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  • Decaf Coffee and Cortisol

    I think I may have some issues with abnormal cortisol patterns. I heard recently that coffee itself--not caffeine--has compounds that can raise cortisol and affect blood sugar. Does anyone have any further information or other sources? I normally drink maybe half a cup or so of caffeinated coffee in the morning with a cup or two of decaf throughout the day. It would be a sad, sad day if I had to give up my beloved coffee…but I'd be willing to do it if it would actually make a significant improvement. Thoughts?

  • #2
    Well if there is something in the coffee that bothers you, like tannins, then any irritant can mess with cortisol...I hadn't heard that before, although I will add that even decaff has caffeine in it. Best way I have found to fix abnormal cortisol pattern is the leptin reset and dropping caffeine...just my experience, fixed mine and they were messed up for years.

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    • #3
      I haven't read this. Did you search the blog? Mark has a wealth of information on coffee. In any event, half a cup of caffeinated doesn't seem like enough to hurt anyone. I DO think I remember hearing that decaff has some negative properties, though not necessarily cortisol related. I would recommend stopping the decaff, period and replacing it with something else. Now, if you're concerned about coffee, in general, you can always try some black (caff) tea in the morning and see how you feel. If you still have issues you may have to try decaff tea (or really anything else) and see how you do.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by BklynGirl View Post
        I think I may have some issues with abnormal cortisol patterns. I heard recently that coffee itself--not caffeine--has compounds that can raise cortisol and affect blood sugar. Does anyone have any further information or other sources? I normally drink maybe half a cup or so of caffeinated coffee in the morning with a cup or two of decaf throughout the day. It would be a sad, sad day if I had to give up my beloved coffee…but I'd be willing to do it if it would actually make a significant improvement. Thoughts?
        I've been doing a lot of reading on adrenal fatigue as I'm working on healing myself of it as well. I've read that decaf can be ok for some, not for others. I haven't read that there other compounds in coffee that can raise cortisol, but coffee is known to lower blood sugar - not sure if that effect is due to the caffeine or otherwise.

        I've switched to full decaf now after close to a year of half-caf. My ND didn't seem to think the coffee was much of an issue but my symptoms aren't consistently improving. If, after I've finished the stockpile of decaf beans I've got in the pantry, i'm still not seeing much improvement, I'll cut the coffee entirely.

        All you can do is experiment and see what works for you; everyone's different. If you suspect abnormal cortisol, order a diurnal cortisol saliva test, funds permitting. I'm doing mine today, as it happens. It'll determine whether you're dealing with high cortisol or low...and the resulting treatments are different for each.

        Best of luck!

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