’re in storage. When you remove the caffeine, your beans are defenseless. Decaf coffee is higher in both aflatoxin and ochratoxin. This is one of the reasons decaf tastes like camel sweat.”

  52. flyingcheeses June 16, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

    My last vice is coffee. I have tried several times to quit, but always end up with a headache. I probably have 25-28 oz of coffee total a day (in the morning – with Hazelnut creamer). The rest of the day I drink water. I have tried the green tea in the morning, but ended up with a headache starting late morning and it lasted until the next morning when I had coffee. Not sure why I am so prone to headaches when I try to withdraw from coffee. A friend told me that I will only have a headache for 3 days while everything gets out of my system. I am not too keen on having headache for 3 days. Any other suggestions on how not to have a headache?

    FYI: My diet consists of Fresh Veggies, Fruit, Nuts, Beans, Tofu, Salmon and Eggs. I gave up processed foods, feel great and lost 20 lbs since Feb 2012. So I don’t think my diet is contributing to the headaches.

  53. Gary Templin June 16, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

    Dr. Hyman,
    My wife Lena and I are following your book on diabesity and we have a great respect for the work you are doing. We are recommending ‘The Blood Sugar Solution ‘ to everyone we know. We have both gotten off coffee several times in the past and I know I feel better physically when I am off it, but no matter how I try to compensate I function at a low level mentally and emotionally even after a couple of years. I’m in a “fog” the whole time. I have researched and tried almost every alternative and supplement. I even use EWOT which helps some. I always start to use it again because with what I do I can not afford to be ‘repressed’ but have to function on a very high level. The times without coffee have been very unproductive for me and as soon as I start back up I advance by leaps and bounds but then suffer in my overall health and adrenal function. (I’m 68) Lena has the same experience but in a more mild form.
    This is a real catch 22 for us. HELP
    Gary and Lena

  54. Kithara June 16, 2012 at 2:57 pm #

    I drink organic matcha, green, and white teas. I also find tulsi teas (an Indian herb) quite restorative.

  55. Michelle June 16, 2012 at 3:04 pm #

    From what I understand, decaf coffee may be worse for you but for different reasons. I’ve been told that not only does it still have some caffeine in it but that it also can be more toxic because of the decaffeination process. I don’t know if this is true or not but I tend to believe that it is – it would be too simple just to switch to decaf, right? MORE processing is never a good thing.
    I struggle to break my coffee habit. I only have one cup in the morning but it doesn’t perk me up remotely – usually has the opposite affect, actually. I can become quite anxious and sometimes weepy if I drink too much. That being said, I’m pretty sure my connection is rooted in some deep psychological happy place – the times I spent with my mom on the weekend while growing up…she always let me take a sip of her coffee. Love the taste but the memory is stronger. She probably drinks 8-10 cups a day now as do my siblings. At 39 yrs old. I should be able to latch on to a healthier memory. We did walk a lot…I guess I should do that instead :)
    The gluten connection is interesting. Several months or so ago I bought an “herbal coffee,” an herb mixture that tastes remarkably like coffee. I was bummed to find out it had barley in it. My best replacement so far has been chai. You can get green tea chai. Sometimes it’s too peppery but it helps to add some nice warm almond milk – making it thick like coffee, sort of.

    • Caroline June 21, 2012 at 10:03 am #

      Teeccino Caffeine-Free Herbal Coffee is made with barley, but independent laboratory tests show in brewed Teeccino, no gluten is detected at the lowest test level available which is 5ppm. Expert opinion is that gluten doesn’t extract into boiling water during the brewing process. Also, for people who are still concerned about gluten, Teeccino Dandelion Herbal Coffees are 100% barley and gluten free.

      Teeccino is the #1 coffee alternative in America. For 18 years, people have been successfully quitting coffee and recovering their health by weaning themselves off of coffee with Teeccino. Simply blend Teeccino with your regular coffee over a 2 week period, gradually reducing coffee until you are drinking 100% Teeccino.

  56. Dr. Joseph L. Sexton June 16, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

    No mention of any specific amount of coffee, if you drink too much water you will drown, I assume this is based on OVERDOSING on coffee, since addiction is mentioned. I drink 1 1/2 cups a day, I also drink Black Tea, there is simply too much pros & cons going on in our diets. One day something is bad, the next it is good, common sense should prevail as always.

    JUST MY OPINION

  57. Sheilah Renaud June 16, 2012 at 3:30 pm #

    What is the story with green tea? I have struggled getting off of coffee as my body responds very quickly with all kinds of problems…canker sores in the mouth, itchy skin all over, worsening vision in the right eye, and tooth decay and infected,receding gums. Everything restores when I restrict myself to herbal non-caffeinated teas…BORING! Sorry but on this planet with this much negation and density it’s hard to be perfect! So I enjoy green tea and know that it, too, has a degree of caffeine in it…What is you knowledge on green tea? Good??? not so good????

    • Avatar of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff June 26, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

      Hi Sheilah,

      The green tea should be tolerated better, white would be good to experiment with as well. Also, rooibos and herbal teas have plenty of flavor!

  58. Paul June 16, 2012 at 4:05 pm #

    Interesting but not conclusive i.e. more data is needed. Problem with medical professionals is that they claim science as their backing however most would fail miserably at real science rather than empirical data findings. I’ve seen many obese people eating cottage cheese therefore cottage cheese causes obesity.

    What’s missing from the article is the studies done on Alzheimer’s etc that show the benefits of coffee. One sided arguments are another problem with the medical field. Hard to make a decision when only studies that support your view are presented.

    Science is great but often misused by those who aren’t looking for answers rather support for their views.

  59. Nora Dennington June 16, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

    I also would like to know if Decaf is ok and if Roobois Teas is ok?

    • Avatar of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff June 26, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

      Hi Nora,

      It is all about individualizing food to appreciate that there is not a one-size-fits all approach. If your system tolerates the decaf and is not sensitive to the tea than this might be a good option for you! The best way to find out is to learn how your body feels without it for about 2-6 weeks and then carefully reintroduce it and watch for symptoms both immediate and delayed. Remember that even decaf is still quite acidic and disturb normal GI functioning. Rooibos would be a great option.

  60. Cara June 16, 2012 at 5:09 pm #

    What about Yerba Mate? Should that be avoided as well?

    • Avatar of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff June 26, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

      Hi Cara,

      Like coffee, Mate has many benefits but it is all about individualizing food to appreciate that there is not a one-size-fits all approach. If your system tolerates caffeine and is not sensitive to the tea than this might be a good option for you! The best way to find out is to learn how your body feels without it for about 2-6 weeks and then carefully reintroduce it and watch for symptoms both immediate and delayed.

  61. Lyn June 16, 2012 at 6:16 pm #

    Dr. Hyman, My understanding is that a short black/espresso coffee with naturally occurring crema (contains antioxidants) on top, enables the gall bladder to empty its toxic bile which can be useful in certain situations. No milk, cream or sugar added. Is this not the case? Otherwise agree with your wise words, no coffee.

    • Avatar of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff June 26, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

      Hi Lyn,
      Indeed there are a plethora of antioxidants in coffee (the bean). The idea is to examine exactly how coffee and caffeine affects each of us as unique bodies…If you tolerate the caffeine and done react to the coffee bean itself (as noticed from a myriad of symptoms including blood sugar) than it might be a good source of some antioxidants for you. So, the best way to examine our tolerance is to eliminate it for a trial of 2 weeks to 6 weeks depending on your needs. Then, carefully reintegrate it and watch for symptoms both immediate and delayed. For more information on this please visit:http://www.bloodsugarsolution.com/nutrition-coaching/

  62. Janet Musser June 16, 2012 at 6:27 pm #

    Thank you for your health information! It’s good to read specifically about coffee because although I have cut way down, I need an important reason to avoid Starbucks drivethroughs for a double shot latte when the mood strikes!
    In the mornings I drink a green smoothie and by the time I blend it and drink it, it doesn’t occur to me to drink coffee.
    Best green smoothie: whole milk raw kefir, an orange, fresh pineapple, cucumber, lettuce, and frozen berries. If it’s too thick, add filtered water. I drink herbal teas other times of the day when it sounds good!

  63. Susan "Yogi Suzi" Grimes June 16, 2012 at 7:03 pm #

    As it turns out, yesterday I hurt my back. I know it happened because I was using to much caffeine to overcome fatigue. Doing a workout anyway, in spite of the fact that my muscles didn’t want to pump iron, and then, ouch, bent over to pick up a stack of light trays and stood up to find myself cramping.

    Today I have spent most of the day sleeping and resting. My back hurts so badly! And the thought of caffeine, besides green tea, sounds revolting.

    My body had to crash before I could look my addiction square in the eye!

    I slept 8 hours last night and had two naps today totaling 3 hours. If I sleep well tonight, I’ll be on my way to overcoming this addiction — in other words — sleep is the best way to get through withdrawal.

    Thank you Dr. Hyman!

    Susan “Yogi Suzi” Grimes

  64. Heather B., Toronto June 16, 2012 at 7:11 pm #

    I downgraded to decaf for about 1.5 years, having known I was severely allergic and reactive to coffee. I felt I should have quit coffee around age 50 as I often coujldn’t function with it (bouncing off walls syndrome). So, when I switched to decaf, I used Swiss Water Processed kinf, which is supposedly the best. After doing the decaf for that over a year, the bit of caffeine in the decaf was starting to affect me just like coffee. Finally this February 2012 my husband and I stopped coffee cold turkey, no more decaf and I even gave away the coffee pot. I drank strong herbal teas such as ginger root tea, and even water and red pepper in the morning would give a good “kick”. Now I feel more naturally sleepy when I am, I am sleeping abit better and my body energy is my own now. Once I’ve enjoyed a bought coffee in the morning, and noticed I no longer had the “allergic” reaction but will limit those to special events only, to not get this addiction back. It feels so good to be operating on my own energy level. Even when my energy isn’t great, at least then I know to do something MYSELF to boost it upm, go for a walk, do some exercise, get my body moving to boost me up. I guess I am also more calm, less acidic which could make me nasty, and more balanced. Thank you for the great article which gives me more reason to stay coffee-free..

  65. Dan June 16, 2012 at 7:30 pm #

    Excellent article. This will be the last one that I need to read to figure whether coffee is more helpful or hurtful. This should end the unending dispute or at least should. I have come to realize whenever there is back and forth views on something there is normally an inner craving that people are trying to justify when it has been in fact been made plain that is a wrong view.
    I am a fan of Matcha which is green tea in its full nutritional benefits.

  66. Erik R. June 16, 2012 at 8:44 pm #

    I was a coffee caffeine addict and I had a lot of the symptoms mentioned in your article, like the beginning of insulin resistance and a magnesium deficiency. My body pressed the pause button for me; actually more like STOP!. Since then I stopped coffee and processed foods. No more gluten, dairy or eggs and I feel better than I did when I was in my twenties and I’m 40something. My blood sugar is under control, my skin cleared up and I am pretty healthy. Most mornings I can get up without an alarm clock.
    I enjoy green tea with roasted rice, one or two cups a day. World Market has a nice blend. Sometimes black tea, but only if it is brewed in a pot or french press- no teabags.
    My suggestion for people who are looking for a coffee substitute – Don’t!. Coffee is coffee, there is nothing like it. Make peace with getting off coffee and get on with your life.
    There is something ritualistic and social about coffee though. And that’s what I miss sometimes.

  67. Dee June 16, 2012 at 9:22 pm #

    If decaf is permitted, you want it Swiss water method processed, otherwise they use chemicals you do not want to consume to take out the caffeine.

  68. Donovan Giraud June 17, 2012 at 2:07 am #

    I can’t do coffee. Its too much energy – my stomach can’t take it. No black tea for me either. But I love green tea, nettle tea w/licorice (and sometimes ginseng if I have become run down) helps with sugar cravings, and rooibos, cause it’s warming, and I get cold easily. Also Bengal Spice, a chai-like tea is pretty great. I spent a period free of all stimulants and while back so I know what you mean: I call it ‘calm-energy’. Because there’s Energy but it’s Calm. There is nothing like it…it was initially challenging, however, once my metabolism was reset to run on a low-carb, no stimulant diet…wowza…! Calm, but with Energy! It is like a natural state of meditation I notice.

  69. Marty H June 17, 2012 at 10:25 am #

    I am in day 2 of coffee withdrawal. Have a horrible headache. Have decided to allow myself, indefinitely, 2-3 cups green tea a day. From what I read, the antioxidant benefits far outweigh the small amount of caffeine. And I can drink green tea plain. Coffee, for me, requires cream and sweetener. And so the detoxing process begins!

  70. Holly Eckert June 17, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

    When I was a young woman watching a Starbucks emerge in every neighborhood while at the same time listening to political debate about a national “war on drugs”, I asked myself, “Well, isn’t coffee a drug?” Having grappled with my own addiction and seen its detrimental impacts on my own and my friends’ health, I know the answer to that question.

  71. Chris June 17, 2012 at 2:26 pm #

    No. I love coffee and will not give it up. People have been drinking coffee in some form for over 700 years, and now you are going to say it’s bad for us? Forget it. Start barking up another tree. This one’s a dead end.

  72. Mary June 17, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

    It is great to see research revealing the complex world of our endocrine systems – our natural cortisol levels are usually highest in the morning – caffeine must make so many maladjustments we don’t need at that time of day ….

    EXCELLENT article, Doc, I’m making leaflets for my waiting room.

    I’ve held off on eating breakfast way too often while drinking coffee instead… I am going to make a point of waiting to have my coffee fix in the afternoon.

  73. Kim June 18, 2012 at 6:46 am #

    What about decaf coffee? I was never a coffee drinker until I started taking sugar out of my diet….so I traded my morning juice for decaf coffee with cream..no sugar. I was told that it was a “healthy” alternative to the sugary juices?

    • Avatar of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff June 18, 2012 at 3:15 pm #

      Hi Kim,

      If you are struggling with some blood sugar issues, inflammation or digestive conditions Dr Hyman advises a trial period of 6-12 weeks without coffee. Using green tea, white, rooibos or herbal tea add nutrition value without the acidity and potentially risky byproducts of the dcaffeination process.

  74. Amelia June 18, 2012 at 8:11 am #

    What about decaf coffee (eg a decaf latte with soy milk)????

    • Avatar of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff June 18, 2012 at 2:49 pm #

      Hi Amelia,

      If you are struggling with blood sugar imbalances Dr Hyman highly recommends a break from ALL coffee for a trial period of 6-12 weeks. Try some green tea, white tea, rooibos tea or herbals!

  75. Anita R June 18, 2012 at 12:00 pm #

    Dr. Hyman,

    Thanks for all the wonderful direction you provide. I have question. Is Weight Watcher’s designed for people with diabesity?

  76. Papa Jake June 19, 2012 at 1:59 pm #

    I drink organic decaf that is not processed the bad way as someone described above, could be worse for your health. I have read that too and found this organic product that processes it supposedly in a good way. I could be fooled on that though. So what about organic, processed properly, decaf? I do worry about the acidic properties and think it bothers my stomach once in a while. I am half way through “The Blood Sugar Solution” and have been pre diabetes for 6 years which I manage with diet and exercise. This I learned from Dr. Hyman in his book Ultrawellness which I read when I was diagnosed and the Dr wanted to put me on drugs. Thanks you for keeping me off the drugs and now I want to be cured.

    • Papa Jake June 22, 2012 at 9:45 am #

      Just noticed I said Ultrawellness and meant to say Ultraprevention. It’s been a while.

    • Avatar of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff June 26, 2012 at 10:54 am #

      Hi Papa Jake,

      Glad you are managing your preDM well and yes, prob a great idea to experiment with leaving all coffee out of your system for a brief trial to provide respite from acidity and by products. Also, even though it is decaf it indeed stil contains some caffeine… After a trial it would be good to reintegrate it and see how you respond and if you handle it will and your digestion also tolerates it than perhaps your system agrees with decaf. Best way is to try!

  77. KEVIN June 19, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

    I’ve been a coffee drinker for a long time. About a year ago I stopped drinking coffee and replaced it with green tea. I guess I was addicted to caffeine. After awhile I was needing more and more tea (less caffeine in tea) and finally started back on coffee.
    Now that I have more clear understanding of coffee I will quit both coffee and tea. Although tea might be good for you but I just don’t want to get addicted to caffeine.

    Thanks Doc.

  78. tyrone and pamela walley June 20, 2012 at 2:05 am #

    thankyou for all that great info because non of our doctors ever told us that coffee was bad for us. tyrone is a diabetic and we are slowly changing our dietary habits and we feel better . i only take meds for cholesterol and bp and thyroid . we both watch our weight and exersize one half hour every other day .tyrone has your diabesity program and we are doing what we can to keep up with everything. we are not really coffee drinkers but we will stop and do what you suggest about the meds and suana. God bless you and your team for all your help. Tyrone Walley & Pam Walley

  79. Neil June 20, 2012 at 7:05 am #

    This article made me think of a problem I have. A few years back my skin began to bother me. At various times it would feel like it was itching, crawling, or like I was being poked with a pin. No rash, no sign of bugs, scabies, or anything like that, and liver function tests came back fine. I finally figured out that it was a lot worse when I drank coffee and/or ate chocolate, so I cut those out and the symptoms disappeared for a while, but sometimes they come back and I can’t find a pattern. (I’ve been calling it a late-onset coffee/chocolate allergy, but I don’t know if it’s an allergy in the strict sense of the word, and there are clearly things other than coffee and chocolate that affect me.) I don’t think it’s caffeine, since caffeinated tea and cola don’t seem to make it worse. Do you know of anything else that coffee and chocolate have in common? I’d love to find the common thread so that I can deal with this.

  80. Rose Willson June 20, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

    I drink decaf about once a week, sometimes twice a week at most. Is decaf still bad to drink?

  81. Jill June 20, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

    I bought [BSS] book started basic diet breakfast is hard don’t eat tofu, eggs do not like the shakes,

    this is my sixth week on the diet.what can i eat for breakfast.Great Read.

  82. Ellen June 20, 2012 at 3:22 pm #

    The last time I quit coffee I had migraine type headaches for 9 days! I feel better when I’m off it; green tea has a lighter energy, whereas coffee feels a bit sharp/toxic to me. I started back on it in September when I changed schools, and had to get up 2 hours earlier for work (after13 years in a late start school). I have never been a morning person and have already reverted to 1:30-2am bedtimes and 10am-ish wake up. Don’t know how to change this natural inclination after all these years (age 56). Recently I’ve become too sensitive to coffee, getting wired and then crashing. Thanks for the 10 reasons, I’ll post them on my kitchen cabinet to motivate me through withdrawal and remind me to stay off it.

  83. Ed Martino, PhD June 20, 2012 at 9:07 pm #

    Interesting information, Dr. Hyman. In grad school in the 70s we used to go to the student union cafe in the afternoons to interact. I noticed that the late day coffee was very strong and made me shaky so I stopped drinking coffee period.

    Fast forward to 2008. I began reading William Campbell Douglas’s newsletter where I often praised his AM “cup of Joe”. for the benificial antioxidants So I bought a French Coffee press and started to drink 1 12 oz mug with 4 ok low car chocolate milk most AMs. The rest of the day, I drink some black and green teas. Jasmine Green Tea is a fav.

    So here is my question. Since the effects all drugs and foods containing psychoactive/metabolically active compounds are does related, does an AM cup of Joe or 2 create all the negative outcomes on your list? The research you cite does not discuss dosage

    • Avatar of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff June 26, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

      Hi Ed,

      Thanks for your interest in Dr HYman’s work. Reactions from coffee and caffeine are really specific to the individual so it is hard to say. Dr Hyman suggests a brief trial elimination from coffee-both am and pm, to see how your body feels on its own energy. Yes, the dose indeed makes the poison and ultimately, under 200mg of caffeine is always recommended.

  84. Teeccino June 21, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

    To Cedar, Jackie and those who ask ‘Why Not Decaf?’ – please see our article about decaf, why it is not the best choice for optimal health, and often contains caffeine!

    http://teeccino.com/about/38/Caffeine-free.html

  85. Elle June 21, 2012 at 9:17 pm #

    I love all your reasons to quite coffee but it wasn’t until I found that coffee actually incurs antibodies that I had to quit! And now I am nearly antibody free after 6 years of thyroid antibodies raging my body! I don’t know if just cutting the gluten was the case, I think cutting the coffee ( I do drink tea caffinated) caffinated and decaf was the key to my healing! I encourage more people to quit coffee but they usually look at me like I have 3 heads! Thanks for making a great debate obvious! ; ) I’ll be sharing this information!

  86. Diane Lassen, RN, HHC June 22, 2012 at 6:18 am #

    I love the taste of coffee. I love the smell. But being perimenopausal and developing some anxiety issues and also a potential autoimmune thyroid condition had led me to eliminate caffeine and all dietary transgressors. Several years later, I am healthier, caffeine free (except for green tea) and feeling pretty good.
    Another thing about coffee I didn’t see mentioned in Dr. Mark’s article: coffee is a crop that is highly fumigated with all sorts of pesticides and antifungals. It is also a crop that is notorious for exploiting its workers. I do drink coffee, albeit decaf now, and I encourage you all to explore organic, fair-trade coffee from a reputable shop or dealer. Also, ask if it is shade-grown: coffee crops acount for a large amount of deforestation in poor coffee-producing countries.
    Just more things to add to the dilemma of coffee drinking!
    thanks, Dr. MArk for another great read.
    Diane Lassen, RN, BSN, HHC

  87. Stephanie June 27, 2012 at 8:48 am #

    I have reduced my coffee consumption to 1 single cup in the morning. I am able to get through the afternoon by making sure I get 8 whole hours of sleep per night, and getting up from my desk and moving every hour. Thank you for the update on coffee. I think most of America is still basking in the “coffee is good for you” study publicized in the media.

  88. Donna July 19, 2012 at 5:20 pm #

    Hi – I’m new to your work and like it very much, as it resonates with what I already know and do! About coffee – I’ve always absolutely hated the taste of the stuff and honestly could never understand what all the fuss is about! Even a couple of sips give me the shakes and keep me awake for 2-3 days. My dislike of coffee used to make me feel like a social outcast. But I’ve come to appreciate my aversion, because it saves me from having to make a difficult decision about whether to indulge or not, and saves me from addiction and the pangs of withdrawal!

  89. keege July 23, 2012 at 11:35 am #

    I was drinking about a pot of day for a couple years. I had to really cut down the problems it caused in me were enormous, very draining. I feel there’s a large coffee lobby feeding us news about how healthy this stuff is, they get someone addicted enough, it becomes 1$ tax for every 4 hours to have any vigor at all, a tax on your very life.

    The biggest problem it caused for me which made me stop is it messes with my hands and I would have pain in my hands and wrists while drinking coffee, it was very difficult to figure out coffee was causing this. It prevents blood flow to your peripheries, if you have pain in hands or legs try cutting coffee. It also seems to cause arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome in people.

    I take coffee now as if its a hard drug, I try to make sure i never take it 2 days consecutively, and try to stick to a cup a week. It is a very powerful substance when you do not drink it every day. This is because it stimulates hormone release while lowering its production so you need to take breaks to truly get something out of a coffee.

    • Cafeconundrum February 14, 2013 at 11:18 am #

      Awesome comment, thx!

  90. Jamie Corcoran July 24, 2012 at 11:10 am #

    Hi! I’ve never drank coffee before because I never liked the taste, but I have a different question about tea. I have just recently finished the Ultra-Metabolism Cookbook program and I love it. I feel better and I am happier. And I haven’t had anything (including tea) with caffeine in it. However, I did realize that I may have chronic stress (Almost finished now with the Ultra Mind Solution) and I wanted to try drinking green tea. However, I am worried to have anything with caffeine in it because of the negative effects of caffeine.

    Here’m my question: Is decaffeinated green tea just as good for you as regular green tea or is it better/worse? Do you recommended decaffeinated teas over caffeinated teas in general? How do you feel about green tea that is mixed with black like chai green tea or white green tea. Thank you so much!

    • Avatar of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff July 24, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

      Hi Jamie,

      ALl of your tea options are great. The green tea might still work for you and even help because of the L-Theanine. People tend to feel calmer and centered with this so it sounds like a good fit for you. Everybody reacts to tea and all food differently so the best thing is for you to check out how you react and trust that information! Rooibos is also a good option for you.

      For more nutrition support please see:http://store.drhyman.com/Store/List/Coaching-Programs

  91. Beverly Macaulley July 29, 2012 at 7:49 am #

    love your article. my new book re: getting your vitamins from food, Keeping Food Simple, to be e-published soon has references to your work and i hope it helps bring more attention to your pages…

  92. Chandra August 15, 2012 at 9:00 am #

    Any possibility of a recommended green tea or can you give a source. I have NO idea where to begin other than an online search. Thanks in advance for the info. Also, can the thermogenesis be felt in the body? A warmth in the mid-section, for instance?

    • Avatar of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff August 16, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

      Hi Chandra,

      Im sure you can access matcha green tea or any organic green tea from your local natural foods market. Or, even your local Trader Joes or bigger store. As long as it doesnt have added chemicals or artificial flavorings in it you will be fine!

  93. Charles Aspen August 24, 2012 at 12:50 pm #

    What are your thoughts on yerbe mate as a replacement for coffee?

    Thanks

    • Avatar of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff September 18, 2012 at 6:28 pm #

      Hi Charles,

      If you are sensitive to caffeine than perhaps mate is not for you as it has comparable caffeine levels. Green tea is always a safe bet for a tea when needing moderate amounts of caffeine but need to get off coffee. Otherwise, give it a try!

  94. Dr. Akoury September 11, 2012 at 10:43 am #

    Excellent points in this Blog. AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina agree from top to bottom. Caffeine really should be treated as a drug. People are addicted to this substance. Green Tea is a great substitution and as someone responded already, it should be organic and fair-trade coffee. There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes when it comes to food and things of sort that are imported. Be knowledgable, and above all… say NO to caffeine! Check out the awaremed.com website for some more info and let us know what you think. Great job Hyman Staff, as always :)

  95. Diane October 1, 2012 at 10:55 pm #

    I am on Day 21 of the Sugar Solution Life Plan. I must say substituting green tea for coffee has made it easy to quit the coffee. And I get the kind with mint in it – delish!

  96. Lynn November 19, 2012 at 8:56 pm #

    Dear Dr. Hymen, a very interesting web site whith a lot of wisdom and encouragement.
    I just had my gallbladder removed five days ago. I loved my two cups of coffee each mornig
    and now I know I have to give up my coffee and I entend to do so.

    My question is I love my green tea decalf almost as well as my coffee and I make it very weak
    Is this ok to have in the morning to replace my coffee. I have had a couple cups and did not seem
    to have any problems but want to take care of my liver and health.

    Thank You So Much for a place to come and ask for some valued advice.
    Lynn

    • Avatar of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff March 5, 2013 at 5:51 pm #

      Hi Lynn,

      In general green tea is a healthy option for a warm beverage and it is lower in caffeine than coffee too. However we cannot provide personalized medical advice in this forum. For best care, please confer with a trained practitioner.

      For more personalized nutrition advice, Dr Hyman’s nutrition coaching team would be happy to work with you on an individual level to help you reach your goals. To work with the nutrition coaching team please go to: http://www.bloodsugarsolution.com/nutrition-coaching/ OR call (800) 892-1443 to get started.

  97. Sandra November 24, 2012 at 10:49 am #

    I’m open to read about this information, but I’m a scientist and I have a serious problem with articles where no references to scientific research backing up these claims are cited. I’d be very interested in reading the studies that link caffeine with an increase in stress hormones or its link to decreased insulin sensitivy. Could you please give me some references, I’d apreciate it.

    • Avatar of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff March 5, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

      Hi Sandra,

      References were at the bottom of the article!

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      Ten Reasons to Quit Your Coffee!

      by Dr Mark Hyman
      June 13th, 2012 Articles, UltraWellness Library 140 Comments Edit
      48
      Coffee: is it good or bad for us?

      You might get media whiplash trying to figure that out. The truth is, I find this subject to be as confusing as you probably do. After all, the media certainly doesn’t help clarify whether America’s favorite cup of joe is going to land you in the Doc’s office or set you free with a clean bill of health.

      And when one night’s news report conflicts with another’s blatantly contradictory messages, it is no wonder why so many of you shrug your shoulders in utter confusion as you refill your morning mug and get on with your day! And with the velvety aroma and promise of energy from that caffeine jolt, you might rather just assume that there must be something to those beneficial claims…

      I know all about this adoration of coffee.

      I too was smitten and enamored with Coffea Arabica. We had our courtship during the 1990’s when I worked over 80 hours in the emergency room and saw 30 to 40 patients a day. I traded sleep for espresso, authentic energy for Haagen Daz coffee ice cream and normal circadian rhythms for high speed caffeinated adrenaline rushes.

      But then, my body began to communicate to me what I had been attempting to not hear – slow down and let the natural systems assume their proper course. You can read more about how I successfully turned my health around here.

      As I began to tune into my body and provide it with what it really wanted – fresh, whole, real, unprocessed foods, sleep, relaxation, and the time to enjoy the life I had created for myself and my family – I was able to break up with coffee and make up with my health. You can too and I’m going to tell you how. But first, let’s discuss what makes coffee such a hot topic widely disputed in today’s health circles.
      While there are many controversies about coffee’s role in the prevention of Parkinson’s disease to breast cancer, I’m mostly interested in the conversation relating to its effect on blood sugar metabolism. If you have read my latest book, The Blood Sugar Solution, then you already know how insulin resistance and inflammation are at the core of modern day chronic diseases.

      The single most important healthy habit all of us can adopt is to manage our blood sugar by decreasing the triggers that push it out of balance. Curious if coffee is one of those triggers?

      As Dr. Walter C. Willet of Harvard School of Public Health says, “Coffee is an amazingly potent collection of biologically active compounds.” Like any food-like substance, coffee has far reaching effects on the body and needs to be respected as a potent drug.

      Caffeine, perhaps the most widely appreciated “drug” compound in coffee, only makes up a mere one to two percent of the bean. The chlorogenic acids, caffeol, polyphenols, phytoestrogens and diterpenes are now beginning to be researched on their effects on human health and glucose metabolism as well.

      In the 1980’s and 1990’s several prospective cohort studies were done to investigate the correlation between coffee and diabetes. Many of those studies reported that there is an inverse dose-dependent association with the risk of type 2 diabetes.

      This means that for reasons still unclear, all those research studies found that the more coffee people with normal blood sugar drank, the less risk appeared for developing type 2 diabetes. Several constituents in coffee might be responsible for these consistent findings.

      Chlorogenic acid in coffee might inhibit glucose-6-phosphatase, an enzyme which regulates blood sugar metabolism in the liver. It could also be due to the indisputably high levels of antioxidants which have a benign effect on insulin sensitivity. Not surprisingly, the news channels then sounded the bell that coffee was protective, and we all enjoyed our cup of joe without any remorse.

      Until the next report.

      Some curious minds wanted to know exactly who was protected. And why? How? These studies showed that in people with type 2 diabetes coffee intake was correlated with insulin spikes and increased blood sugar after a meal. Further research has shown that the caffeine in coffee might be the culprit responsible for the secretion of higher levels of insulin from the pancreas.

      Clearly higher insulin and glucose levels are not the work we want to bestow on a body healing from insulin resistance. Considering that diabesity affects nearly 1.7 billion people worldwide and growing, the nightly news now sounded the alarm of caution that perhaps our coffee habit is a detrimental addiction needing to be kicked to the curb.

      I often am asked why coffee is removed from my programs. While certain populations of people may tolerate coffee and even enjoy some health benefits, it is evident that it is not for everyone. Chances are if you are reading this either you or someone you care about is sick, inflamed, hormonally imbalanced, nutritionally-compromised, over worked, stressed out, fatigued, depressed, and toxic. Coffee is not part of the medicine required for your healing.

      Here are 10 reasons why:

      The caffeine in coffee increases catecholamines, your stress hormones. The stress response elicits cortisol and increases insulin. Insulin increases inflammation and this makes you feel lousy.
      Habituation to caffeine decreases insulin sensitivity, making it difficult for your cells to respond appropriately to blood sugar. High blood sugar levels lead to arterial deterioration and increased risk of mortality related to cardiovascular disease.
      Unfiltered coffee has the highest amount of beneficial antioxidants yet also leaks the most diterpenes into your system. These diterpenes have been linked to higher levels of triglycerides, LDL and VLDL levels.
      The helpful chlorogenic acids which may delay glucose absorption in the intestine have also been shown to increase homocysteine levels- an indicator for increased risk of cardiovascular disease which tends to be elevated in diabesity.
      The acidity of coffee is associated with digestive discomfort, indigestion, heart burn, GERD and dysbiosis (imbalances in your gut flora).
      Addiction is often an issue with coffee drinkers and makes it really difficult to rely on the body’s natural source of energy. Ask any coffee drinker about how it feels to withdraw from coffee, and you will mistake their story for that of a drug addict’s…
      Associative addictions trend with coffee – who doesn’t immediately think of warm, frothy sweet cream and sugar when they picture coffee? Surely the business of coffee has inspired a culture addicted to the sugary, fatty tastes of what has become more of a meal then a drink! That morning latte is the epitome of food lacking nutrition density yet packing energy!
      5-HIA, an organic acid and component of the neurotransmitter serotonin ( the happy chemical) seen in the urine tends to be elevated in coffee drinkers which means they may be at risk for lower levels of serotonin synthesis in the brain. Serotonin is necessary for normal sleep, bowel function, mood, and energy levels. It is a vicious cycle as caffeine can disrupt sleep and promote anxiety and depression. We all know someone who tends to be tired, wired and over caffeinated!
      Elevated urinary excretion of important minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium have been noted in coffee drinkers. An imbalance in your electrolyte status can lead to serious systemic complications.
      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. Another issue to be aware of with coffee intake is how certain medications such as levothyroxine (thyroid) as well as tricyclic antidepressants are poorly absorbed, making symptoms curiously worse for patients.
      Now what… If you think you can’t cut that coffee out, think again. I did it and now I want you to feel the same level of renewal and restoration I experienced. It’s a wise experiment to provide yourself a break from coffee intake and see what it feels like to live your life on your own fuel. Remove coffee and caffeine safely from your system and see how authentically energized you feel!

      How to Avoid Withdrawal Symptoms

      Those who consume the most caffeine, alcohol and sugar, and those who have the highest toxic load, tend to have the most difficulty initially. In any event, symptoms of withdrawal usually disappear after three or four days. It is best to slowly reduce your intake of caffeine and coffee.

      Make sure you drink at least six to eight glasses of filtered water daily. Instead of coffee in the morning, take some warm water with freshly squeezed lemon juice.
      The best water to drink is water that has been passed through a filtering process. Common and inexpensive filters are available such as carbon filters like the ones Brita makes. The best filter is a reverse osmosis filter that puts the water through a multi-step process to remove microbes, pesticides, metals, and other toxins. This can be installed under the sink. It’s a great filtering system and cheaper over the long run. Avoid water in plastic bottles which contains phthalates, a toxic petrochemical. Mineral water or still water in glass bottles is also acceptable.
      To prevent headaches, make sure your bowels are clean. If you tend toward constipation, follow the steps to address constipation in my book, The UltraSimple Diet or work with one of my nutrition coaches.
      If you are tired, allow more time for sleep.
      Take 1,000 mg buffered vitamin C with breakfast and dinner.
      Make sure you exercise daily to help fight off fatigue. Even simple walking is good. 30 minutes daily.
      Some people rely on substituting coffee for real food. When you are hungry make sure to eat and do not let your blood sugar get low. Have some protein in the afternoon such as a handful of nuts or seeds like almonds, pecans, walnuts, or pumpkin seeds, cooked beans, or a piece of steamed or baked fish.
      If you’re irritable or have trouble sleeping, take a combination of calcium citrate 500 mg and magnesium citrate 250mg before bed.
      Drink 1-3 cups of GREEN TEA. The small amount of caffeine won’t hurt and the antioxidants will heal.
      Take a sauna or heat therapy in a bath. See my book, The Ultra Simple Diet for how to create an UltraBath.
      Practice pressing the pause button. Withdrawal can be stressful and research has shown that meditation and other mindful activities can help calm an over-stimulated and stressed system while boosting the immune system.
      Keep a journal and track your symptoms. Note the difference in quality of energy you experience while off of coffee.
      Consider a complete elimination program and avoid all refined sugars, flours, caffeine, alcohol, dairy, gluten and any other addictive substance. By allowing certain triggers to stay in the diet the body stays on the vicious cycle of cravings and addictive behavior. Reset your biology by eliminating all these dietary triggers for inflammation and fatigue.
      Take this quiz to find out how toxic you are.

      I know this is a difficult goal but I assure you that your body and mind will thank you. The sense of calm, clarity and restful sleep will reward you with the simple pleasures of innate health and an energy that is rightfully yours.

      Now I’d like to hear from you…

      Are you addicted to coffee and need caffeine to get through your day?

      What have you tried to break free from caffeine and what worked best for you?

      Have you developed an appreciation for teas and if so, which are your favorite?

      Please leave your thoughts by adding a comment below – but remember, we can’t offer personal medical advice online, so be sure to limit your comments to those about taking back our health!

      To your good health,

      Mark Hyman, MD

      Resources:

      van Dam RM, Willett WC, Manson JE, Hu FB. 2006. “Coffee, caffeine, and risk of type 2 diabetes: a prospective cohort study in younger and middle-aged U.S. women.” Diabetes Care (2) 398-403

      Tuomilehto J, Hu G, Bidel S, et al. 2004. “Coffee Consumption and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Among Middle-aged Finnish Men and Women.” JAMA 291: 1213-9.

      Moisey LL, Kacker S, Bickerton AC, Robinson LE, Graham TE. 2008. “Caffeinated coffee consumption impairs blood glucose homeostasis in response to high and low glycemic index meals in healthy men.” Am J Clin Nutr 87 (5): 1254-1261

      Lane JD, Feinglos MN, Surwit, RS. 2008. “Caffeine Increases Ambulatory Glucose and Postprandial Responses in Coffee Drinkers With Type 2 Diabetes.” Diabetes Care. 31(2): 221-222

  98. Cindy December 31, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

    I began to fall asleep after my second cup of coffee. I had heard of adrenal fatigue, and as a wife to a traveling husband, nurse, and mom to two under two- I was the picture of it. When i quit coffee I took 100 mg of caffeine pill in the am, and 50 mg around 1200 noon if I had the children out and was concerned about being too sleepy (to be safe). This may be why I had weird insomnia. I would wake at 1 or 2 am full of energy. A week passed and I weaned down to 50 mg daily. I then went down to 25 mg and finally just had to deal w it. That’s where I am now. I am much nicer, and PMS has improved greatly. Of note if gluten issues are a concern there is new literature suggesting cross reactiviting w a protein in coffee and tea, this includes decaf. I drink plain warm water in the morning.

  99. Do you mind if I quote a few of your articles as long as I provide credit and sources back to
    your site? My blog site is in the exact same area of interest as yours
    and my users would truly benefit from a lot of the information you provide here.
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    • Avatar of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff April 4, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

      Thank you for your interest in Dr Hyman’s work. We appreciate you giving Dr Hyman credit and are happy to have you share information.

  100. chantel March 6, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

    Thank you for the empowering article. I despise the fact that caffeine/coffee has such a hold over me..and I want it, NEED it gone. Its wreaking havoc on my body, the thing doctor is I cant get through the withdrawal symptoms, I get severe migraines, the kind that leave me unable to function. And there isnt anything I can take
    since im breastfeeding. …any suggestions?
    Blessings ans thank you.

    • Avatar of HymanStaff
      HymanStaff March 26, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

      Dear Chantel,

      Sorry to hear you are having such terrible symptoms, you should consult with your ob/gyn to find out what is safe to do for relief.

      Wishing You the Best of Health!

      Dr. Hyman Staff

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  102. Karen G April 29, 2013 at 12:24 am #

    I am three weeks “sober” from coffee. I am finally coming out of the fog. 3 weeks ago today I was hit with the worst flu ever. I never get sick and I ended up missing 7 days of work and workouts! I made the decision to stop coffee and caffeine while I had the flu because I was so miserable with the flu, I thought, why not….deal with the caffeine withdrawals at the same time.

    My life has changed significantly in the past year with a significant weight loss and commitment to my health with 12-14 hours of week exercise. I am thrilled to be off caffeine and remain committed to this. Thank you Dr. Hyman for your great work and information.

  103. Charlie May 8, 2013 at 7:54 am #

    I too got the flu about two weeks ago. Just getting over it. The one strange thing is that I completely lost my taste for coffee. I feel better. I never thought i could give it up. Now, I just have a very small half cup of orange juice in the morning and i feel great. No booze, no cigarettes, no junk food and now no coffee.

  104. Jamie August 14, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

    No one thought that I would ever give up drinking coffee. I joke that it came out of my mother’s breast instead of milk. I started drinking it as a child with milk. I drank it everyday all day. After some major trauma and stress kicked my psoriatic arthritis into high gear about three years ago, my rheumatologist advised me to begin to take medications, beginning with NSAIDs and progressing to biologics. I wanted to look at alternatives to drug therapy since my understanding was that the objective of the drug therapy is to lower inflammation, I would rather learn and apply diet and lifestyle changes to achieve that objective without taking the drugs. Drugs, I reasoned, would simply mask the symptoms and do little to address the source of the malady. My rheumatologist shrugged. Since then I’ve been on my own attempting to make myself change what I put in my body. Coffee was one of the first things to go. I went from drinking it every day to drinking it a few times a year. I start everyday with lemon water. I drink several different combinations of herb teas. And plenty of filtered water. Amazingly, the sun still does come up in the morning. I have a lot of challenges. But I think that I am doing just as well, if not better, than I would be on a regimen of pharmaceuticals by being able to be cognizant of what effect what substance has on my condition and my pain. Sorry, that was an over-share.

  105. Dr. Juho Hynninen August 14, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

    With all due respect, this article very much unbalanced and cherry picked with false information. Some intergrity, please!

    Took me five minutes to come up with a few articles myself:

    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/777356?src=nldne&uac=163128SZ

    http://stroke.ahajournals.org/content/early/2013/03/14/STROKEAHA.111.677500.full.pdf+html

    Tea and Coffee Lower Blood Pressure in Large French Registry:
    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/806516?nlid=31779_1301&src=wnl_edit_dail&uac=163128SZ

    Consumption of Coffee Associated With Reduced Risk of Liver Cancer:
    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/802848

    Coffee May Keep Depression Away:
    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/750420
    http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1105943

    Coffee Consumption Linked to Lower Risk for Death:
    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/763962
    http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1112010

    Fish, Coffee, and Alcohol May Delay MS Progression:
    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/755551
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1468-1331.2011.03596.x/abstract

    Coffee Lowers Liver Fibrosis Risk in Certain Patients:
    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/758112
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/hep.24731/abstract

    Moderate Coffee Intake Protects Against Stroke:
    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/763742

    Coffee Linked to Lower Endometrial Cancer Risk:
    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/754053
    http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/early/2011/10/03/1055-9965.EPI-11-0766.abstract

    High Coffee Intake Linked to Less Lewy Body Pathology:
    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/763294

    Genetic Basis for Coffee’s Protective Effect in PD Discovered:
    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/752852
    http://www.plosgenetics.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pgen.1002237

    Coffee Not Linked to Psoriasis:
    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/760526
    http://archderm.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1105505

    Yes I did some cherry picking myself to balance this out…

    Cheers! Do yourself a favour and go for a cuppa!

    • Avatar of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff August 14, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

      Dear Dr. Juho Hynninen,

      Thank you for your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. We appreciate your perspective on this article. Thank you for your interest in my work. I practice functional medicine, which includes personalized lifestyle medicine. This is an individualized approach to health and nutrition. Specific foods will affect each person’s system differently, based on their unique “terrain” or constitution. In order to treat the symptoms and get to the root cause of what’s making someone sick, we first need to know what specific imbalances are occurring in the individual’s body. Because of that, there is no single diet or therapy available to everyone. We need to address the person’s unique health status and medical history in order to provide the ultimate diet therapy for that person. Some people might not tolerate coffee or caffeine, some not the caffeine, some not the coffee…What is helpful however is learning for ourselves what works with our system. For more info on functional medicine please see:http://drhyman.com/about-2/about-functional-medicine/

      In good health,
      The Nutrition Team

  106. Jennifer August 14, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

    I have a question about green tea. Every time I drink it it makes my joints swell slightly and feel tight. I get the
    same affect from other teas. Coffee does not do this too me. Why do you think green tea makes me feel bad?

    • Avatar of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff August 14, 2013 at 7:17 pm #

      Dear Jennifer,

      Thank you for your interest in Dr Hyman’s work. He practices functional medicine, which includes personalized lifestyle medicine. This is an individualized approach to health and nutrition. Specific foods (and in your case, beverages) will affect each person’s system differently, based on their unique “terrain” or constitution. In order to treat the symptoms and get to the root cause of what’s making someone sick, we first need to know what specific imbalances are occurring in the individual’s body. Because of that, there is no single diet or therapy available to everyone. We need to address the person’s unique health status and medical history in order to provide the ultimate diet therapy for that person.
      Due to this Dr. Hyman cannot provide personal medical advice in this forum. If you would like to make an appointment at Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA please go to:http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/ When you are finished reading through the material you may call the office at After you have reviewed this, please contact our office to make an appointment. By phone, (413) 637-9991; by email, office@ultrawellnesscenter.com

      For more personalized nutrition advice, Dr Hyman’s virtual nutrition coaching team would be happy to work with you on an individual level to help you reach your goals. To work with the nutrition coaching team please go to:http://www.bloodsugarsolution.com/nutrition-coaching/ OR call (800) 892-1443 to get started.
      In Good Health,
      The Nutrition Team

  107. Debra August 14, 2013 at 9:05 pm #

    I love coffee – not because I need a pick me up or to keep me awake. Its because I love the flavour, same way I love strawberries/peaches/tomatoes/avocado, etc. I drink it without sugar and also decaffeinated (probably worse than the real stuff right?)
    I don’t feel I am addicted as I go days without having one and only ever have one a day.Because I really enjoy it I just think it is part of my healthy eating regime and therefore am not prepared to give it up completely. :-)

  108. Michelle August 15, 2013 at 8:38 am #

    The #1 reason I ever got for giving up coffee was reading a blog by a nutritionist, who said she didn’t drink coffee anymore because of the simple fact that she always felt like she needed to brush her teeth after she had one. We can rationalize drinking coffee and rationalize not drinking coffee, but that spoke to me on a whole other level. How do YOU feel after having a cup of coffee?

  109. Ruby August 15, 2013 at 10:58 am #

    Thank you so much for the work that you do and for making all of this information available to us, your readers/followers/concerned consumers! I read in Dr. Perricone’s book that coffee, both decaf and regular, contains several organic acids which affect blood sugar and cortisol levels. Therefore, caffeine isn’t the enemy; coffee beans are. Can you shed any light on this?

    • Avatar of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff August 16, 2013 at 10:51 am #

      Dear Ruby,

      Thank you for your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. How coffee affects a person is completely dependent on their specific constitution and lifestyle factors. We call this a person’s “terrain.” The best way to know how you react to coffee is to try removing it from your diet for a week or so and see how you feel. If you feel lousy when you bring it back into your daily mix, you know you might need to look into it a little further…

      Learn more here:http://drhyman.com/blog/2012/09/19/is-coffee-bad-or-good-for-your-health-two-experts-debate/

      For more personalized nutrition advice, Dr Hyman’s virtual nutrition coaching team would be happy to work with you on an individual level to help you reach your goals. To work with the nutrition coaching team please go to:http://www.bloodsugarsolution.com/nutrition-coaching/ OR call (800) 892-1443 to get started.
      In Good Health,
      The Nutrition Team

  110. Peggy Czyzak-Dannenbaum August 15, 2013 at 12:43 pm #

    I attended a lecture by Dr Richard Isaacson, a research neurologist specialising in Alzheimer’s, who recommends 2-3 cups (small) of caffeinated coffee per day (preferably before 2pm and with a shot of pure – ie unsweetened – cocoa: no sugar, no cream/milk. He says this is brain protective. Obviously someone who drank coffee the way you did is in a different (and no doubt not good) category! I am following his advice. My blood work is great and I sleep well so I am not worried.

  111. Vicki H August 15, 2013 at 6:15 pm #

    Dr Mark,
    I’ve switched to daily green tea instead of coffee. There are a few herbal teas I like, but so far, I have grown to love green tea. It still has caffeine, however, doesn’t the good properties outweigh the bad (caffeine, less than coffee)??

    • Avatar of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff August 16, 2013 at 10:42 am #

      Dear Vicki,

      Thank you for your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. Yes, there is less caffeine in green tea. If the caffeine in green tea works for you, this might be an alternative to coffee.

      For more personalized nutrition advice, Dr Hyman’s virtual nutrition coaching team would be happy to work with you on an individual level to help you reach your goals. To work with the nutrition coaching team please go to:http://www.bloodsugarsolution.com/nutrition-coaching/ OR call (800) 892-1443 to get started.
      In Good Health,
      The Nutrition Team

  112. Sarah November 7, 2013 at 8:12 am #

    Hi,

    I just started seeing a functional medicine practitioner last month to address ongoing issues with fatigue, mood imbalances and long-term cycle irregularities. I met with her this week to go over all the labs she ordered. The test showed slightly low levels for Uric Acid, BUN, Calcium, CO2, Protein, Globulin, Alk Phos, Total Cholesterol and LDL. On the other hand, I had high levels for Anion Gap (17.10), MCV, MCH, RDW and Eosinophils (9.0). The most surprising result was that my HbA1C was on the high side for a non-diabetic: 5.8. I am 32, 5’3″, 120 lbs. After reading this article, it seems there may be more of an explanation. I am not a regular coffee drinker, but this past April I started having about 1-2 cups of organic, fair trade espresso per day made with a Mokka Express stovetop machine and served with coconut milk and stevia. Although I have major problems with the caffeine in drip coffee, I don’t get a buzz or feel a caffeine rush with this type of coffee. In fact, the most immediate effect of the coffee is regularity – though as a vegetarian this has never been a problem, it was just more instantaneous after drinking coffee. I stopped consuming coffee on a regular basis about a month ago and now only enjoy it as an occasional treat. I am now curious to see if my lab results change next time we test. I’ve also been advised to start taking B12 supplements, L-Methionine and Magnesium Citrate, so we’ll have to see how that goes.

    -Sarah

  113. Jennifer Paluda November 7, 2013 at 10:20 am #

    I start my day with one 6 oz cup of coffee. Then I switch to a thermos of green tea to sip on throughout the morning. My favorite is the Republic of Tea’s Blueberry Green Tea. In the evening, I like their Get Relaxed tea, which is a red tea. I think the rooibos root really works for relaxation.

  114. Andrew Distad November 7, 2013 at 3:12 pm #

    I love your unbiased objective findings. You speak with a passion for the wellness of the world without ulterior motives.

    This was a good case for the cons and I’d like to read those references. Do you know where I can find them?

    I’d like to hear some pros so I don’t have to give up my precious java. I hear drinking coffee may lower risk for prostate cancer (cancertherapychina.com)

    But the diuretic effect makes me think tending to be dehydrated wouldn’t help purge toxins from the body and also consuming a beverage that is so acidic may be counter intuitive to this claim because I have heard cancer also thrives in an acidic environment, and can’t live in an alkaline environment (cancure.org)

    I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on this.

    Andrew

    References:

    http://cancertherapychina.com/cancer-topics/prostate-cancer/coffee-drinking-linked-with-lower-risk-of-prostate-cancer.html

    http://www.cancure.org/cancer_prevention.htm

  115. Todd W. December 18, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

    Anything consumed in substantial quantities will likely have ill effects; results will vary dependent on body chemistry, diet, life style, etc.
    That said, I will speak from personal experience:
    When I started drinking coffee 10 years ago I noticed intermittent discomfort in my leg muscles and joints. That feeling seemed to correlate with coffee consumption; symptoms went away after 2-3 weeks and I gave it little thought. 10 years later I decide to quit coffee and after 4 days my leg muscles and joints began giving me great discomfort in the same areas as before. Being of analytical nature, I drank some coffee and the symptoms were gone within an hour or so. Drank coffee at a slightly reduced volume for 2 weeks and repeated the scenario… symptoms returned. Again reduced coffee intake for 2 weeks and repeated scenario… symptoms returned again… In all instances coffee calmed the discomfort.
    My described discomfort felt like my muscles and joints were being leached; hard to describe, but that was the feeling (this was before searching the internet).
    So there’s my story for what it’s worth.
    I did give up coffee, but I had to taper off a bit at a time.
    —————————————————-
    On a side note: I feel less stressed, diet is easier to maintain and my mind is much clearer.
    Hope this helps someone out there.

  116. Elizabeth May 3, 2014 at 11:55 am #

    I just woke up and drank coffee on an empty stomach and within about 45 minutes my blood sugar crashed. I’ve experienced this before. Others have told me coffee kills their appetite. I’ve always wondered why it seems to have the opposite effect on me. I love the stuff. But my experience this morning was undeniable: the coffee triggered a blood sugar crash. Does this mean I’m pre diabetic ? I’m thin and exercise regularly. My dad had diabetes 2.

    Thank you!

  117. Nadia May 9, 2014 at 6:00 am #

    Thank you so much for the insightful information Dr Hyman. I have been trying to get rid of coffee for a long time, mainly due to the high acidity levels and sleep problems I have. I can go off it for a few months but always find my way back to it somehow. The last time I was off it for 9 weeks but the withdrawal symptoms never really completely disappeared. In the beginning I was severely fatigued, I couldn’t keep my eyes open and had naps every 2 hours or so. That lasted for 4 days. But the depression and the feeling of not having any drive, or will, or energy never left. After 9 weeks I went gradually back to my regular coffee routine (which is only one cup in the morning every day) and I’m right back to my normal, excited, driven self. This is highly concerning because I really want to kick the coffee habit but I truly don’t want to feel that depression again, or have no drive. What do i do ???
    P.S. while I was off the coffee those 9 weeks I did occasionally have a cup of black tea or green tea every now and then. Also a cup of homemade organic hot chocolate (which is pure organic cocoa, honey, and organic soya milk) and I’ve heard there is caffeine or a relative of caffeine in cocoa, is this true? and could the tea/green tea/hot chocolate have countered any attempt I had at detoxing from coffee??

    • Avatar of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff August 7, 2014 at 8:41 pm #

      Hi Nadia,
      To detox from coffee, it will be most effective if you eliminate all forms of caffeine, even decaf coffee and tea. Did you know you can work with Dr. Hyman’s nutritionists virtually? For personalized nutrition coaching where you can receive 1:1 support with Registered Dietitians, please see: http://store.drhyman.com/Store/List/Coaching-Programs.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  118. Sandy May 16, 2014 at 11:12 am #

    I don’t know if I am addicted to coffee but I do have a cup everyday at work while drinking none on the weekend. I didn’t even start drinking coffee regularly until I started work 3 years ago, I didn’t like the taste and I usually avoided it because drinking it would cause me pain in my stomach or abdominal area now it doesn’t cause me pain but I was wondering if coffee was causing my inflammation and after reading this article I am wondering if it is the reason I break out every time I have something sugary which was never a problem before unless I had excess amounts of sweets. Now though I just have a lollipop or a fruit punch and my skin reacts to it.

    I will try cutting out coffee and see how my body handles it.

  119. shaz May 20, 2014 at 6:23 am #

    its very interesting reading all your comments, I’m into day 3 of no coffee, I only had one cup of filter coffee a day, and I feel foggy! Just goes to show. I have an underactive thyroid and take 125mg Levothyroxine daily. Can anyone say specifically if Green Tea should be avoided as it contains fluroride? Advice would be appreciated. Thanks

  120. karen June 7, 2014 at 11:34 am #

    hi dr mark,

    a few years ago I was fortunate enough to be given a free glucose testing device by my local chemist. curious to see how it worked more than anything, i pricked my finger and smugly waited for an expected ‘ normal’ range result. my full attention was quickly caught when i saw a much higher than normal reading. convinced there was an error I re tested. same result. this was to be followed by even higher readings sometimes in the range of 20 – 27 and once even 30! my GP arranged the two crucial tests which determine if a patient has diabetes for sure and both came back negative. perhaps there is something wrong with your machine my GP said. of course I thought, so off i went and purchased another, a completely different make, one the GP recommended. convinced we had sorted the problem out, i diligently tested my blood sugar again and much to my horror the readings were still high. maybe a specialist would have the answer I thought. when the results came back negative again i was beside myself and argued that there must be some mistake. but there wasn’t. according to the specialist i was not diabetic, not even pre diabetic and what’s more there wasn’t much sugar in storage, something quite rare apparently even for a so called normal person! but my two machines were telling me otherwise and instinctively I knew something must be wrong. all this time id started exercising like crazy and cut out most carbs in a desperate attempt to get my blood sugar levels down but to no avail.
    so, next i started recording everything i ate, at what time and also noted any exercise I did. i became fanatical and it wasn’t long before my paperwork resembled a mini thesis. after a couple of months i booked into the diabetes clinic at the university hospital. more tests were done. my machines and detailed diary were handed over for careful examination. a group of drs and students disappeared into a conference room for what seemed liked an hour but was probably a half, to discuss my perplexing problem with no answer.
    “could there be anything in your environment which is causing these abnormally high readings?” “no” do you use a cosmetic with vitamin c in it” “no” ” this is a long shot, but do you live with anyone who has diabetes?” ” no”

    sometimes the only person who can figure out what is wrong with you is yourself and that is exactly what I did. i must be missing something I thought to myself as I went over my notes again and again trying to find a pattern.
    and then suddenly I saw it! coffee. my readings were high every day but even higher after i had drunk coffee and the recovery time between cups was minimal; the steady flow of coffee, 3 cups a day was keeping my blood sugar high. it was clear I would have to cut coffee out altogether if I was to see my blood sugar levels drop. it took approximately one year for this to happen. I would also like to add that the entire time my blood sugar was high ( approx 2 years) I had pins and needles in my fingers and toes 24/7. prior to obtaining my blood sugar testing machines, i had had neurological tests in order to find out what was causing the pins and needles. now I know. don’t drink coffee, it is dangerous!

  121. Ken Bagwell June 19, 2014 at 10:12 am #

    Do all these 10 things apply to Diet soft drinks, or are they worse?
    Thanks for you work,

    Ken

    • Avatar of Team Hyman
      Team Hyman June 21, 2014 at 1:35 pm #

      Hi Ken,

      Check out article on our thoughts on Diet Soda.

      Thanks for contributing!

  122. Paul September 7, 2014 at 3:27 am #

    As a sales person , coffee has been a thing to give me that kick in the morning. I always told myself I didn’t need it to have the energy I have and after 10 years without missing a day , I decided to cut cold turkey. I want to be an example to my students who have a hard time not jacking themselves up on caffeine and coffee in order to sell. Day 1 completely fine and bare able.

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