How does coffee interact with hormones?
Regular coffee drinkers know that this popular drink affects the way that they feel. It can help you wake up in the morning or feel more alert during the day. Are these feelings all a result of caffeine, or is the coffee influencing other hormone levels in the body? Keep reading to find out how our coffee experts believe your morning cup can affect your hormones.
Dr. Tara Scott
Dr. Tara Scott, Hormone Guru, helps people find the cause of their symptoms and get them on a path to optimal health. Find her at Drtarascott.com
Table of Contents
Coffee has a positive and negative effect on your hormones.
Coffee helps estrogen detoxification, making sure we don’t have too much estrogen. It stimulates two of the enzymes that are involved in phase one detoxification.
However, it may have a negative effect on your cortisol. Cortisol is your stress hormone, which is involved also in sugar metabolism. Coffee stimulates the deactivation of cortisol into cortisone. This [change] could contribute to fatigue. It’s a vicious cycle. People feel tired and drink more coffee, but too much coffee can affect your cortisol production, [leaving you tired again].
You slowly become tolerant to caffeine over time.
Caffeine increases cortisol and epinephrine secretion in people at rest, sometimes to levels usually only experienced during acute stress. Consuming extra coffee in stressful conditions, when deadlines are approaching is [like] throwing petrol on a bonfire and can make things much worse for you healthwise.
You slowly become tolerant to caffeine over time. What used to take one espresso now takes five. Your daily morning cup is unlikely to cause you any issues, but it is something to think about next time you have a big deadline or exam coming up.
Katie Woodburn-Simmonds is a coffee enthusiast and ex-hospitality professionals who have spent a combined 30 years in 5-star hotels and Michelin star restaurants obsessing about all things food and drink related. Find her at Homecoffeeexpert.com
Coffee Blocks Adenosine
Coffee blocks Adenosine and it limits brain stimulations by blocking other neurotransmitters that are responsible for stimulating and exciting the brain. The caffeine in coffee is like adenosine in structure, and its molecular structure allows it to attach to the same receptors [where] adenosine attaches. Caffeine doesn’t allow adenosine to reach our brain and blocks its activity, making our brain alert.
Based on the amount that we intake
Coffee, as part of our everyday routine, greatly affects our body based on the amount that we intake. It even affects our hormones. So how coffee affects our hormones?
- Coffee affects cortisol, the hormone responsible for the stress level. High and low cortisol can be harmful. It can either inhibit your brain or make you feel tired or anxious.
- Coffee affects adrenaline and epinephrine. Upon triggering this hormone and giving a momentary rise in energy, coffee could lead you to feel tired all day after the triggered adrenaline level is lowered.
- Coffee affects dopamine which gives us euphoric feelings. It lowers the rate of absorption of dopamine, causing the hormone to be left in our brain for a longer period than it should be. This is the reason why people get addicted to coffee.
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