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While coffee is a great stimulant for short-term mental alertness, it can stimulate other areas in the body in a negative way.
One of the most notable is the muscle lining of the digestive tract – that’s why you usually head to the loo for straight after your morning cup! And it’s not just caused by the caffeine in coffee – decaf does the same thing.
But isn’t that a good thing?
While some people view this as a good thing, it is actually quite the opposite. If you need a cup of coffee to “get things going” in the morning it is actually a sign of a problem in the gut – and one of the main culprits of this problem? Yep – coffee.
So while you may think coffee is keeping you regular, it can actually lead to far more serious issues in the gut…
Over-stimulation in the form mentioned above can lead to frequent cases of diarrhoea.
The caffeine, chlorogenic acids, and alkanoyl-5-hydroxytryptamides act as a laxative in the body, sending you to the loo frequently with uncomfortable diarrhoea.
Yes, I know I just said that it gives you diarrhoea, and constipation is the exact opposite, but there is a reason for it. Coffee is also a diuretic – which means it makes your kidneys work harder to excrete toxins through urine. So if you are a frequent coffee drinker (3 cups or more per day) this can lead to the body becoming dehydrated without you even realizing it, and this causes constipation due to lack of fluids in the body.
Coffee is one of the major causes of heartburn or acid reflux. Since coffee is high in caffeine and is a stimulant, coffee causes the stress response.
We often refer to this response as 'fight-or-flight mode'. This is actually the body’s way to prepare for an emergency situation, and causes the cardiovascular system, lungs, and skeletal muscles become extra alert because it is anticipating a physically dangerous situation.
However, since running these systems in the body at their highest level is now the brain’s priority some other systems in the body are now running much less effectively than they should. This includes your digestive system. As blood flow to your digestive tract becomes less of a priority, your stomach can really suffer the consequences.
Contrary to popular belief, we need strong stomach acid to help keep our digestion working properly. Therefore, when the digestive system is not running at full capacity, you start to suffer from symptoms like heartburn. Being stressed also elevates this state further and digestive symptoms can soon appear.
4. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
IBS is actually an umbrella term used for different digestive problems, which means its symptoms can vary largely from one person to the next. But the one thing they all have in common – they are a tell-tale sign of digestive health chaos.
Some of the symptoms usually include feeling bloated, frequent diarrhoea, constipation, or alternating cases of both of these. And as we have learned, coffee has a major role in these.
5. Leaky gut.
Coffee adds to inflammation in the body, which happens greatly in the gut.
This happens because coffee is not fully absorbed by the time that it reaches the large intestine, which irritates the gut lining.
In addition, advanced glycation end products (AGEs), add to the inflammatory nature of coffee.
Coffee may be more likely to alert unique immune cells which live in the gut, especially if digestive processes are sluggish (for example, low levels of stomach acid).
This can trigger a mild inflammatory response from the immune system and over time, this can affect the structure and function of the gut wall – a state often called leaky gut. This can then turn into systemic, low grade inflammation. In addition to this, coffee could alter the gut microbiome, potentially suppressing some of the good gut bacteria.
So, when we look at all of this, coffee may seem like a great thing to get your system going in the morning – but its effect over time can have drastic consequences.
But I LOVE my coffee, what should I do?
It’s quite simple – start drinking MannaBrew!
It has zero caffeine, none of the acidity of coffee, and does not cause any of the gut problems associated with drinking coffee!
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