Coffee to Wake Up and Alcohol to Wind Down

“2 Glasses of wine per day = 72,000 extra calories per year = Up to 20 pounds of fat annually”

Habits are the foundation of our everyday lives and are created through repetition and consistency. Some of the most common destructive habits are daily coffee to wake up and combat fatigue and alcohol to socialize, relax or wind down.

Lurking behind every destructive habit is an internal dialogue that supports the process. This can include self-talk statements like:

  • “It’s impossible to eat healthy with the kids around”
  • “Alcohol is full of antioxidants and helps me to sleep”
  • “I couldn’t get out of bed without my morning coffee”
  • “There’s no point me stopping drinking until after Chistmas/holiday/birthday/celebration”
  • “I just have an addictive personality”
  • “I have to drink because of the social aspect of my work”
  • “Life would be boring without alcohol”

It is important to take personal responsibility for your life, challenge every belief or story that you have reinforced and decide what you are willing to change.

Is Coffee and alcohol really so bad?

The short answer to this is it depends on the quality (Organic or Commercial), the quantity in which you are consuming it (1 glass or 1 bottle), context (what the rest of your overall diet is like), the condition of your health, your overall health goals and if it’s an addiction or a choice.

Low gradecheap commercial coffee can contain Pesticides, Herbicides, Insecticides, Dyes/Colourings, Ochratoxins (think molds), Preservatives, Flavours/Aroma enhancers and other chemical Toxins. Whenever possible, choose an organic, single origin, dark roasted coffee made from full/whole beans.

Low grade cheap commercial wines can also contain harmful ingredients, such as Glyphosate, Sulfites, Sugars, Pesticides, Herbicides, Dyes, Colourants, Sawdust, Commercial yeasts, and Additives (the FDA approves 76 different additives for wine making).

A good quality organic wine can contain beneficial ingredients (e.g. Antioxidants) that help to reduce inflammation, these can include Resveratol, Polyphenols, Procyanidins, Ellagic acids and even Probiotics. What is important to remember is that the liver carries the burden of processing both alcohol and caffeine distracting it from the work it needs to do elsewhere.

What about Decaf?

Conventional decaffeinated coffee is processed differently using more chemicals, some of which are thought to be carcinogenic. Due to the reduced amount of caffeine, decaffeinated coffee contains larger amounts of molds often contributing to the epidemic of candida overgrowth.

Servings size considerations

One cup of coffee per day is generally considered a safe consumption for a healthy fast metaboliser, however, it certainly depends on the size of the cup (one Star Bucks Grande 16oz is actually a double serving).

Recommended alcohol consumption suggests limiting consumption to 3-5 glasses per week but this is for a standard 175ml wine glass. Most wine glasses can contain 2-3 servings per glass.

When are coffee and alcohol most detrimental?

  • When you drink coffee with Dairy, Soy, Sugar or Sweetened Nut milks
  • When the quality is poor
  • When it is an addiction not a mindful choice
  • When you are a slow metabolizer
  • When you have adrenal issues or sleep problems
  • When you are anxious or have mood swings
  • When you have blood sugar issues
  • When you have hormonal imbalances
  • When you suffer fatigue
  • When you are trying to lose weight
  • You want to quit sugar

More things to consider

If you drink 2 glasses of wine per day, that’s an additional 72,000 extra calories per year, which could contribute to an additional 20 pounds of fat gain annually. Overconsumption of wine is not only toxic for the liver but it can also lead to Estrogen spikes (think man boobs, fatigue, emotional outbreaks, cellulite and fluid retention), it causes dehydration, it’s a depressant and it’s an anti-nutrient (especially depleting the absorption of the all important Vitamin B)

Conclusion

Everything toxic needs to be consumed in moderation, if you are generally very healthy, you stay well hydrated, your diet is good, it’s a choice and not an addiction and you enjoy the occasional glass of good quality wine or love meeting friends for an organic coffee then don’t worry.

Coffee Upgrades

  1. Turmeric Latte – Unsweetened Almond Milk, Turmeric, Coconut Oil, Cinnamon, Fresh Ginger, Cayenne Pepper (Bleand, Heat, Serve)
  2. Bullet Proof Coffee – Blend Organic Coffee, MCT or Coconut oil, Grass fed Butter and a dash of Cinnamon
  3. Organic Green Tea – This contains less caffeine and more antioxidants. You can jazz it up by adding Ginger, Lemon and Fresh Mint.
  4. Infused Water – warm water with Lemon or Natural Herbal Teas can also be a great substitute for coffee

Other Considerations

  1. Stay well hydrated throughout the day and have a side glass of water to accompany your wine or coffee
  2. Discuss the use of supplements with a naturopath. Vitamin B, Glutathione and Milk Thistle can be useful for cleansing the liver and replenishing nutrients.
  3. Mini cleanses using activated Charcoal and liver cleansers can be a beneficial
  4. Periods of abstinence, dry months or weeks are crucial to reduce the overall toxic load on the liver.
  5. There are wonderful support groups available if you are struggling with addiction.