A few weeks ago I had a really insightful consultation* with Nutritional Therapist Henrietta Norton.
I was diagnosed with IBS four years ago, and, every few months, it becomes a struggle to control my symptoms. So that was the main reason behind my conversation with Henrietta (and the digestive supplements she prescribed have already made a noticeable difference. So I’ll be sharing more about my IBS treatment plan in the coming weeks).
But, along with gut health, we also discussed coffee. And the information Henrietta shared was SO fascinating, I felt it would be rude not to pass it on. Here’s what I learnt..
HOW TO MAINTAIN YOUR COFFEE BUZZ
“When you drink caffeinated drinks, your brain signals your adrenal glands to release the stress hormone, adrenaline,” Henrietta explained. “This is what gives the energetic rush that coffee is known for. However, it also causes a flood of glucose to be released into your blood stream.”
“Whilst this may make you feel hyper vigilant and energetic, very quickly it causes a blood sugar low that can lead to feeling anxious or jittery. Eating food with caffeine – specifically protein-based foods – has been shown to mitigate this response, meaning that we don’t get quite the same yo-yo.”
More often than not, I would pair my mid-morning coffee with a chocolate covered rice cake. But Henrietta suggested swapping this snack for a handful of cashew nuts, which would slow down the release of caffeine and result in a steadier flow of energy.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME OF DAY TO DRINK COFFEE
Henrietta also advised on the best time of day to drink coffee. And you might be sad to learn that it’s not first thing in the morning (even if that’s when you feel like you’re most in need of a caffeine fix).
“The best time to drink coffee is mid-morning, when your natural cortisol levels have risen. Don’t drink coffee first thing in the morning, before your body has had the chance to wake up naturally, or after 3pm, as it can disrupt your quality of sleep.”
And if you drink multiple cups of coffee per day, you’ll want to pay special attention to the following piece of advice…
“Caffeine increases the body’s use and excretion of magnesium. Magnesium is required to support the nervous system, and therefore if we are low in magnesium symptoms such as anxiety, jitteriness, low energy and poor sleep can occur. If you are a regular coffee drinker, I would recommend taking a natural Magnesium supplement – such as our Food-Grown Magnesium – at night,” Henrietta said.
Find out more about nutritionist Henrietta Norton at wildnutrition.com.
Photo by Lydia Collins
* gifted press appointment