The 15 Terrible Coffee Side Effects You Need to Know About

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Last Updated: 28th September 2016

You’ve just read the title, and now you’re thinking “What? How could anyone say anything bad about coffee? My precioussss…”

Gollum comparison aside, most coffee drinkers are pretty passionate about their Java. Being a coffee snob is pretty much a way of life these days. With so many different cultivars of coffee in so many different recipes, it’s hard not to love coffee.

But don’t get up in arms just yet!

We’re passionate about coffee as well. I’ve been known to down my fair share of Joe–everything from a proper espresso to a cappuccino latte to frappes and even the lesser-known drinks (like Bulletproof Coffee).

Note: I REFUSE to try Pumpkin Spice Latte. Sue me.

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You know the old saying, “Too much of any good thing can be bad for you”? Coffee is so delicious and wonderful that there HAS to be downsides to it!

In this post, we’re going to take a look at coffee side effects to answer the question “Is coffee bad for you?” once and for all.

Set aside your passion for coffee for a moment so you can critically examine the side effects of coffee listed below.

Even if you know everything there is to know about coffee, you may learn a few things about the potential drawbacks of coffee…

Coffee Side Effects

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Here are some of the reasons that drinking coffee ruins you:

  • Makes all other beverages bland and boring by comparison. I mean, really? A cup of tea after drinking espressos for years? You’re better off drinking hot chocolate, or maybe a mocha. Oh right, that’s coffee again.
  • Becomes an important part of your life until you can’t function without it. Morning is probably not a great time in your household, not until the first cup of Joe is nearly empty. (This might lead to relying on it to stop snoring and other related sleep apnea issues!)
  • Makes you prone to fits of rage if someone is taking too long at Starbucks. “Come on! Do you really have to customize your order? You’re here for a cup of coffee, not a low-fat, soy milk, odd-flavored dessert!” Sound familiar?
  • Increases your tendency to scoff at people who drink regular coffee. You’re so used to slow-brewing your own home-ground Arabica that you can’t imagine how anyone can drink the pathetic stuff brewed in the break room.
  • Your head is stuffed with useless information. You know what a “cupping” is, what a “microlot” batch is, you understand terms like “leguminous”, and you say things like “tastes like Kenya”.
  • You’re going broke. Regular store-bought coffee just doesn’t cut it for you anymore! If it’s not way overpriced, free-trade, organic, specialized coffee, you won’t let it touch your palate.

Pretty nasty side effects, right? And that’s before we even get to the effects coffee has on your body…

The Real Side Effects Of Coffee

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Humor aside, coffee does, unfortunately, come with some unpleasant side effects. We may not be talking “sprouting warts on your tongue” or “breaking out into hives”, but the coffee side effects are very real.

Here are some of the side effects of coffee you need to know about:

Increases blood pressure — It’s a well-documented fact: caffeine raises your blood pressure. However, did you know that the increase in blood pressure is caused by vascular resistance, and not by an increase in your heart rate or blood flow?

This means that caffeine makes your heart work harder to pump blood through your body.

High blood pressure is one of the most common risk factors in coronary heart disease. Roughly 70 million American adults (29%) suffer from high blood pressure. If you are one of these adults, drinking coffee will only make the problem worse.

Essentially, it will force your heart to work double-time just to pump oxygen and nutrients through your body. For those with high blood pressure, perhaps it’s time to cut back on the Java.

Increases acid production — Specifically hydrochloric and gastric acids. Both of these acids are necessary to break down the food in your stomach. However, too much acid can cause problems in your stomach.

The acid can eat into the stomach lining (causing ulcers), or it may increase your risk of acid reflux.

This is even more of a problem if you drink coffee first thing in the morning, when there is no food in your stomach to mitigate the effects of the acid.

Oddly enough, it’s not the caffeine’s fault! One study discovered that the roasting of the coffee is most likely responsible for the increased gastric acid release.

Men who consumed regular and decaf coffee had higher levels of gastric acid than men who consumed non-coffee caffeine supplements.

Worried about an increase in stomach acid? Either drink your coffee on a full stomach, or cut back on the acid-producing foods in the meals where you have a cup of Joe.

Causes stomach/digestive problems — Not everyone who drinks coffee experiences digestive problems or a “rumbly tummy”, but most people suffering from IBS, ulcerative colitis, gastritis, peptic ulcers, and Crohn’s disease will find that the coffee irritates their digestive system and makes their stomach/digestive problems worse.

You see, when you drink coffee, you increase the production of acid in your stomach. This increase in acid weakens your stomach lining, making it easier for bacteria (like the H. pylori bacteria responsible for ulcers) to burrow into the stomach tissue.

And the effects aren’t limited to your stomach! Coffee can also irritate your small intestines, causing cramps, abdominal spasms, and alternating constipation and diarrhea–a condition known as IBS. Thankfully, this is a fairly rare side effect of caffeine!

Contributes to heartburn/acid reflux — Have you ever felt a burning, stabbing pain in your chest after drinking coffee? How about a feeling like the top of your stomach (mid-chest) is on fire? If so, coffee may be causing acid reflux or heartburn.

Caffeine relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter, the muscle that stops food from coming back up your throat once it hits your stomach. When the sphincter relaxes, it allows food and acid to come back up the esophagus, and the acid burns the unprotected tissue of your esophagus.

Coffee isn’t the only drink that can cause heartburn and acid reflux–caffeinated sodas and teas are also responsible. Still, if you’ve got that stabbing, burning pain, perhaps it’s time to give your body a break and cut coffee/caffeine for a week or two.

Affects brain and central nervous system — We all know that coffee makes us feel awake, but do you know why?

Coffee doesn’t actually cause your body to produce more energy; instead, it shuts off the part of your brain that registers tiredness.

Coffee antagonizes the receptors in your brain that recognize adenosine, the chemical that signals fatigue. By turning off these adenosine receptors, coffee tricks your brain into thinking that you are more alert, awake, and focused than you really are.

This blocking of the adenosine receptors will make you feel awake and alert, but woe to you when the caffeine wears off. Because these receptors have been shut off, they become MORE sensitive when the caffeine stops blocking them. Hence, you feel the “coffee crash”.

Caffeine also affects your central nervous system, and it can cause problems like:

  • Anxiety
  • Jitters
  • Nervousness
  • Irritability
  • Drowsiness

Something to be aware of as you sip your Java!

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De-sensitizes your body to caffeine — We all know what happens when you drink coffee regularly: you have to drink more and more to get the same effects.

Caffeine is as addictive as nicotine and recreational drugs, and it affects your body the same, meaning no matter how much you drink, you never get the same “high” you got the first time.

The more coffee you drink, the more you need to drink to get that same effect. This is why so many coffee drinkers go from mild Americana-style coffee to cappuccinos and espressos. For espresso drinkers, there are few options–like Death Wish Coffee (the name speaks for itself…)

Not only is it hard to get the same “high”, but you develop a dependence on caffeine in addition to the tolerance. If you stop drinking coffee, you get the “shakes”, a headache, and other downsides.

Affects nutrient absorption — One of the most notable examples is coffee’s effect on calcium absorption. Coffee essentially interferes with your body’s ability to absorb calcium, preventing it from reaching your bones.

Excessive caffeine intake can lead to bone thinning and osteoporosis. (For those taking green coffee bean supplements, this is also one of the green coffee bean extract side effects…)

Excess body fat — Now, to be clear, this isn’t a side effect of coffee, per se. Just drinking black coffee can actually stimulate weight loss, and will increase your energy at the gym.

However, how many people actually drink their coffee black and ENJOY IT? A large majority of people add milk, sugar, or both to their coffee. And don’t get me started on the fancy coffees you get at Starbucks!

Between the cream, whole-fat milk, high-sugar flavorings, and whipped cream toppings, you can end up consuming upwards of 500 calories in a single cup of coffee. Drink two or three of these per day, and you’re talking about A LOT of extra calories.

It’s a bit of a hard saying. To keep your coffee healthy, you have to keep it simple. However, this makes it bitter and harder to drink. Tough call, right?

Laxative and diuretic — This one is a bit of a mixed bag. Many people depend on coffee for their regular bathroom trips, thanks to the fact that caffeine triggers peristalsis–or the contraction of your bowel muscles that send the waste material toward the exit.

By triggering peristalsis, coffee helps to empty your digestive system, eliminating waste.

However, it’s not all good. First, your body may become dependent on the caffeine to trigger this muscle activity, meaning it will be unable to excrete waste without the aid of caffeine.

It also acts as a diuretic, making your body flush water–fluid that may be necessary for a healthy body. To make things worse, a lot of the food emptied from your intestines as a result of the caffeine isn’t fully digested. You end up missing out on vital nutrients thanks to the fact that coffee empties your bowels before they’re ready.

Add to that an increased risk of irritation/inflammation, and you’ve got a good reason to hesitate before drinking coffee.

For a normal, healthy person, coffee won’t cause problems with your digestive tract. However, if you suffer from gastrointestinal disorders (like IBS, gastritis, Crohn’s disease, etc.), it may be a good idea to check with your doctor before drinking coffee.

Other negative side effects — Here are a few more minor side effects of caffeine and coffee:

  • Coffee, if consumed in excess, may increase your risk of gout.
  • Coffee drinkers between the ages of 18 and 45 have a higher risk of mild hypertension, potentially increasing their chance of developing cardiovascular disorders.
  • One study discovered that women who drink up to 250 milligrams of caffeine per day had a 150% higher chance of developing fibrocystic breast disease than non-coffee drinkers. If the caffeine intake increased to more than 500 mg per day, the chance of FBD increased to 230%.
  • According to the University of Alabama, women who drink a lot of coffee have a 70% higher chance of developing incontinence and leaky bladders.
  • Headaches aren’t only caused by coffee withdrawal, but can be result of too much caffeine.
  • Women going through menopause often notice more vasomotor symptoms thanks to coffee.

Also, intake of at least two caffeinated beverages a day of men and women prior to conception increases the risks of miscarriage. Studies show that male preconception consumption of caffeine was just as strongly associated with pregnancy loss as that of females. This leads to the conclusion that caffeine intake of both parties during this time directly contributes to pregnancy loss. 

A lot of negatives, right? Sounds almost more harmful than good, doesn’t it?

So, now it’s time to answer the question, “Is coffee bad for you?” Are the side effects of coffee a deal-breaker, or can you keep drinking regardless?

In the end, it comes down to individual choice. You know what the coffee side effects are, and you can see how caffeine affects your body. You’re a grown-up able to make a wise, informed decision for yourself!

All You Need To Know About Using Coffee Scrubs For Cellulite

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Did you know that you don’t just need to drink coffee to get the benefits of the beans? Did you even know that coffee beans are full of herbal remedies and health benefits?

Creating a coffee scrub for your skin could be one of the most beneficial things you do today. You will not just rejuvenate your skin but fight against problems like cellulite. Here’s all you need to know about coffee beans, scrubs, and cellulite.

The Benefits of Using Coffee Beans

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Coffee beans have been linked to improving numerous health problems, including diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and liver cancer. More research is needed in some of them but just a cup or two of coffee a day can help you boost your immune system and fight against health issues.

Coffee beans are full of inflammatory properties, which help to improve circulation of the blood, ease the pain, and protect the nerves. They are also full of antioxidants, which can help to fight against free radicals in the skin, boost collagen production, and boost the immune system.

The beans also have fat-burning properties, which is great for those who want to lose weight and improve the look of their skin. You’ll have more energy throughout the day, while also boosting the amount of essential vitamins and minerals in your body.

So, Why Do Coffee Beans Make Good Body Scrubs?

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Before even thinking about cellulite and how coffee beans benefit, it’s important to understand more about coffee beans and how they make such good scrubs. Surely anything with antioxidants, fat-burning properties, and anti-inflammatory benefits will be good for the skin, right?

Some antioxidants in coffee beans are one of the biggest reasons to use it. These antioxidants are easier to absorb through the skin, especially when the pores are fully opened, and the skin is healthy. Coffee beans make a harsh enough scrub that doesn’t damage the skin but will make sure all the dirt, oils, and bacteria are removed from the pores. You’re left with skin ready to take in all the good stuff. After hard research we found out that this organic coffee scrub are the best so try them out.

Opting for a scrub is also better than consuming the beans in other ways. The skin is able to absorb 60-80%of items that it comes in contact with, meaning that it gets so many more health benefits from the beans. You’ll get more of the antioxidants, vitamins, and anti-inflammatory properties through your skin.

The downside to the percent above is that your skin can also absorb plenty of toxins and bad chemicals. You need to give it the best start by creating a scrub that is good for it.

Just What Is Cellulite?

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So, now you know why coffee and coffee bean scrubs are good, it’s time to focus on cellulite. Sure, you’ve probably heard of it, but do you know exactly what it is? Do you really know how it’s created and what it really does to your skin?

To start with, look at your skin, especially your thighs. When you pull your skin together or move to sit down, do you see how the skin clumps together? You’ll see some dips in your skin that just don’t look normal at all. Other sections of your skin will look like fat has clumped together and becomes noticeable imperfections on your skin.

Well, that’s just what cellulite is. It’s a buildup of fat within the layers of your skin. The tissue fibres hold the fat clumps in place, and you’ll then see dips where some of the tissues and fat should be.

Not only does it look bad, but it can be detrimental to your health. The cellulite restricts the flow of blood and fluid in your skin and body. These all lead to the fat cells enlarging, and your cellulite just ends up getting worse.

On top of that, you then have the buildup of toxins to deal with! They can leave you feeling sluggish and fed up. You want to cover up your legs and other areas of your body, rather than show off your beautiful pins.

Your legs aren’t the only place you’ll see cellulite. You’ll notice it in your butt, arms, and stomach. Really, anywhere that fatty tissues can build, you’ll end up with cellulite if you don’t look after your body. It mostly affects women, and it is a complete pain when you want to feel confident and look great.

Is it even possible to get rid of cellulite? Of course, it is! And you don’t just need to rely on the likes of coffee scrubs. Let’s look at some of the ways to get rid right now.

Lose Weight to Improve Your Cellulite

One of the ways to help stop the buildup of fatty cells is by focusing on a healthy diet and exercise plan. When you join the two together, you can lose weight and will see less fatty tissues in your body. You’ll be able to enjoy the way you look.

Diet and exercise will help you reduce the chance of more cellulite forming and can help improve the look of your skin now.

The downside is that it won’t completely improve your skin. You won’t get rid of all the cellulite, and it isn’t a quick method. This isn’t something that works overnight.

Instead, you want to focus on beauty tricks and tips to improve the look of your skin.

Using Body Scrubs for Cellulite

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There are lots of scrubs out there on the market that promise to get rid of cellulite. They cost a fortune, and you don’t really need to pay for them. You can make your own products at home.

But why do body scrubs help?

The main benefit is they help to boost the flow of blood in your body. You invigorate the body and encourage the flow more. It’s like a massage, but you’re also exfoliating at the same time. By boosting that flow of blood, you’ll see the fatty tissues break up more and spread around the body. You lose that look of cottage cheese in your skin.

Any scrub can help with this process. What some other scrubs can’t do is offer anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits to your skin. This is what coffee beans can do.

Coffee also helps to boost the dilating of the blood, which means it can work its way around the thinner vessels due to any inflammation and fat buildup. There’s less chance of clotting, so you boost your health as well as the look of your skin.

Scrubs will also help to boost your collagen production. This sits within the layers of the skin and helps to boost the flexibility of the skin. Collagen also helps to ease the amount of fatty tissues that collect together, improving the look of cellulite without fully getting rid of the reason behind it.

Why Are Coffee Scrubs So Effective?

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Do coffee scrubs actually work? Will they really get rid of your cellulite?

You may be surprised to hear that the majority of scrubs will have coffee beans as the main ingredient. This is because the beans are so active and beneficial for the skin.

As mentioned, coffee helps to dilate the blood to make it easier to circulate around the system. On top of that, it’s full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties as well as vitamins to help prevent fatty tissue and toxin buildup, and boost the amount of blood that can circulate around the system. You’ll also find that the antioxidants and some vitamins boost collagen production considerably more than those without coffee.

When you exfoliate with coffee in the right way, you’ll boost the look of the skin. While you may not get rid of the actual cellulite, it will look nowhere near as bad as it did before the scrub.

You’re also boosting the energy levels of the cells in your body. Coffee is a stimulant and not just for your actual energy levels. The cells will have more power to fight against the buildup of the fatty issues, helping to break them down and get rid of the toxins in the body.

The caffeine also tightens the skin, so you’ll see less room for the collection of fatty tissues. The dips in between them will be smaller, and your skin will look much more flawless than ever before. The downside is you’ll need to use the scrub on a daily basis to help get and keep this appearance.

You don’t just need to use coffee on its own, although grounded beans will work. You can just apply after a shower, rinsing off the scrub from affected areas afterwards. It doesn’t smell that bad, but you can use the active ingredient in other scrubs to get more health benefits on the skin. When working with other ingredients, you’ll improve the look quicker and get more antioxidants/vitamins to help fight against cellulite.

There are plenty of scrub options. Here are just a few to get you started

Coffee with Avocado and Sugar

Opt for avocado with your coffee. You can add in some brown sugar for this as well to help create a harsher scrub to get rid of all those dead skin cells. A bit of oil will work all the ingredients together, so you can apply without the need of a scrubber or while you’re in the shower.

Mash up an avocado and then mix some ground coffee, brown sugar, and olive oil together. Either sit on a towel or on the side of the bath to collect any loose coffee and sugar and rub in a circular motion with your hands.

Allow the ingredients to remain on your skin for at least 15 minutes before washing them off. This will help the skin absorb all the properties.

Avocado is a fatty fruit, but it is also very beneficial for the skin. It helps to balance the production of oil and boosts the amount of vitamin E in your skin, offering to sooth burns and improve the life. The olive oil will also help to moisturise while you scrub while offering many other health benefits.

Make sure your skin is damp before you apply it. You can then just use cold water to rinse it off. The cold water will help to tighten your skin further to reduce the look of the cellulite.

Coffee With Coconut Oil

Coconut is a powerful ingredient, full of antioxidants. You can use it with your coffee beans to create an active cellulite scrub, and all you’ll need to throw in is some sugar and cinnamon.

You could opt for desiccated coconut, but coconut oil will do wonders for this cellulite scrub. Don’t forget to heat it to make sure it turns liquid, so you can then add your ground coffee, sugar and cinnamon.

This is one of those scrubs that you can use on a daily basis. Pop it in a jar so you have plenty just to scoop out and use as and when you need it. There’s no need to dampen your skin beforehand, and you can leave it on afterwards. The coconut oil is a great moisturiser, and your skin will be able to absorb all the health benefits.

Coconut oil isn’t just a great moisturiser, but also excellent for soothing inflammation. It’s full of antioxidants to help to break up the fatty tissues, and helps to fight against many other skin problems. It’s also useful for soothing stomach upsets, arthritis, and bacterial infections.

Adding cinnamon into the mix will mean even more antioxidants for your skin to absorb. It also has antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties.

The sugar and coffee beans will also help to exfoliate the skin, so your pores are open and ready to soak in all those health benefits.

Coffee With Oatmeal

One of the most popular scrubs for cellulite is a coffee and oatmeal one. You will need to steam the oatmeal first, and it isn’t one of those that you can leave on. You’ll also need to moisturise afterwards. But it is an effective treatment for cellulite.

You will need to add some orange, rosemary and cinnamon essential oils into the mix. All of these have antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, and circulation boosting benefits to them. They’ll also leave your skin smelling great once you wash off the mixture.

Oatmeal is hypoallergenic and great for those with other skin sensitivities. It’s soothing and excellent for rashes, psoriasis, and even chicken pox. You can just put it directly onto your troubled areas, and it will work with the rest of the body to boost the collagen and break up the fatty tissues.

Use some lukewarm water to rinse off the oatmeal. This can dry out the skin, so always apply a moisturising cream afterwards. Opting for milk or oil based cream will help to keep it all natural and avoid extra toxins in the skin.

You can opt for an olive oil and vitamin E cream. Both of these will help to repair any damage that accidental over scrubbing may have done, and will boost the look and feel of your skin afterwards.

Coffee and Lemon Scrubs

Instead of oatmeal, you could opt for mixing lemon with your coffee beans. Lemons are highly beneficial for the skin. If you have sensitive skin, you may want to avoid the ingredient because the acid can be a little too much to deal with.

Mix the two ingredients with some oil and sugar. The sugar works as a better scrubber, while the oil will boost the moisturising benefits. You won’t need to remove this afterwards unless you are going out and want to get rid of the darker tone that the coffee will give your legs.

To get a few extra antioxidant and immunity benefits to your skin, try adding some honey into the mix. This will also help to improve the smell of the scrub, and help with the moisturising.

This is one of those scrubs that you can apply with a washcloth if you want. With the honey, it may get a bit too sticky for your hands!

How You Can Boost the Coffee’s Properties

There are steps that you can take before you use any of the treatments above. One of those is to exfoliate your skin before you apply any of them. Getting a shower beforehand will help to do this.

Exfoliating first will make sure your skin is free from dirt, dust, and anything else the pores have been able to collect. You’ll get rid of dead and dying skin cells, so you work with a clear base. Your skin is able to absorb far more as soon as you start applying the scrubs and creams. A great body care exfoliator can be found here at best price.

But don’t the scrubs clear the pores? Well, yes, but wouldn’t you rather give your skin the best chances possible? When you don’t exfoliate first, you’re making the scrubs do two things: clear and treat. Instead, the scrubs can work on just absorbing into the skin and getting to work on the fatty tissues.

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If you want to keep the exfoliates natural, you have two main options. The first is investing in a brush or mitt that will allow you to get into the problematic areas. The second is to cut a lemon in half. Take one-half and dip it in salt or sugar. Apply directly to the skin. This lemon option is usually best avoided on the very sensitive skin and on the face.

Hot showers are also good. While your exfoliate will help to open your pores, the heat from the shower will also help to open up your pores to make it easier to get the scrubs to work. If your skin is too sensitive for too scrubs, at least opt for the hot shower to help your scrubs absorb fully.

You’ll also need to focus on other natural ways to get rid of cellulite. Don’t forget to focus on a healthy diet and exercise program to help lose weight. Your healthy diet will also help to boost the vitamins and minerals to get rid of toxins in your body.

Drink plenty of water throughout the day. This will help to hydrate the skin and boost collagen production. If your scrub is going to dry out your skin, then apply some oil or moisturiser directly to your skin to help improve hydration and protect the collagen. If you allow the skin to lose its elasticity, you’ll find that the layers tear, and you’ll deal with stretch marks as well as cellulite.

When you are using the scrubs, you’ll need to use only your hands and only apply the scrubs on the affected areas. There’s no point putting them on other parts of your skin as this won’t help the cellulite.

Scrub hard for five minutes. You’re not going to damage your skin. If you do have a skin condition, you’ll need only to scrub as hard as that condition will take. Most of the time the cellulite isn’t in areas where the condition is most problematic but do listen to your skin and the way it feels.

Finally, consider wrapping the areas up once you apply your scrubs. This will help the skin only absorb the nutrients, and will prevent the benefits from escaping elsewhere. You may also find that the wraps can help you lose weight in the most cellulite problem areas, which will reduce the amount of fatty tissues you have.

Your skin will likely look red after the application of the scrubs. This is completely normal and should only last around 10-15 minutes. When you run your hands over the areas, they should feel smoother from the very beginning.

It’s time to improve the look of your cellulite. You don’t need expensive creams or treatments to break up those fatty tissues. Coffee beans are more powerful than you would ever think at first. They will boost the blood flow while diluting it to make it easier for the blood to circulate. With a few other active ingredients, you’ll be ready to show off your pins on the beach.

Negative Effects of Decaf Coffee (All You Need to Know)

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Decaf Coffee Image Design 1 1024x562 - Negative Effects of Decaf Coffee (All You Need to Know)Decaf is short for decaffeinated coffee. It is unlikely to be harmful if you drink it without an excess of cream or sweeteners and in moderate amounts. But if you drink it on a regular basis it would be wise to know the adverse effects, so that you can make an informed decision.


Decaffeination is the process of removing caffeine from coffee beans, tea leaves, and cocoa. These drinks typically contain 1-2 percent of the original caffeine content and sometimes as much as 20 percent.

When you turn back, the pages of history, Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge was the first one to isolate caffeine from coffee beans in 1820. German merchant Ludwig Roselius and co-workers in 1903 were the first ones to invent industrial decaffeination process.

Decaffeination Processes for Decaf Coffee

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The general process of decaffeination includes the steaming of unroasted green beans. The next step involves rinsing the beans with a solvent which extracts caffeine and leaves other constituents largely unaffected. This rinsing process is repeated 8 to 12 times so that the caffeine content meets the required standard (97 percent caffeine removed according to US standard.)

Removing the caffeine from the coffee beans is the greatest challenge to the decaffeination process. The coffee contains around 1000 chemicals that contribute to its aroma and taste. You can very well imagine that separating caffeine from these 1000 chemicals is not an easy task. Caffeine is a polar, water soluble substance and so water is used in all forms of decaffeination.

However, water alone is not the best decaffeinating agent. Other agents like methylene chloride, CO2, activated charcoal or ethyl acetate are used to speed up the process and minimize the washed out effects that water alone might have on the taste of decaffeinated coffee.

Swiss Water Process

This method entirely depends on two concepts: solubility and osmosis. The Swiss water process takes eight to ten hours and produces 99.9 percent caffeine-free beans meeting the required standard.

Organic Solvent Processes

The preferred solvents have become dichloromethane and ethyl acetate because of the numerous health scares when using solvents such as benzene, chloroform, and trichloroethylene. The organic solvent process uses either a direct or indirect method to produce decaf coffee beans.

CO2 Process

The above process is technically known as supercritical fluid extraction. It avoids the use of potentially harmful substances which is an advantage. This process is used to decaffeinate large quantities of commercial-grade, less exotic coffee found in grocery stores.

Triglyceride Process

Triglyceride process is a direct contact method of decaffeination. The process involves soaking the beans in coffee oils, obtained from used coffee grounds. The seeds are allowed to soak, and after several hours of high temperature, the triglycerides in the oil remove the caffeine.

Decaf Coffee Isn’t Caffeine Free

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Mostly all decaf coffee has got some amount of caffeine in it according to the researchers of the University of Florida.

 “If someone drinks five to 10 cups of decaffeinated coffee, the dose of caffeine could easily reach the level present in a cup or two of caffeinated coffee,” says co-author Bruce Goldberger, Ph.D., a professor, and director of UF’s William R. Maples Center for Forensic Medicine.

The UF researchers conducted a two-phase study to determine how much caffeine likely turns up in decaffeinated coffee. They purchased 10 16 ounces decaffeinated drip brewed coffee beverages and found caffeine content ranging from 8.6 milligrams to 13.9 milligrams. In comparison, an 8-ounce cup of drip brewed coffee contains 85 milligrams of caffeine.

In the second phase, the researchers analyzed 12 samples of Starbucks decaffeinated brewed and espresso coffee. The espresso drinks contained 3 mg to 15.8 mg of caffeine per shot. The brewed coffees included 12mg to 13.4mg of caffeine per 16 ounces serving.

“The important point is that decaffeinated is not the same as caffeine-free,”  “People who are trying to eliminate caffeine from their diet should be aware that traditional espresso drinks such as lattes (which contain two shots of espresso) can deliver as much caffeine as a can of Coca-Cola – about 31 milligrams,” says Roland Griffiths, PhD, a professor of behavioral biology and neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, in a news release for a study conducted by the University of Florida on caffeine content in decaf coffee.

Harmful Effects of Chemical Solvents Used in Decaf Coffee

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The most common method for decaffeinating the coffee beans uses chemical solvents that may leave a residue on the coffee seeds. Soaking the coffee seeds in several chemical solvents such as methylene chloride and ethyl acetate for about 10 hours may be the reason for this.  The beans are steamed again to remove most of the solvents. Be known that the FDA allows residues of these solvents to remain on the decaf coffee beans even after roasting.

It’s up to you to decide whether the trace elements of these chemicals should be inside your morning coffee or not. Consuming methylene chloride and ethyl acetate on a regular basis will vastly increase a person’s chances of getting a serious disease such as cancer. The industry’s marketers never mention this, and they know what happens when the knowledge is made public.

Methylene Chloride

The solvent methylene chloride used in decaf coffee process is an important solvent in paint and varnish strippers. Usually, methylene chloride exposure to any route can cause severe CNS depression. If you ingest methylene chloride, it may cause intense gastrointestinal irritation.  A metabolite of methylene chloride which is carbon monoxide may contribute to delayed toxic effects. The neonates and fetus are particularly vulnerable to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Ethyl Acetate

It is otherwise known as dry cleaning fluid. Exposing to high levels of ethyl acetate for a short term may cause irritation of eyes, nose, and throat. Very high concentrations can cause a stupor, but it is relatively nontoxic.

Adverse Health Effects of Decaf Coffee

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Harmful to Heart Health

Per the American Heart Association, decaffeinated coffee may cause an increase in harmful LDL cholesterol. It increases a particular type of blood fat linked to metabolic syndrome. In this study, the researchers gave participants caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee brands and coffee makers. To standardize the procedure, they gave preparation instructions. All participants drank only black coffee.

After drinking decaffeinated coffee for three months, the participants experienced a rise in ApoB – a protein associated with LDL or bad cholesterol. The ApoB is the only protein attached to LDL. Research studies say that ApoB might be a better estimator of cardiovascular disease risk than one’s LDL level. This protein level did not change in the other two groups.

The non-esterified fatty acids NEFA rose an average of 18 percent in the decaffeinated group, while it did not change in the other two groups. “NEFA is the fuel that can drive the increase in ApoB and LDL,” says H. Robert Superko, M.D., lead author of the study and chairman of molecular, genetic, and preventive cardiology at the Fuqua Heart Center and the Piedmont-Mercer Center for Health and Learning in Atlanta, Ga.

May Raise Cholesterol Levels

Coffee drinks contain two types of natural chemicals kahweol and cafestol both of which increase cholesterol levels. If you prepare regular caffeinated coffee using a paper filter, it filters most of the two chemicals. However, Harvard Family Health Guide reports decaf can raise your cholesterol levels even if it is prepared using a paper filter.

According to a news report by New Scientist, the cholesterol-raising properties of decaf may be due to the type of beans used. Decaf coffee is made using Robusta beans which are believed to contain very high levels of kahweol and cafestol when compared to Arabica beans used to make regular coffee.

Decaf Coffee Increases Homocysteine Levels

Increased levels of homocysteine in plasma raise the heart attack risk in a person. Coffee drinking both caffeine and decaf significantly increase the levels of homocysteine in the blood. You can find this harmful effect within hours of coffee consumption.

If you overconsume decaf coffee, it may result in some gastrointestinal issues. A report in Medical News Today warns that decaf coffee, when overused, can cause heartburn, ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux disease which is a precursor to esophageal cancer. If you drink one or two cups of decaf coffee a day, it won’t cause any serious gastrointestinal issues. If you drink super-size coffee drinks larger than 16oz on a regular basis, it may lead to some complications.

Why coffee irritates? There are certain chemicals in coffee that cause your stomach to over produce acid. According to a report in the ‘Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology’ caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee had similar stimulating effects on the hormone gastrin. Gastrin prompts the release of acid in the stomach.

European researchers Veronika Somoza and Thomas Hofmann, in a study presented at the 2010 National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, identified catechols, N-alkanoly-5-hydroxytryptamides, and caffeine as the compounds responsible for the acid release.

The overproduction of acid severely affects your gastrointestinal health.It should be noted that though decaf coffee has less caffeine, the other chemicals such as catechols, N-alkanoly-5-hydroxytryptamides may contribute to the release of acid in your stomach.

Laxative Effects of Decaf Coffee

Image 5 52 - Negative Effects of Decaf Coffee (All You Need to Know)Coffee stimulates your bowels. For some people, this laxative effect may cause stomach cramping, diarrhea, and bloat. When you drink coffee, your body releases a digestive hormone called cholecystokinin which may be responsible for abdominal cramping.

According to a research study published in the “European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology,” caffeinated coffee’s stimulation of colon activity was 23 percent more than decaffeinated coffee’s effects. Decaf had stimulus effects equal to that of a meal in inducing bowel activity and had far more effect than drinking a glass of water.

Decaf Coffee Interferes with Mineral Absorption

Caffeine is not the only ingredient that interferes with iron absorption, a chlorogenic acid which is also present in decaffeinated coffee reduces your body’s ability to absorb iron from food sources. General coffee drinking including decaf is shown to increase the loss of calcium, zinc, and magnesium.

Decaf Coffee Interferes with Bone Density

Drinking decaf coffee increases metabolic acidity and interferes with healthy bone density. Excess acidity has been linked to negative calcium balance and increased excretion of calcium. As you may be aware, calcium is essential for preventing osteoporosis, and it maintains adequate bone density. Calcium is essential for healthy heart and nervous system.

Decaffeinated Coffee Stimulates Autonomic or Sympathetic Nervous System

Caffeinated and decaf coffee stimulates the arterial blood pressure, heart rate, and sympathetic nervous activity that includes tremors or jitters and hand shaking. So, it becomes clear that substances other than caffeine present in coffee create these effects.

Decaf Coffee Increases Eye Pressure

Coffee in general increases intraocular pressure. Intraocular pressure enhances the risk of glaucoma. While caffeinated coffee significantly raises the intraocular pressure, decaf coffee also caused an increase in pressure within the eye.

Decaf Coffee Increases Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk

A large-scale epidemiological study has shown that drinking more than four cups of decaf coffee per day is associated with an increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis. Caffeine intake did not increase the arthritis risk.

Decaf Coffee and Health

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Robusta coffee beans which have the highest acidity is used to make decaf coffee. Robusta is considered inferior in flavor characteristics to the Arabica beans, but its high acidic content makes it better for decaf coffee.  Elevated levels of acidity can cause heartburn, inflammatory bowel conditions, ulcers, and osteoporosis and urinary tract inflammations.

Decaf coffee loses antioxidants during extraction. Steaming the coffee beans opens up the pores and boiling or steaming the coffee beans changes the phytochemical structure. Thus decaf coffee became chemically altered and degraded when compared with the non-decaffeinated coffee beans. Both the caffeinated and regular coffee lose antioxidants during the roasting process. But decaf coffee has higher loss of chlorogenic acids because of the chemical changes that it underwent during the decaf coffee process.

Weight Gain

A cup of black coffee has only five calories, but many decaf drinkers do not drink pure decaf coffee. They add cream and sugar; some drink decaf espresso lattes that contain a lot of whole milk. Sugary white coffee drinks contain calories and fat. Such coffee drinks can wreak havoc on your waistline if you’re trying to maintain a healthy weight.


If you drink a couple of decaf cups of coffee, each day it is unlikely that you’ll suffer from any adverse health effects. If you have problems from high cholesterol or at a risk of heart disease, then better have a word with your doctor about decaf.

Decaf coffee does contain some antioxidants, but you should not use it as a substitute for fruits and veggies. If you are selective about decaf, you can try the natural caffeine free coffee varieties available in the market such as Teeccino herbal coffee and Orzo the natural caffeine free coffee just to name a few but we also recommend this product because it’s organic made and roasted in Canada. Natural teas such as peppermint tea, chamomile tea, and ginger tea are caffeine free and can pep up your energy levels.

What is your idea about decaf? Share with us your valuable views and experiences in the comments section below.



Coffee and tea – health myths and risks

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Sitting down with a nice cup of tea or coffee has to be one of life’s great pleasures – yet these days the newspapers would have us believe that even this simple treat carries risks to our health.

In fact, there’s good news – as long as you stick to moderation, your taste for coffee and tea can be indulged without a moment’s guilt. By moderation, we mean up to 400 mg caffeine – that’s about eight cups of tea or four to five cups of coffee a day.

At very high levels, coffee and tea can increase blood pressure – one of the biggest risk factors for stroke. They can also make you more prone to palpitations – but you’d need to down three cups of strong coffee or six cups of tea at a single gulp to put yourself at risk! Certain types of coffee – like boiled coffee, which is popular in Scandinavia but unheard of in the UK – can increase your cholesterol. Other types of coffee don’t carry the same risk.

In fact, these studies have usually involved huge doses of caffeine or have not taken into account the fact that heavy coffee and tea drinkers are more likely to smoke. When smoking is taken out of the equation, the link disappears. What’s more, coffee and tea contain antioxidants – these may protect your heart and offset any possible damage from caffeine.

Because very high caffeine intake, from tea, coffee or colas can cause these problems, there’s been a lot of anxiety about health risks associated with them. In fact, as long as you stick to moderate levels, they’re not only safe but may be good for you.

For instance, in hot weather it’s extremely easy to get dehydrated. As you get older, dehydration gets more and more dangerous, carrying risks to your heart and your kidneys. The British Dietetic Association recommends that you should drink at least two to two and a half litres of fluid, or six to eight cups a day. At moderate levels, coffee and tea not only don’t cause dehydration but can prevent it by contributing to your daily fluid intake. There is also more and more evidence that moderate coffee and tea intake can protect against diabetes.

So overall, the message is clear – as grandma used to tell us, ‘Everything in moderation’. As long as moderation means not more than eight cups of tea or four to five cups of coffee a day, indulge away!

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Patient Platform Limited has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.

Coffee in the news again – but this time, not in the dock

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We Brits, it seems, have an insatiable appetite for coffee matched only by our unquenchable thirst for news stories about whether it will kill us or make us live for ever. Now a new study has suggested that drinking coffee might lower your risk of type 2 diabetes.

Coffee has come a long way since it was first imported into Western Europe in 1615 after news of the ‘wine of Araby’ spread to the West. Some religious speakers condemned coffee as the ‘bitter invention of Satan’. Their attempt to garner support from the Pope for their cause backfired when, after tasting it, he gave the drink the Papal seal of approval, and by the mid-17th century the cafe culture had begun. By the turn of the 18th century there were over 3,000 coffee houses in London alone, where business was done while they sipped their brew. Indeed, the London Stock Exchange and Lloyds of London both started life as coffee houses.

Fast forward to 2014, and the UK consumes about 70 million cups of coffee a day. Hardly surprising, then, that people have an interest in whether it’s bad (or good) for them. One of the commonest questions I’m asked is whether coffee dehydrates you. It doesn’t, if you stick to moderate intake (up to four to five cups a day), and in fact it can contribute to your daily fluid intake. (1) Next there’s whether it kills you – this after a study last year suggesting that people who drank more than 28 cups a week hit the headlines. (2) What many of the newspapers failed to point out was that there was no health risk found for people drinking up to four cups a day, or that another study the previous year found that people who drank coffee had lower death rates than those who didn’t. (3)

Next on the list is coffee and heart health – fuelled when Cherie Blair famously banned her Prime Minister husband from drinking coffee and he had minor heart surgery. The British Heart Foundation has looked at all the evidence and concluded that for healthy people drinking up to four to five cups a day, there is no heart risk. (4)

So what about type 2 diabetes? Just last year, a study suggesting coffee might increase your risk of type 2 diabetes hit the headlines. (5) In fact, it was a small study in rats already being fed a high-fat diet. By contrast, studies looking at up to 30,000 humans have consistently shown that those who drink coffee are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes. (6,7) These studies aren’t perfect, and they’re not enough for me to start actively plying my patients with coffee if they don’t drink it already. But they’re certainly a strong indicator that there is nothing to worry about.

There are some conditions where caffeine in any form can make matters worse for some people – these include migraines, irritable bowel syndrome and urge incontinence. If you suffer from any of these, it may be worth cutting out caffeine for a couple of weeks to see if your symptoms improve.

The other exception to the ‘up to four to five cups a day’ rule is pregnant women – they should stick to no more than 200 mg of caffeine a day from all sources (a cup of contains about 50 mg of caffeine and a cup of brewed coffee or a mug of instant coffee about 100 mg). But for everyone else, the news is remarkably reassuring. Do I consider I lead a healthy lifestyle? Absolutely, as much as I can. Do I lose sleep over my three cups of coffee a day? Not unless I drink them just before bedtime.



2) Liu J, Sui X, Lavie CJ, et al. Association of coffee consumption with all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality.Mayo Clin Proc 2013; DOI:10.1016/j.mayocp.2013.06.020. 


4) The British Heart Foundation,

5) Mubarak A et all. Supplementation of a High-Fat Diet with Chlorogenic Acid Is Associated with Insulin Resistance and Hepatic Lipid Accumulation in Mice. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. April 2013, 61 (18), pp 4371-4378

6) Pereira A et al. Coffee consumption and the risk of type 2 diabetes. Arch Int Med 2006; 166: 1311-1316

7) Bidel S et al. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2007), 1-8

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Patient Platform Limited has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.

Coffee and health – the facts, not the froth

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The first ever International Coffee Day brought with it a flurry of requests in the media for me to cover the subject. At first I was amazed at the amount of activity – but then I thought about just how many of us have a vested interest. The British tradition may be for ‘a nice cup-o’-tea’, but coffee has now become a staple across the world. Today, the UK consumes about 70 million cups of coffee a day (1), and in the USA, about 100 million Americans drink in the region of 350 million cups a day. In fact, about half of all Americans start their day with a cup of coffee, and it’s the largest consumer in the world, accounting for one third of worldwide coffee exports. (2)

The origins of coffee are shrouded in mystery. One of the most common stories relates to a goatherd in Eastern Africa (possibly Ethiopia) about 1500 years ago, who noticed his goats bouncing around after eating the berries from a tree. A local monk experimented to see if he could get the same effect on his levels of alertness, and the berries of the coffee tree spread quickly from Abyssinia to Arabia. By the end of the 13th Century, it was drunk across the Arab world, and by the start of the 17th Century had made its way to Europe via Venetian traders.

Some religious bodies dubbed it the ‘bitter invention of Satan’. But when they gave some to the Pope to try to enlist his support to have it banned, legend has it that he gave the drink the Papal seal of approval instead. By the mid-17th Century the cafe culture had begun and by the turn of the 18 th Century there were over 3,000 coffee houses in London alone.

Coffee, of course, is not the only source of caffeine in our diets. An average mug of instant coffee contains 100 mg caffeine and a mug of brewed coffee, 140 mg. By comparison, a similar sized mug of tea has about 75 mg caffeine and a regular energy drink up to 80 mg (3).

Today, it is generally accepted that up to 400 mg a day of caffeine is safe unless you’re pregnant, in which case you should limit your intake to 200 mg a day (4, 5). That’s about four mugs of instant or three mugs of brewed coffee – but don’t forget to add all your caffeine sources together.

Coffee is often in the headlines. For instance, there have been all sorts of scare stories about a link between coffee and cancer – but they’re just that, scare stories. The World Cancer Research Fund has looked at all the evidence and in its opinion “Most evidence suggests that regular consumption of coffee and/or tea has no significant relationship with the risk of cancer at any site.” (6) It has even been linked with a lower risk of colorectal cancer, possibly because of its effect on bile acids (7).

A similar reassuring picture emerges where heart problems are concerned. Don’t just take my word for it – the British Heart Foundation, after assessing all the evidence, has concluded that moderate caffeine intake does not increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease or abnormal heart rhythms. (8) And a study of 175,000 people shows coffee drinkers actually have lower blood pressure than non-drinkers.(9)

While a couple of years ago, a study about a possible increased risk of type 2 diabetes from coffee drinkers hit the headlines, the reality is very different. The ‘bad news’ study had just 10 people in it – while other studies involving a total of 525,000 people showed either no link, or a lower risk of type 2 diabetes among coffee drinkers, even when smoking, weight and other lifestyle factors were taken into account.

Every interview I’ve done this week on coffee has included a question about coffee being a diuretic. In fact, at levels up to 400mg a day it doesn’t dehydrate you, and can count towards your daily recommended fluid intake (10).

Finally, there’s good news on coffee and dementia. I’ve found at least a dozen studies suggesting that coffee may protect against cognitive decline, possibly protecting against development of dementia and Alzheimer’s in later life.

If you suffer from migraines, overactive bladder, irritable bowel syndrome or menopausal hot flushes, you may find caffeine makes your symptoms worse.

However, for most other people up to 400 mg a day isn’t linked to any significant health harm and may even do you good. This news may not make headlines, but it might bring a smile to your face.


1) Allegra Strategies UK Retail Coffee Shop Market Report 2012


3) Food Standard Agency, Survey of caffeine levels in hot beverages



6) World Cancer Research Fund. Food, Nutrition and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective. 1997

7) Woolcott CG et al. European Journal of Cancer Prevention 2002; 11: 137-145

8) The British Heart Foundation,

9) Pannier, B 2013, http://

10) British Dietetic Association,

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Patient Platform Limited has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.

Can 10 Instagram Likes Pay For My Morning Coffee? (A CNP’s Post-School Experience …)

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Katie Israelson

I like to bring an organic and honest yet humorous approach to my counselling and writing. I believe in the importance of nourishing the soul and body, and hope to provide support for those open to my quirky yet insightful anecdotes. By embracing my own challenges with food sensitivities, hormone balancing, and weight management (believe me, this is an ongoing battle) I hope to connect with my readers on a personal level.

As a newbie blogger, I am here to let you know we are not alone in our struggles, challenges or successes. Everyone has a story. Regardless of setbacks we are powerful human beings, capable of achieving greatness. So may we rise up, and walk this road together.

How Do You Take Your Morning Coffee? (Confessions Of A ‘Coffee Bum’ Queen)

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For years I was a total health wreck. Chronic fatigue, autoimmune, allergies … the list goes on. I was treated for candida and leaky gut. I was put on a gut healing protocol that involved gulping down 30 supplements daily.

I changed my diet to cut out all gluten, sugar, dairy and other allergenic foods. I even cut out lettuce at one point because it showed up high on my allergy test. … and guess what?  Nothing work.  I was incredibly frustrated and DONE with taking pills and restricting my diet like a crazy person.

It was around that time I met an amazing doctor in Reno, NV who introduced me to Coffee Enemas. It was the turning point of my health, and I still incorporate them into my cleansing practice now.

Why a coffee enema you may ask?  Do I really want you to put coffee up your arse you might ask? YES. I definitely do.

At first it may seem like I’m a crazy person. (we’re all a little crazy, aren’t we?), but I can assure you with full confidence that doing regular coffee enemas helped me overcome the incurable illnesses that had taken over my body and helped me master control of my life again.

Here’s the breakdown on some of the immediate health benefits:

Candida Overgrowth:

If you have a candida overgrowth (like SO many people do) you need to cleanse the liver. Quite often we spend too much time trying to ‘get rid’ of the candida without actually realizing that candida can be a defence mechanism of the body.  Your body is super smart.  And if you are eating a clean, sugar-free, real food diet that candida should definitely die off.  If it doesn’t we need to look deeper (see the note below about heavy metals). Candida LOVES to hang out with the liver.  So by flushing the liver with frequent coffee enemas you are flushing the candida (along with other nasty toxins stored up in the liver).

Heavy Metal Toxicity:

Genetically we are all awesome human beings. However some of us have challenges with the methylation pathways in our liver which can result in a build up of toxic waste and heavy metal toxicity. That’s where candida comes in to protect us from heavy metal toxicity. Candida to the rescue! Candida does this by surrounding the metals in the body, encompassing them, in an effort to protect the body from foreign metals. If heavy metal toxicity remains present in the body the Candida will not leave. Simple as that. So how do you support your liver to detox these metals?  You got it.  Coffee Enemas!


Although I don’t typically recommend coffee enemas for chronic constipation, it does definitely work when done properly. I typically recommend clients start by having a colonic and/or a water enema to release any stool sitting in the sigmoid colon (the part just above your rectum), and then administer the coffee enema. The coffee stimulates the release of bile which gets things moving. For specifics on constipation protocols contact the Refresh Clinic. Our team of experts can break it down for you and help put things back into working order.

Anti-Aging Benefits:

When coffee enters your sigmoid colon, properties in the coffee travel up your portal vein to the liver and stimulate the natural production of Glutathione; a powerful anti-aging antioxidant.  As you’re relaxing on the floor of your bathroom, (ahem… likely scrolling FB), a portal vein in the sigmoid colon draws specific properties from the coffee into the liver, stimulating the release of toxic waste from the liver into the gallbladder, allowing bile to carry these toxins into the intestine for elimination. During this process, our detoxification capacity in the liver increases by 600% and our entire blood supply is being filtered by the increased detoxification ability of the liver. Those free radicals don’t stand a chance!  Which means that your walking out of that bathroom feeling bright, energized and younger than you did when you walked in.  I like those kind of results.

Coffee Enemas are NOT a new practice!  In fact they have been around for hundreds of years. Here’s a little fun history for you:

During World War I, German Nurses ran out of clean water for enemas and began to perform enemas using coffee that was available to the doctors. After doing so, they reported dramatic improvement in their patients and the need for morphine to assist with pain relief was reduced. Dr. Max Gerson, who is well known for his alternative cancer therapies (check out The Gerson Institute), later studied coffee enemas extensively and they have since been incorporated into various protocols to treat chronic disease.

OK, So How Do I Do It?

Here’s a step by step guide.

Step 1: Gather Supplies Needed

  • A clean enema kit (we prefer a clear enema bucket, but a standard bag is fine too)
  • 1.5 liters of purified water
  • 3 tablespoons organic, dark-­roast coffee, finely ground (not instant)
  • 1 non­‐aluminum, teflon-free pot or saucepan (to boil the coffee)
  • 1 tablespoon celic sea salt or food-grade epsom salt
  • 1 ‐ 2 large towels and a pillow for comfort
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil (pure almond and olive oil are okay too)
  • Opt: 1/8 tsp of pure glutathione powder

Step 2: Stir the coffee in the pot to make sure all is mixed in the water, then bring to a boil and boil for 3 – 5 minutes. Reduce heat and let simmer for 15 – 20 minutes.

Step 3: Remove from stove element and let the coffee cool down to room temperature. Add salt. Strain coffee through a fine sieve to remove as many grinds as possible (note: do not use a paper or cloth filter to strain your coffee). You should be left with about 1 liter of coffee. Add more purified water if needed.

Step 4: Lay one towel on the floor inside or just outside of your private bathroom. Place the pillow under where your head will be and have an extra towel ready for warmth or comfort as needed.

Step 5: Assemble the enema kit as per the instructions that come with it. Place or hang the enema bucket/bag approximately 2 – 3 feet from where you’ll be lying. Ensure that the valve of the enema kit is closed and pour approximately 1 liter of the body temperature coffee mixture into the bucket/bag. If you are using glutathione powder, add it in now.

Step 7: Use the coconut oil to lubricate your anus and the first couple inches of the enema insertion tube.

Step 8: Hold the insertion tube over the sink, toilet, or bathtub and release the water slowly out through the tube, ensuring that water is flowing. Once you are sure the water is flowing, close the valve back up stopping the water flow temporarily.

Step 9: Lie on your side with your knees drawn toward your chest and gently insert the tube about 2 – 3 inches inside your anus. If you feel resistance you should stop, readjust the insertion angle and continue the insertion.

Step 10: Release the valve on the insertion tube and allow the coffee to slowly flow into your rectum. If you feel the need to evacuate immediately, slow down the water flow with the valve. After you have taken as much water as you can, remove the insertion tube, turn onto your back and remain comfortably on the floor until you feel the increased need to release. You may gently massage your abdomen if you choose. Ideally, you will hold for 12 – 15 minutes.

Step 11: When you feel the need to release, move to evacuate on the toilet. Raise your arms above your head and gently twist your torso to promote evacuation. It is recommended to have your feet slightly elevated from the floor on a stool to achieve the optimal evacuation position.

Step 12: Clean your enema kit with warm water & soap (or use vinegar to disinfect) and allow it to air-dry. Store somewhere sanitary for the next use!

If you are dealing with migraine headaches, metal toxicity, chronic fatigue, autoimmune, candida overgrowth or parasites I HIGHLY recommend just giving it a try!

Here’s a couple links to buy the Coffee Enema Kits online:

Base Kit: click here to get the details in our online store.

Upgraded Kit (includes glutathione): click here to get the details in our online store. 

Want to see a step-by-step demonstration with yours truly? 🙂  Check out this YouTube video where I break the process down in detail:

Can Coffee Help Anxiety?

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coffee - Can Coffee Help Anxiety?

Source: peter bongiorno @drbongiorno

. . . coffee sets the blood in motion and stimulates the muscles; it accelerates the digestive processes, chases away sleep, and gives us the capacity to engage a little longer in the exercise of our intellects – Honoré de Balzac

As the most well used psychoactive drug of all time, coffee is an interesting compound, with generally positive reviews regarding health and mood. Regarding overall health, studies show some wonderful health effects for coffee.

Coffee can decrease a pre-diabetic’s risk for diabetes, lower incidence of bile tract and liver cancer, and even help prevent heart attacks after a meal. In fact, a 2013 review of the larger epidemiologic studies show regular coffee consumption to reduce mortality, both for all-cause and cardiovascular deaths. Brand new research by Guercio suggests it can help prevent recurrence of colon cancer. In addition, coffee intake is associated with lower rates of heart failure, stroke, and diabetes.

Coffee to Help Anxiety?

Conventional wisdom suggests that caffeine-containing drinks are considered a “no-no” when it comes to anxiety. There’s good reason for this and for many people with anxiety, they should avoid coffee. But, some of you reading this may benefit from coffee. Let’s review the information about coffee in terms of anxiety and mood to see what makes the most sense.

For some, the positive mood effects of coffee lie in caffeine’s ability to increase the senses of euphoria and energy, which I personally found it did for me years ago in my personal history with anxiety and panic attacks in my early 20’s (I’m now 47). I found in certain situational anxiety I used to have, coffee actually made me less panicky.  I didn’t know why, I just knew when I drank it, I felt less anxious and more happy.

Interestingly, it turns out there was a reason for that: caffeine helps the brain release dopamine into the prefrontal cortex, a brain  area important for mood regulation. Caffeine may also help storage of dopamine in the amygdala, another part of the brain important for anxiety regulation.

In depression research, coffee is clearly helpful. In a ten-year cohort study of more than 50,000 older women, investigators found that compared with those who drank one cup or less of caffeinated coffee per week, those who drank two to three cups per day had a 15 percent decreased risk for depression, and those who drank four cups or more had a 20 percent decreased risk.

I know this may sound counter intuitive to many of you reading this, but for the right person, it may also help situational anxiety and panic attacks because it can raise levels of dopamine. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter of feeling in love for the first time. It is also important in feeling happy, motivated, and rewarded about something (versus scared).

Dopamine is typically low in people with depression as well as social anxiety (a type of situational anxiety) . If you experience either of these, coffee every day, or before the situation of stress/panic, may make good sense for you. Of course, if you try coffee and find that it makes you feel worse and more panicky and anxious and/or you stop sleeping, then it is not the right beverage for your mood and situation.

Remember – Too Much Caffeine Is Still Too Much

Please note though, there is a threshold to coffee’s benefit – even for those it is helpful. A study from Finland found that although the risk for suicide decreased progressively for those consuming up to seven cups of coffee per day (which is already too much for most anxious people), the risk started increasing when consumption went over eight cups a day. Also noteworthy in this study is that decaffeinated coffee, caffeinated tea, and chocolate did not have positive effects.

So, we need to remember that even when used for social anxiety and depression, long-term coffee use will still contribute to “burnout” in people who are already depleted and deficient. Caffeine is a mood-boosting substance, but too much, even for people who can tolerate it, will turn things very bad mood-wise.

There can be other negative health effects: caffeine at long term high doses can encourage mineral loss like magnesium, which is an important co-factor for brain neurotransmitters. Coffee may also contribute to fluctuations in blood sugar, which can raise anxiety levels. I have learned with my patients, if he or she is too depleted, and takes in too much coffee, they will burn out even more.

As you probably already know, caffeine-sensitive individuals may experience more insomnia. As we learned earlier, poor sleep will promote both anxiety and depression in predisposed individuals. If a patient is not sleeping, I will recommend they stop coffee until the sleeping issue is solved.

How Much Coffee?

As far as dosing coffee, I find for most people who do well with coffee, two cups a day, sipped slowly works well. More tends to make people who tend to anxiety become anxious and experience heart palpitations. 

Oh, one more note – it is probably healthiest to skip the all sugar. And if you are sensitive to dairy, switch to a natural non-dairy creamer or a better milk (see my article on milk). Some of my patients do find adding a little fat like butter or dairy/non-dairy creamer also slows the ‘hit’ of the caffeine, creating a more balanced boost to mood.

Coffee Conclusion

Again, whether coffee is best for you really depends on your particular situation. As I discuss in my book Put Anxiety Behind You, it is most important to lay down a healthy foundation to truly work through anxiety. Main ways to do this are:

1 -psychotherapy/thought work

2 – good sleep

3 – blood sugar balancing

4 – exercise

5 – healthy eating and good digestion

6 – proper nutrient and supplement intake

But what I’ve learned with myself, and some select patients with certain types of panic attacks and situational anxiety related to lower dopamine, coffee may be more helpful than not.  

about the author: Peter Bongiorno, ND, LAc. is President of the New York Association of Naturopathic Physicians and is in private practice in New York. Dr. Bongiorno trained at Bastyr University, and researched at the National Institutes of Health before medical school. He authored the practitioner-guide Holistic Therapies for Anxiety and Depression (WW Norton) and natural depression guide How Come They’re Happy and I’m Not? His newest book is Put Anxiety Behind You: The Complete Drug-Free Program. Visit, and join him on facebook and twitter @drbongiorno.


Guercio BJ et al.  Coffee Intake, Recurrence, and Mortality in Stage III Colon Cancer: Results From CALGB 89803 (Alliance). J Clin Oncol. 2015 Aug 17.

Bhatti SK, O’Keefe JH, Lavie CJ. Coffee and tea: perks for health and longevity? Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2013 Nov;16(6):688-97.

Lucas M, Mirzaei F, Pan A, Okereke OI, Willett WC, O’Reilly ÉJ, Koenen K, Ascherio A. Coffee, caffeine, and risk of depression among women.Arch Intern Med. 2011 Sep 26;171(17):1571-8.

Tanskanen A, Tuomilehto J, Viinamäki H, Vartiainen E, Lehtonen J, Puska P.Heavy coffee drinking and the risk of suicide. Eur J Epidemiol. 2000;16(9):789-91.

Meet Me for Coffee

38dc81d76ba82472eaa482bb36c12c96 - Meet Me for Coffee

The first month of 2016 is nearing its end, which means that the festive holidays are now a fond memory. January tends to be a quiet month, a time of rest and renewal, a period of reflection about the New Year. During these short winter days we tend to hibernate, but January can also the deadly. Demographic data indicate that more people die in winter, especially in January. There are many reasons for this increased mortality. Poor weather conditions and shorter days lend themselves to infections and flu. Fear of slipping and falling on icy sidewalks may prevent older adults from venturing outside.  Such fear contributes to decreases in exercise and increases sedentary life styles that result in poor health.

One rarely discussed reason for this increased mortality is loneliness. Some people hibernate by choice.  They nestle themselves into warm houses filled with loved ones. There are, however, an increasing number of men and women, especially older men and women, who find themselves home alone. For these “lonely” people winter can be deadly time. Many older adults like to meet for coffee in a local community café’s. Even McDonalds tends to have groups of older men and women who spend an hour or two a couple of times a week sipping coffee or tea and chatting about their families, their health, politics, and the weather. These important connections provide a much needed added social connection to the lives of many elders.  On a cold winter day they may prevent the television from becoming someone’s their primary companion.

Loneliness is subjective. I have long researched the quality of social relationships in later life. In my interviews I have found many people may be completely satisfied with the nature of their relationships if they have one confident or perhaps a relative across the country that they see occasionally.  By the same token another person may feel lonely and disconnected if they are regularly surrounded by family and friends. While the majority of older Americans are certainly not lonely, every one of us has experiences with feelings of loneliness and disconnection.

Loneliness and isolation are linked, but they are not the same social phenomenon. Loneliness occurs in the absence of satisfying social connections. Isolation, by contrast, is feeling disconnected from one’s family, community, or society. Studies indicate that almost one third of older adults are alienated by the pace of modern life, a condition that may or may not be associated with loneliness. While loneliness statistics vary, what is clear is that, in general, loneliness increases with poor health and lack of mobility.

It is also associated with an increase in chronic illness and increased mortality. Research strongly suggests that social bonds keep us healthier and happier—they mitigate the negative effects of stress. A study in the March, 2015 issue of Perspectives in Psychological Science reported on the results of a meta-analysis of more than 70 studies involving 3.4 million people. The meta-analysis underscored the direct link between loneliness and mortality. Older adults who reported feeling lonely were 26 % more likely to die during the time of the analysis. Loneliness is clearly on the rise. A recent article in Time by Justin Worland stated that loneliness is a new public health crisis.

An increasing number of Americans live alone. Many of these men and women even have no relatives—no family. For lonely people, winter can be a time of increased anxiety, stress, and depression. These are conditions that lower the immune function and leave people at an increased risk and mortality. The problem of loneliness is not isolated to a small segment of the American populaton. During the last 40 years, the percentage of people who have no relations has tripled. The increase in smaller families, the spread of geographic dispersion, and the extension of life expectancy has also led to the expansion of  people–of all ages– who say they lack satisfying networks of friends and confidants.

As people age, this tendency intensified because of ill health, retirement, and death of existing friends and family.  In the digital age, the widespread use of social media has created networks of virtual social connection, but has also led to a decrease in face-to-face interaction. While online relationships are beneficial in many ways, they lack many of the social and emotional advantages of person-to-person interaction. A text or email can serve as an extension to a personal visit.  It can, indeed, enhance relationship satisfaction. But if it replaces conversation or face-to-face encounters, it becomes less satisfying and can increase feelings of disconnection.

Recently a popular television program demonstrated a way of alleviate loneliness. In a funny but very sad and frightening episode of Aziz Ansari’s “Master of None,” an aging relative of a character on the program finds companionship from a warm fuzzy trouble free electronic pet. It appears that Hasboro has created a “Joy for All” line in their attempt to reach out to what is even more sadly refereed to as “the last frontier of consumers”—seniors. These new toys are robotic companion pets.  A realistic “cat” sells for 99 dollars and comes with light and motion sensors that respond to being held, petted, and hugged.  While these “pets” may be creative and inventive toys, they are a sad substitute for a sentient being. That these robotic toys are offered as an alternative for companionship is frightening. The message somehow comes across: “buy your grandmother a pet cat instead of coffee once in a while”.

The rise in loneliness in America is a serious phenomenon that is woven in our social fabric.  Perhaps one way to confront this important issue is to consider it from a psychological model. The “Broaden and Build” theory of positive emotions proposed by psychologist Barbara Fredrickson suggests that positive emotions, such as those experienced by socializing with friends and family, can be sustained over time and motivate people to take part in activities and increase their engagement with the environments. The broaden and build model focuses on the link between positive emotions and active engagement. Positive feelings serve as a motivation that prompts the development of broader and more diverse connections.  These, in turn build enduring personal resources that can sustain people—even on cold winter days. 

One health promoting way of broadening and building connections is through active engagement in our communities. To help lonely older adults find ways of re-integrating in a variety of social networks, we need to focus on the community resources. A good example of and excellent program that have attempted to improve life for older adults is the World Health Organization’s (WHO) “Age Friendly Communities” project. This project supports analyses of neighborhood and community resources that promote social integration.  The WHO program is a consortium that consists of a worldwide network of communities that are striving to better meet the needs of their older residents. WHO’s “Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities” provides an opportunity for cities and communities to exchange information, resources, and support about what works and what does not work to reduce loneliness in later life.

The aim of WHO global project is to promote the creation of physical and social environments that help older adults stay active and integrated in their communities By providing real life solutions, transportation, housing, social participation, livable outdoor spaces, communication and information, community services, the WHO project is attempting to combat ageism and promote respect for diversity and inclusiveness. Age friendly communities such as those promoted by WHO and AARP are an important step in creating more widespread awareness of the interaction between an individual’s capacity to integrated and the community context in which he or she lives. It takes more than an individual person to combat loneliness.