With 400 billion cups consumed each year, coffee is the world’s most popular beverage. We drink it to wake up, to socialise, to energise and feel motivate; but at what cost?
hile coffee does contain some beneficial nutrients and offer a few health benefits, there are just as many downsides to this in-demand drink.
If there was a beverage that multiplied the positive health effects of coffee and eliminated the side effects, would you switch to the alternative? To help you decide, here are 9 compelling reasons for a caffeine alternative!
Coffee is tiring and wiring you
Caffeine is the psychoactive substance that gives coffee its ‘wake up’ powers, and it works by stimulating your sympathetic nervous system. This is the branch of your central nervous system known as the ‘fight or flight’ response, and its job is to help us survive in times of acute stress. However, this biological response can make us feel irritable, easily agitated, and anxious.
When the sympathetic nervous system is triggered into action by caffeine, the stress hormones adrenaline, cortisol and norepinephrine are released.
Adrenaline increases your breathing rate, heart rate and blood pressure; while cortisol frees up stored glucose for emergency energy. Caffeine also blocks adenosine receptors from sending us the message that we need to rest, but fatigue can only be delayed for so long before the body’s regulatory systems begin to fail. If you’ve ever suffered with insomnia, coffee could be the culprit!
Not only can caffeine disrupt sleep and promote anxiety and depression, coffee drinkers are also at risk of lower levels of serotonin synthesis in the brain.
Drinking coffee creates stress conditions in the body
If coffee is your go-to drink throughout the day, it’s likely that your body is in a constant state of stress, which can negatively impact your hormonal balance, metabolism, digestion, immune system and mental wellbeing over time.
Stress hormones aren’t necessarily ‘bad’ hormones; they are very helpful in an emergency or a high intensity workout. However, in the more common context of chronic stress, these physiological effects cause damage to the body, including digestive issues and a weakened immune system. In addition to cortisol and adrenaline, the stress response also increases insulin, and higher insulin levels can lead to inflammation.
Think back to the last time you were super stressed out. Did you drink more coffee than usual? It’s not uncommon to consume more caffeine during stressful times, but what we’re doing here is adding more stress to existing stress that can disrupt normal sleep, bowel function, mood, and energy levels - so it’s a vicious cycle.
You are allowed to rest and recover
Do you ever feel like you need to drink coffee before starting your day, or even having a conversation with someone? If so, you may be becoming reliant on coffee. Any addiction is a difficult journey, and quitting coffee after relying on it for a long time can be very challenging for many people - so establishing your ‘why’ can be super helpful.
Even if you enjoy the taste, aroma and ritual of coffee, many of us become dependent on coffee because they feel more productive and alert. We must avoid basing our worth on how hard we can work and how much we can produce, but it can be a challenge in this society.
You are allowed to rest and recover, and you're allowed to have slower days and earlier nights. Remember that ‘just being’ is always enough, and that creativity and flow come naturally from a state of calm presence.
Drinking coffee can trigger your nervous system’s flight or fight response
Coffee suppresses your emotionality and intuition
What does it mean to ‘listen to your body’? Our bodies send us little messages all day long, letting us know what feels nourishing, as well as what we should avoid. Your body will naturally tell you what it needs, whether it’s certain nutrients, certain movement, or to slow down and rest. These messages can feel like intuition or emotions detached from thought, and they can only be heard when we are fully present.
As we now know, drinking coffee can trigger your nervous system’s flight or fight response, leading to anxiety and difficulty being present. Caffeine alters the way the cells of your nervous system communicate, and too much coffee can make you feel as though you’re ‘just a head,’ and have difficulty connecting with your body and hearing its messages.
In this state, we can’t truly feel our emotions. We may intellectually understand that a certain emotion is present, but we don’t properly feel that emotion in our bodies. Too much coffee makes it very difficult to feel the messages from your body, and over time, your ability to tune in to yourself may suffer.
Your ritual drink should replenish you and your hormones
Did you know that drinking coffee inhibits the absorption of iron and depletes your B vitamins? These nutrients are needed for the synthesis of serotonin, dopamine, and the calming amino acid, GABA. Although most people drink coffee for the energy boost, depleting your iron and B vitamin levels can lead to low energy and chronic fatigue.
In general, coffee consumption will slow down digestion and impair nutrient absorption because it prevents parasympathetic nervous system activity, also known as ‘rest and digest’ mode. The high acidity of coffee can also cause digestive discomfort, indigestion and heart burn, and eventually lead to poor gut health.
You are a combination of your habits, routines and rituals, so when you switch old habits for healthier ones, you will reap the benefits of wellness and vitality. If there was an alternative to coffee that could help balance your hormones, replenish your kidneys, give your liver a break, and nourish your adrenals - would you make the switch?
There’s no downside to drinking matcha
Matcha is a great source of the vitamins and minerals that are essential for energy and wellbeing. In addition to vitamins A, B-complex, C, E and K, Matcha is also a good source of fibre, and it’s rich in manganese, iron and zinc.
Matcha is the perfect substitute for coffee if you’re after an energy boost without the anxiety and caffeine crashes. While matcha does contain a small about of caffeine, it also contains the amino acid, L-theanine, which has a counteractive, calming effect on the nervous system.
L-theanine works synergistically with caffeine to be enhance cognitive performance, energy and mood, while eliminating the spikes and crashes that come with coffee. This awesome amino acid also enhances alpha brain waves, which are associated with creativity, meditation, and a state of alert relaxation. Matcha is the perfect beverage for mental clarity and sustained energy.
Matcha is a natural nootropic
A nootropic is any natural or synthetic compound that improves mental performance without any significant side effects or toxicity. Nootropics enhance learning and memory, protect the brain from physical and chemical damage, make the control mechanisms of the brain more efficient, and improve focus and motivation.
Replacing your coffees with a natural nootropic like matcha can improve your spatial learning and creative thinking skills, without making you anxious or jittery. By drinking matcha regularly, you can protect your cognitive function by improving the way your brain transmits information along its neural pathways.
Matcha supports the immune system, metabolism and more
Although it comes from the same plant as regular green tea, matcha is a much more concentrated source of chlorophyll, antioxidants, and mood-boosting amino acids because it uses the whole leaf. When we consume the whole leaf, we get 100% of its nutrients, and according to the Journal of Chromatography, matcha contains almost 140 times more antioxidants than regular green tea.
Antioxidants protect against cell damage, giving your hair, skin, nails, and whole body a glow of good health. Many of matcha’s health benefits are attributed to a potent antioxidant compound known called Epigallocatechin Gallate, or EGCG.
Not only does EGCG help maintain good cardiovascular and metabolic health, but research shows that it also fights pathogens, reduces inflammation, and may prevent many chronic health conditions by supporting the production of T-cells.
EGCG and other catechins found abundantly in matcha have also been proven to increase thermogenesis and fat oxidation, so drinking matcha is a natural way to raise your metabolism and gently support fat loss.
By switching from coffee to matcha, you’re taking the load off your sympathetic nervous system
Drinking matcha is a natural way to detox
20–30 days before matcha tea leaves are harvested, the plants are covered to avoid direct sunlight and inhibit photosynthesis. To help them absorb more light for energy, the tea leaves produce more of the chemical catalyst for photosynthesis - chlorophyll.
The higher concentration of chlorophyll not only makes matcha tea much more vibrant in colour, but it will also flush out toxins from your body by improving your liver function. In other words, matcha naturally and effectively supports your body’s inbuilt process for detoxification.
In addition to eliminating heavy metals, dioxins, and other persistent chemicals that we are exposed to, chlorophyll also promotes good circulation by providing the raw materials needed for haemoglobin to carry oxygen throughout the body.
Switch your coffee for matcha today
It’s not until you have a clean break from drinking coffee that you can feel the difference in your sense of calm, mental clarity, and a natural flow of energy. By switching from coffee to matcha, you’re taking the load off your sympathetic nervous system and helping your hormones, sleep, mood and overall health shift towards a state of thriving.
Originating during the Tang Dynasty in China, the health-promoting properties of matcha have been known for many centuries. Over time, the matcha tea made its way to Japan, where it was used in special tea ceremonies. Today, you can switch from coffee to matcha and get back in touch with your natural rhythms.
Tropeaka Matcha has a rich, full-bodied flavour, followed by the sweet aftertaste that the highest-quality matcha powder is known for. It’s ideal for making matcha lattes, but it can also be used to make a matcha choc-chip loaf and in other healthy baking. Check out our recipe blog for some delicious inspiration!