You know the monthly drill: snapping at everyone around you, feeling as if you were 5 months pregnant, swollen and tender breasts, headaches and a ravenous appetite.  Yes, this can be due to too many estrogens in your body either because your body is dealing with too many exogenous estrogens or just not getting rid of them fast enough.  I am afraid to tell you that coffee can be aggravating this.  Coffee increases exogenous estrogens and it puts a big load in your liver making it less efficient at getting rid of excess hormones such as estrogens better.


One of the toughest jobs that I have as a Naturopathic Doctor is to help people decrease or even ditch their coffee. This recommendation is never well received! Trust me, I can relate but most people are so thankful at the end.


What happens when you ditch coffee?

What I’ve seen over and over again by working with patients and people going through a Detox program is that when they stop drinking coffee they surprisingly have MORE energy, feel calmer, are better able to handle stress and they sleep better. I’ll never forget one woman who went from having 6 cups a day to none, and she couldn’t believe the change. She went from dragging to energized, and her eyes sparkled!  Of course the first few days, you can have a headache from the caffeine withdrawal.

Why does this happen?


Caffeine affects every single organ in your body.   Here is a list of some of the harmful effects on your body:


  • overstimulation of your entire nervous system
  • increase heart and pulse rate
  • raises blood pressure
  • raises blood sugar through our stress glands (adrenals)
  • gives you a sense of temporary false energy
  • leaches calcium, magnesium and other essential minerals from your body’s storage
  • causes you to feel jittery, irritable, depression and inability to concentrate


Other long term effects include:

  • weakens your kidney function
  • weakens your intestinal and nervous system function
  • it clouds your memory
  • reduces sex drive
  • produces insomnia
  • causes anxiety, migraines and nervousness


Depending on your sensitivity level and genetic predispositions, these symptoms can develop in your body even with 1-2 coffees per day.


Did you know that it takes about 25 to 30 hrs for caffeine to wash out of your system entirely.  So even you only drink 1 cup of coffee in the morning, you will still have some caffeine in your system by night time.



What are some healthier choices?

  • Organic coffee is better than regular coffee.  Even though it still has the caffeine, it does not have the 300+ toxins that regular coffee has.
  • Swiss water decaf (look for the label) is also a healthier alternative because the caffeine has been removed through a steaming process without the use of any harmful chemicals like with regular decaf coffee.
  • Green tea (with no sugar added) is even a better drink.  Even though green tea still has some caffeine, it is minimal and it also offers you antioxidants making green tea a great alternative.
  • Herbal teas (with no sugar added) is also a good choice.  There are so many of them in the market.  Look for the label that reads “Caffeine free” teas.  In fact, you can count these as part of your water intake.