As you know, I LOVE coffee. I love, love, dearly love coffee. I am not commenting here that “coffee is bad” – please understand this. But as with every single thing that you put in your body, it can be “good” OR “bad”.

Our society has gotten so hung up on small pieces of information, sound bites: “running is bad for your knees” “wine is good for your heart” “chocolate is good for you” “chocolate is bad for you”

The truth is nothing is good or bad; but how you use the item will cause an affect on your body. Steriods are bad, right? Absolutely not – steroids are fantastic. Anabolic steroids that are misused by the bodybuilding population certainly cause some negative health consequences for some people. But on the whole, steroids are important, life saving and miraculous.

So what about coffee? It’s good, right? It has antioxidants, right? The answer to both is maybe. If you were to travel to South America and grab yourself some fresh, organic coffee beans, grind them, and brew yourself some coffee WITHOUT Cold Stone Creamery Coffee Creamer and sugar, you’d be getting some very high nutrition. There is absolutely antioxidants and benefits to an unadulterated coffee brew. The problem is that most coffee sold in the U.S. is not longer fresh and is technically rancid. The oils on the beans have become stale and the antioxidants have deteriorated. If you buy coffee beans that are already ground, you can be pretty much assured that your coffee is as empty as a McDonald’s hamburger. Again, is coffee good or bad? It depends on the quality, freshness, and amount of pesticides that are on the coffee beans that became your brew.

My real reason for writing this blog to totally geek out beyond coffee beans. I’ve long known that caffeine causes a disruption in the delicate balance of women’s hormones. After almost 20 years in the health and fitness industry, I’ve read enough to support this fact. The exact mechanism has always been misunderstood. If you suspect that your hormones are out of whack, and you abuse caffeine – coffee in particular – read along and geek out with me.

Dr. Joseph Mercola explains:

“Coffee stimulates your adrenals — the hormones that activate your fight or flight re­sponse. If your adrenal hormones are stimulated too often, which is bound to happen if you are a daily coffee drinker, your adrenal glands may eventually burn out.

When your adrenals no longer function effectively, your body will go in search of a re­placement hormone — which happens to be progesterone.

Progesterone has its own full-time job to do, part of which is to keep your body’s estro­gen in balance. As your progesterone is used up compensating for your exhausted ad­renals, you run the risk of becoming estrogen dominant.”

And in my words: Estrogen dominace spells all kinds of issues for women including sugar cravings, moodiness; increased body fat; and increase in body mass around the midsection. Fascinating! For SOME women, coffee can cause your hormones to be disrupted such that it causes weight gain, belly fat and a dependence on sweets. Again, I’ve known this for years, but never really understood the exact mechanism.

Remember, I am NOT saying coffee is bad. I am saying that for some women, coffee abuse can fatigue your adrenal glands – on top of the fatigue that comes from daily stress and pressure – such that your estrogen becomes higher than it needs to be. I know this because it happened to me 10 years ago, and because the evidence in research supports it. Think about it. Share your thoughts.

5 replies
  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    So Holly, I drink 3/4 pot of coffee EVERY DAY! I have always had stress in my job and have recently switched to a MORE stressful position with the same company. The more stressed I am, the more coffee I drink and after reading this post, I am probably making it worse! I do love coffee. I take it black. I purchase my coffee- single origin- from a local place where they roast their own beans and grind it while I wait, so I believe I am getting a quality coffee. I could switch to decaf…. what are your thoughts on decaf? There are times I have tried to cut back and replace coffee with Matcha tea, but it’s just not the same. I hold onto belly fat.. last place to come off and first place I put fat back on. I feel like I am always in stress mode.

    • Holly
      Holly says:

      Hi Jennifer! I SO hear you! I do the same exact thing when I’m stressed and tired. Switching to decaf is a great idea for you, for sure. Just tried to get swiss water process decaf as I believe it has less chemicals and is generally healthier. Keep in mind that caffeine pushes up cortisol, and cortisol is related to increased belly fat. If you ever feel extra brave, (and you REALLY want to change your mid-section) I suggest you consider cutting WAY back on your caffeine in general. Maybe 1-2 cups per day. I see a big difference in myself and my clients when I do this!

  2. Holly Perkins
    Holly Perkins says:

    Oh GOOD! Yes, I’m super interested in the ways that coffee positively and negatively affects us. I LOVE my coffee, and I know that I have to keep an eye on it because it can very quickly start to affect me negatively. Thanks for commenting!

  3. Olivia
    Olivia says:

    Love this article! Been searching for answers on how coffee actually affects the estrogen/progesterone balance! 👍🥰


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