It’s good to start your day with a good cup of coffee right? We all want that boost of caffeine that gets us out of bed. Unfortunately for us passionate coffee drinkers, it might not actually be the best idea. Here are some reasons to give up coffee first thing in the morning and grab a glass of lemon water instead.
Why shouldn’t I drink coffee first thing?
Many of us rely on coffee to drag ourselves out of bed and into productivity. The first thing we do in the morning, get out of bed and go in search of a cup
of the good stuff. Once the caffeine hits, you are unstoppable. Actually, this isn’t a great habit at all and, if you’re a woman, it might be an even worse idea. Carlyn Rosenblum, MS, RD explained why to Carolyn Kuang-Chen Stanley of ‘Pure Wow’. Drinking coffee first thing in the morning actually increases the level of cortisol in your body.
Cortisol is a stress hormone produced by the adrenal glands. High levels of cortisol can have very negative effects on the body. Rosenblum specifically mentions a negative impact on ovulation, weight, and hormonal balance. Cortisol, though often described as a stress hormone, also works to regulate energy in the body. Naturally, during the day, the levels of cortisol fluctuate and your energy levels reflect that. Usually, cortisol levels are high in the morning and low in the evening. That’s what makes you tired and give your body the cue that it’s time for bed.
When you drink coffee first thing in the morning, the cortisol levels are high. Drinking coffee (or any caffeinated beverage) the first thing, blunts the effect of cortisol and disrupts the cycle of cortisol production. This can mean that you end up producing cortisol at night when levels should be dropping. Another issue, some studies show that consuming caffeine when cortisol levels are high can cause the production of more cortisol.
You should also avoid drinking it on an empty stomach
Drinking coffee first thing in the morning before eating can also impact the gut. There are mixed results from studies on how coffee affects the gut microbiome. The most recent seems to suggest that it might actually be beneficial. However, it definitely does stimulate the production of stomach acid. So, if you struggle with reflux, you might want to look into whether your coffee intake has any impact on it.
But I want my cup of coffee, when can I have it?
Rosenblum recommends, at the very least, eating breakfast first. Ideally, you want to eat something that is rich in calcium. This protects the stomach
from acidity. It’s also worth noting that cold-brew coffee is less acidic than hot coffee. If your schedule is fairly regular, Rosenblum recommends a cup of coffee between 9h30 and 12 noon when your cortisol levels are naturally lower. However, she notes that it’s all tied to when you start your day, if you tend to wake up later, you need to adjust accordingly.
So, no coffee in the morning, why is lemon water a good idea?
Lemon water has long been touted as one of the healthiest options. Drinking it on an empty stomach first thing in the morning seems to be a very good idea. Most studies on lemon water itself are anecdotal. However, there are widespread studies on the benefits of lemon and water separately. Adding lemon water to your diet seems to have great health benefits and can even improve the health of your skin. Lemon water contains folic acid which is beneficial for eliminating toxins from the body.
Other benefits of lemon water
It boosts hydration: Water is undeniably the best bet when it comes to hydrating your body. However, many people don’t like the taste. Adding some lemon to your water will enhance the flavor. This will likely help you drink more.
Rich in vitamin C: All citrus fruits are high in vitamin C, and lemons are no exception. Vitamin C also helps to protect the cells from free radicals. It also seemingly reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and low blood pressure.
It seems to support weight loss: Polyphenol antioxidants found in lemons seem to significantly reduce weight gain in mice that were purposefully overfed. The same antioxidants also seemed to offset negative effects on blood glucose and insulin resistance. These are major factors in the development of diabetes. This has yet to be proven in humans beyond anecdotal evidence
Aids digestion: Many people who drink lemon water first thing in the morning actually do so for its laxative effects. It can help to prevent constipation. This seems particularly true of warm or hot water with lemon. When you drink it first thing, it gets the digestive system moving.
Are there any risks?
In general, lemon water seems to be very safe to drink. However, citric acid can erode tooth enamel. Healthline recommends drinking it through a straw and rinsing your mouth afterward. Citric acid seems to go either way when it comes to heartburn. In some people, it causes it, whilst in others, it offers relief. You cannily really establish this through trial and error.