I often say to my clients that it is not important what we do, rather WHY we do it. If I am nice to you because I have low self-esteem and I am afraid that you may not like me otherwise, the chemicals I am producing are stressing my body, creating inflammation and degeneration. However, if I am nice to you because it feels good to be nice (whether you like me or not), then I am creating healing and regenerative chemistry in my body.
The exact same logic applies to coffee. If you have it because you enjoy it, then you can reap the benefits of it and then some. But if you have it because you need it, drinking it is probably the worst thing you can do to yourself.
Coffee has anti-oxidants and other substances that are linked to improved heart health, liver function, brain performance and sugar metabolism. It even helps the diversity of the microbiome in the gut!
On the negative side, it is a stimulant (which depletes your adrenals big time if used long term), it is addictive, it is highly acidic (which is detrimental to the joints as well as to our ability to detoxify as it slows down lymphatic drainage), and it prevents absorption of essential minerals such as iron (decaf does that too).
So how can you determine if your body will benefit from coffee or not? Here is how:
If you can’t wake up in the morning unless you’ve had a coffee, if you don’t sleep well, if you must have a coffee in the afternoon or else your energy crashes, if you crave it and have headaches when you don’t have it, then it’s not good for you. You are possibly suffering adrenal depletion and coffee is only making it worse. In that case, you can’t reap any of the benefits cited above. If you want to help yourself, consider giving up coffee immediately! Start a meditation practice to lower your stress levels; go to bed at 9am and make sure that you are asleep before 10am; be out in nature more; focus on gratitude and forgiveness; drink more herbal teas (chamomile is excellent in this case). And last but not least, consider some kind of emotional release therapy since stuck emotions are likely contributing to your state of exhaustion.
If, on the other hand, you find yourself in a situation where you can be perfectly happy and functional without coffee, then you can get tons of benefits from enjoying a nice cup every now and then. Just make sure you are having it after a meal as a digestive (best time to have it is after lunch) and that you are in a happy, relaxed but alert state before you have it. Don’t use it as a crutch. Make it a conscious choice rather than necessity and your body will absorb all the good stuff from it. If caffeine overstimulates you, go decaf as the benefits from drinking coffee are not related to the caffeine itself.
The golden rule with coffee (as with all other things in life) should be “MODERATION”. Have it because you enjoy, avoid it at all cost if you can’t live without it.