One of the most difficult obstacles I found in my own health journey was ditching coffee. And if we’re being honest here, which I always advise, I’m still not 100% over it. I still wake up and wish for a cup of coffee (habits are amazing, right?). For years I’ve been a morning coffee drinker. I even worked at Starbucks for several years where I became addicted to constantly having a cup of coffee in my hand…and all the cream and sugar I liked in my coffee. After my PCOS diagnosis, I had to really look at my diet and decide what I found more valuable– my health, or a cup of coffee. While I still love to mindfully indulge in a cup of good coffee, kicking this habit has been a driving factor in reversing my symptoms.
Do I really have to pick between the two?
The most obvious reason we all should ditch our coffee habit is that most of us tend to consume more sugar and dairy in our morning cups than we do coffee. For men and women alike, that sugar intake first thing in the morning is already setting you up for a dramatic blood sugar spike and a brutal crash in an hour or two. Dairy is also a well-known inflammatory food.
Coffee also increases cortisol levels and stresses the adrenals in both men and women– even those who drink it daily (as in your body doesn’t just get used to it!). Additionally coffee slowly depletes vitamins and nutrients and the acidity in coffee can lead to harmful gut health problems over time.
Women in particular experience major issues while consuming coffee. Coffee (and alcohol) stay in women’s systems longer and can disrupt hormone balances for a full 24 hours after. It’s also been noted that 3+ cups of coffee a day increases infertility rates in both men and women!
Okay, so what do I drink instead?
My favorite coffee-alternative is a homemade matcha latte. It’s still warm, it’s still creamy, and it has so many benefits. High quality matcha is full of antioxidants and phytonutrients, provides alertness without jitters or crashes, and also lowers blood sugar. As most of us are riding a blood sugar roller coaster throughout the day, adding a matcha latte to your breakfast (or at any other time of the day) can really have great benefits! I also add cinnamon, a natural supplement to balance blood sugar, and turmeric which is a powerful antioxidant and is anti-inflammatory. Additionally, making this latte with some nice fatty coconut milk gives a great dose of healthy fat and medium chain fatty acids which absorb quickly into the body for energy. Medium chain fatty acids also help lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol. For PCOS Women (and all other humans!), this drink is really a perfect beverage!
Here is my favorite matcha latte recipe:
1-2tsp of matcha powder
1/4-1/2C full-fat coconut milk (I tend to like mine with more coconut milk!)
1tbsp each of coconut oil and MCT Oil
Cinnamon and Tumeric to taste
Combine liquids, spices, and coconut oil in a saucepan to heat and melt, add remaining ingredients until smooth and frothy!*
*I actually put mine in a small blender after all the ingredients are combined and heated. It gives it some extra froth and ensures it’s perfectly combined!
Additionally, green teas or herbal teas are a great replacement, or simply make the switch to all H2O!