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Thank you for reading past the title of this post. I wasn’t sure anyone would. After all, here I am offering advice on how to quit the world’s most beloved beverage. (“Hold my beer,” says Beer.)
The love of coffee transcends national and cultural borders. Around the world, most of us start our day with coffee. Folks take pride in sourcing the best beans and pairing them with the ideal grind and brewing method. We meet friends, clients, and first dates for coffee because coffee shops are comforting, safe spaces.
As good ol’ Anonymous observed, “Humanity runs on coffee.”
Yet here I am suggesting you might want to quit. Before I get into why, let me assure you that by and large, I still think coffee has more benefits than downsides. It improves workouts and memory, fights fatigue, and epidemiological evidence links coffee consumption to a host of health benefits. You can check out my Definitive Guide to Coffee to learn more.
There are downsides, though. In the pursuit of optimal health, it’s essential to examine our choices and behaviors and ask which of them might be undermining your health and longevity goals. That’s what I’m suggesting you do today.
Stay on track no matter where you are! Instantly download your copy of the Primal and Keto Guide to Eating Out
Why Would You Want to Quit Coffee?
Because you’re a masochist.
Kidding, of course. Really, if you think quitting coffee will be that painful, that’s a sure sign that you need to take a break. No substance aside from water or air should hold you so firmly in its grasp. I want to enjoy, not depend on, my morning coffee (and maybe a glass of red wine at dinner).
As to whether coffee is truly addictive, we clearly shouldn’t be talking about coffee in the same breath as something like heroin. However, there’s no question that it shares common features with other addictive substances. It stimulates dopamine release in the brain, creating a “feels good, want more” effect. With repeated exposure, you develop a tolerance such that caffeine no longer exerts the same effects. Plus, as many of you know if you’ve tried to kick the habit before, the withdrawal can be brutal.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2257922/‘>2 For people dealing with a lot of stress—and who isn’t right now—drinking too much coffee may not be wise. It can interfere with your body’s ability to regulate cortisol and cope with the stressors.https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/article-abstract/493529‘>4 https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/ef8c/e1f994091de73049df7e08d71b6497fe86bf.pdf‘>6 On the other hand, two recent meta-analyses concluded that coffee actually helps with symptoms of depression.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26518745‘>8
If you’re a menopausal woman, think twice about drinking too much coffee. In two studies, caffeine intake was associated with increased vasomotor symptoms like hot flashes.https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/6be1/708f6629c6e67a23126688d31585b6d08791.pdf‘>10 Those were correlational studies, but in a separate experiment, researchers administered caffeine to pre- and perimenopausal women who were or were not on estrogen therapy. Perimenopausal women’s blood pressure rose significantly after taking 250 mg of caffeine (equivalent to two to three cups of coffee), regardless of estrogen status.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12397877/‘>12
Many of these side effects are dose-dependent, meaning they get worse the more coffee you drink. For most people, modest coffee intake—two or four cups per day—is probably fine, maybe even desirable. Nevertheless, there’s always the possibility that you could quit coffee and feel better than you do today. Wouldn’t you want to know that?
Other Potential Benefits of Quitting Caffeine
They also promise you’ll save money, but in my experience, I just end up reinvesting those supposed savings into trying new teas, so that’s a wash. That said, I also don’t buy multiple frappe drinks from Starbucks every day. If you do, you might put some cash back in your pocket.
Who Should Take a Break from Coffee?
For the sake of self-experimentation, I’m going to go ahead and say: everybody.
It’s especially pressing if:
- Your inner voice is telling you that you have become dependent on caffeine
- Your sleep is anything other than deep and plentiful
- You have health issues that might be exacerbated by coffee
Also, if you’ve built up a tolerance—and you certainly have if coffee is a regular habit—taking a break means you should be able to return to your beloved coffee and actually feel the desirable effects of caffeine again when you use it strategically. That would be nice.
Anyway, aren’t you a little curious?
How to Stop Drinking Coffee
Time It Right
Unless you have an urgent health concern that means you should stop ASAP, consider waiting until a lower-stress period. Normally I’d say vacation is a perfect time, but we’re not taking many vacations right now. Perhaps a staycation is in order (for more reasons than one).
I wouldn’t advise ditching coffee the same week you have to deliver a big presentation at work, your kids are starting a new schedule at school, or you’ll otherwise be stretched thin enough as it is. Coffee withdrawal can lead to some pretty miserable symptoms—migraines, fatigue, irritability. Pick a week where you’ll have the mental capacity to deal with those, the ability to sneak away for naps, and ideally, fun distractions to keep your mind off the suck.
Pick Your Strategy
Some people have no problem quitting cold turkey, but tapering down your caffeine intake will probably be more pleasant. Start cutting your regular coffee with decaf, and slowly decrease the amount you consume altogether. Make your coffee weaker, and stop adding cream and sweeteners so it’s not as appealing. If you’re drinking coffee in the afternoon, cut that first.
Whatever you do, don’t compensate by adding caffeine back in the form of energy drinks or caffeine pills. Don’t drink energy drinks anyway, but definitely not now. That defeats the purpose entirely.
How Long Will it Take to Get off Coffee Completely?
The half-life of caffeine is about five hours, so within a day of quitting, your body should be free of it. However, withdrawal symptoms can last significantly longer—a week to ten days or more, though some lucky people don’t experience any noticeable withdrawal.
Beyond the chemical dependency, there is also a behavioral component to coffee. For most coffee drinkers, it is a habit, and habits are harder to break. You might find yourself headed to the coffee pot in the morning, or reaching for the mug that’s usually on your desk, well after the initial weaning period.
Worthy Alternatives to Coffee
For some people, coffee is merely a caffeine delivery system. Others enjoy the rituals around coffee—preparing it in the morning, breathing in the aroma, sipping a hot beverage while they work, and communing with coworkers and friends over a cup. You can still have all those things if you strategically replace coffee with an alternative that fills the hole coffee leaves.
The most obvious answer is switching to tea. There are so many different types of tea, each with its own benefits and flavor profile. If you were a snob about your coffee, you can easily channel that energy into tea. Brewing tea is an art unto itself. Just watch your caffeine intake. Teas vary considerably in caffeine content, though they are still lower than the average cup of joe.
You might also consider mushroom coffee, which has about half the caffeine of regular coffee, or chicory root coffee or dandelion tea, which offer some of the coffee flavor with none of the caffeine. Fans of these options swear they get a lift similar to the one they got from coffee without the jitters.
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I’ve got another awesome success story coming up later this morning, but first…coffee.
As I said on Friday, I take my coffee very seriously. So, no April Fool’s here. Just a great giveaway for any coffee lover out there…
I’m not a breakfast eater as many of you know. As a result, my morning coffee is important to me. It’s a sensory experience I enjoy as well as a ritual that kicks off my day. Sure, the caffeine offers a little pick-me-up, but I make it count nutritionally with a collagen boost, too.
I love Caveman Coffee, and it’s my favorite brand of beans to start with. After grinding those fresh (one of the great sensory pleasures of human existence), I pour them into my French press—the only way I make coffee. Once I add the hot water, I’ll let that sit for a couple minutes. In the meantime, I put one scoop of Vanilla Collagen Fuel in my cup and add just a bit of my prepared coffee—not quite a 1/4 cup. I’ll stir it up (the best way to blend everything in my experience), then pour in the rest of my coffee and enjoy!
Here’s what it all looks like, plus a little commentary on coffee and collagen for a morning fasting routine.
Now For the Giveaway…
Everything you need to make a great cup of Collagen Coffee and then some…
- Variety Pack of Caveman Coffee (Blacklisted, Mammoth, Mammoth Plus, and Sabretooth)
- $100 of Primal Kitchen products, including 2 Canisters of Primal Kitchen Collagen Fuel
- Le Creuset Stoneware 27 oz. French Press
- Primal Kitchen Yeti Tumbler
How To Enter:
Simply enter your email below. Your information won’t go anywhere other than to our newsletter list and Caveman Coffee’s newsletter list, either of which you can opt out of at any time. (If you’re already a subscriber, still enter your email address to enter.)
But, wait! Get a *bonus entry* while you’re at it by following us @marksdailyapple and @cavemancoffeeco on Instagram. Follow both and comment on the Mark’s Daily Apple giveaway post to tell us you’ve entered.
Closes April 8th, 2019, midnight PDT.
Open to those in the U.S. only on this one. Must be 18-years-old+ to enter.
How the Winner Will Be Chosen:
I’ll choose one random winner from those who enter before the deadline. The winner will be contacted on 4/9/19 and will also be announced on social media.
Good luck, everybody. And in the meantime, let me know how YOU take your coffee. (I’m always up for new ideas.) Have a great week.
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Biological systems are self-maintaining. They have to be. We don’t have maintenance workers, mechanics, troubleshooters that can “take a look inside” and make sure everything’s running smoothly. Doctors perform a kind of biological maintenance, but even they are working blind from the outside.
No, for life to sustain itself, it has to perform automatic maintenance work on its cells, tissues, organs, and biological processes. One of the most important types of biological maintenance is a process called autophagy.
Autophagy: the word comes from the Greek for “self-eating,” and that’s a very accurate description: Autophagy is when a cell consumes the parts of itself that are damaged or malfunctioning. Lysosomes—members of the innate immune system that also degrade pathogens—degrade the damaged cellular material, making it available for energy and other metabolites. It’s cellular pruning, and it’s an important part of staving off the worst parts of the aging process.
In study after study, we find that impairment to or reductions of normal levels of autophagy are linked to almost every age-related degenerative disease and malady you can imagine.
- Cancer: Autophagy can inhibit the establishment of cancer by removing malfunctioning cellular material before it becomes problematic. Once cancer is established, however, autophagy can enhance tumor growth.
- Diabetes: Impaired autophagy enables the progression from obesity to diabetes via pancreatic beta cell degradation and insulin resistance. Impaired autophagy also accompanies the serious complications related to diabetes, like kidney disease and heart failure.
- Heart disease: Autophagy plays an important role in all aspects of heart health.
- Osteoporosis: Both human and animal studies indicate that autophagy dysfunction precedes osteoporosis.
- Alzheimer’s disease: Early stage Alzheimer’s disease is linked to deficits in autophagy.
- Muscle loss: Autophagy preserves muscle tissue; loss of autophagy begins the process of age-related muscle atrophy.
Okay, so autophagy is rather important. It’s fundamental to health.
But how does autophagy happen?
The way it’s supposed to happen is this:
Humans traditionally and historically lived in a very different food environment. Traditionally and historically, humans were feasters and fasters. While I don’t think our paleolithic ancestors were miserable, wretched, perpetually starving creatures scuttling from one rare meal to the next—the fossil records show incredibly robust remains, with powerful bones and healthy teeth and little sign of nutritional deficits—they also couldn’t stroll down to the local Whole Foods for a cart full of ingredients. Going without food from time to time was a fundamental aspect of human ancestral life.
They worked for their food. I don’t mean “sat in a cubicle to get a paycheck to spend on groceries.” I mean they expended calories to obtain food. They hunted—and sometimes came back empty handed. They dug and climbed and rooted around and gathered. They walked, ran, stalked, jumped, lifted. Movement was a necessity.
In short, they experienced energy deficits on a regular basis. And energy deficits, particularly sustained energy deficits, are the primary triggers for autophagy. Without energy deficits, you remain in fed mode and never quite hit the fasted mode required for autophagy.
Now compare that ancestral food environment to the modern food environment:
Almost no one goes hungry. Food is cheap and plentiful, with the tastiest and most calorie-rich stuff tending to be the cheapest and most widely available.
Few people have to physically work for their food. We drive to the store and walk a couple hundred steps, hand over some money, and—BOOM—obtain thirty thousand calories, just like that. Or someone comes to our house and delivers the food directly.
We eat all the time. Unless you set out to do it, chances are you’ll be grazing, snacking, and nibbling throughout the day. We’re in a perpetually fed state.
The average person in a modern society eating a modern industrial diet rarely goes long enough without eating something to trigger autophagy. Nor are they expending enough energy to create an energy deficit from the other end—the output. It’s understandable. If our ancestors were thrust into our current situation, many would fall all over themselves to take advantage of the modern food environment. But that doesn’t make it desirable, or good for you. It just means that figuring out how to trigger autophagy becomes that much more vital for modern humans.
Here are 7 ways to induce autophagy with regular lifestyle choices.
There’s no better way to quickly and reliably induce a large energy deficit than not eating anything at all. There are no definitive studies identifying “optimal” fasting guidelines for autophagy in humans. Longer fasts probably allow deeper levels of autophagy, but shorter fasts are no slouch.
2) Get Keto-Adapted
When you’re keto- and fat-adapted, it takes you less time to hit serious autophagy upon commencing a fast. You’re already halfway there.
3) Train Regularly
With exercise-related autophagy, the biggest effects are seen with lifelong training, not acute. In mice, for example, the mice who are subjected to lifelong exercise see the most autophagy-related benefits. In people, those who have played soccer (football) for their entire lives have far more autophagy-related markers of gene activity than people of the same age who have not trained their whole lives.
4) Train Hard
In studies of acute exercise-induced autophagy, the intensity of the exercise is the biggest predictor of autophagy—even more than whether the athletes are in the fed or fasted state.
5) Drink Coffee
At least in mice, both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee induce autophagy in the liver, muscle tissue, and heart. This effect persists even when the coffee is given alongside ad libitum food. These mice didn’t have to fast for the coffee to induce autophagy.
Certain nutrients can trigger autophagy, too….
6) Eat Turmeric
Curcumin, the primary phytonutrient in turmeric, is especially effective at inducing autophagy in the mitochondria (mitophagy).
7) Consume Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The anticancer potential of its main antioxidant, oleuropein, likely occurs via autophagy.
Disclaimer: The autophagy/nutrient literature is anything but definitive. Most studies take place in test tube settings, not living humans. Eating some turmeric probably won’t flip a switch and trigger autophagy right away, but it won’t hurt.
Autophagy is a long game.
This can’t be underscored enough: Autophagy is a lifelong pursuit attained by regular doses of exercise and not overeating every time you sit down to a meal. Staying so ketotic your pee tests look like a Prince album cover, doing epic 7-day fasts every month, fasting every other day, making sure you end every day with fully depleted liver glycogen—while these strategies might be “effective,” obsessing over their measures to hit some “optimal” level of constant autophagy isn’t the point and is likely to activate or trigger neurotic behavior.
Besides, we don’t know what “optimal autophagy” looks like. Autophagy isn’t easy to measure in live humans. You can’t order an “autophagy test” from your doc. We don’t even know if more autophagy is necessarily better. There’s the fact that unchecked autophagy can actually increase existing cancer in some cases. There’s the fact that too much autophagy in the wrong place might be bad. We just don’t know very much. Autophagy is important. It’s good to have some happening. That’s what we have to go on.
Putting These Tips Into Practice
Autophagy happens largely when you just live a healthy lifestyle. Get some exercise and daily activity. Go hard every now and then. Sleep deeply. Recover well. Don’t eat carbohydrates you don’t need and haven’t earned (and I don’t just mean “earned through glycogen depleting-exercise”). Reach ketosis sometimes. Don’t eat more food than you need. Drink coffee, even decaf.
All those caveats aside, I see the utility in doing a big “autophagy session” a few times a year. Here’s how mine looks:
- Do a big training session incorporating strength training and sprints. Lots of intense bursts. This will trigger autophagy.
- Fast for two or three days. This will push autophagy even further.
- Stay busy throughout the fast. Take as many walks as possible. This will really ramp up the fat burning and get you quickly into ketosis, another autophagy trigger.
- Drink coffee throughout the fast. Coffee is a nice boost to autophagy. Decaf is fine.
I know people are often skeptical of using “Grok logic,” but it’s likely that most human ancestors experienced similar “perfect storms” of deprivation-induced autophagy on occasion throughout the year. You track an animal for a couple days and come up short, or it takes that long to make the kill. You nibble on various stimulants plucked from the land along the way. You walk a ton and sprint some, then lift heavy. And finally, maybe, you get to eat.
If you find yourself aging well, you’re on the right track. If you’re not progressing from obesity to diabetes, you’re good to go. If you’re maintaining and even building your muscle despite qualifying for the blue plate special, you’ve probably dipping into the autophagy pathway. If you’re thinking clearly, I wouldn’t worry. Obviously, we can’t really see what’s happening on the inside. But if everything you can verify is going well, keep it up.
That’s it for today, folks. If you have any more questions about autophagy, leave them down below and I’ll try to get to all of them in future posts.
Thanks for reading!
Yang ZJ, Chee CE, Huang S, Sinicrope FA. The role of autophagy in cancer: therapeutic implications. Mol Cancer Ther. 2011;10(9):1533-41.
Barlow AD, Thomas DC. Autophagy in diabetes: ?-cell dysfunction, insulin resistance, and complications. DNA Cell Biol. 2015;34(4):252-60.
Sasaki Y, Ikeda Y, Iwabayashi M, Akasaki Y, Ohishi M. The Impact of Autophagy on Cardiovascular Senescence and Diseases. Int Heart J. 2017;58(5):666-673.
Florencio-silva R, Sasso GR, Simões MJ, et al. Osteoporosis and autophagy: What is the relationship?. Rev Assoc Med Bras (1992). 2017;63(2):173-179.
Li Q, Liu Y, Sun M. Autophagy and Alzheimer’s Disease. Cell Mol Neurobiol. 2017;37(3):377-388.
Jiao J, Demontis F. Skeletal muscle autophagy and its role in sarcopenia and organismal aging. Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2017;34:1-6.
Schwalm C, Jamart C, Benoit N, et al. Activation of autophagy in human skeletal muscle is dependent on exercise intensity and AMPK activation. FASEB J. 2015;29(8):3515-26.
De oliveira MR, Jardim FR, Setzer WN, Nabavi SM, Nabavi SF. Curcumin, mitochondrial biogenesis, and mitophagy: Exploring recent data and indicating future needs. Biotechnol Adv. 2016;34(5):813-826.
Przychodzen P, Wyszkowska R, Gorzynik-debicka M, Kostrzewa T, Kuban-jankowska A, Gorska-ponikowska M. Anticancer Potential of Oleuropein, the Polyphenol of Olive Oil, With 2-Methoxyestradiol, Separately or in Combination, in Human Osteosarcoma Cells. Anticancer Res. 2019;39(3):1243-1251.
The post The Definitive Guide To Autophagy (and 7 Ways To Induce It) appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.
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Oh, coffee. The sweet nectar of life. The java that fuels our souls. The best part of waking up. via GIPHY I mean, have you seen more memes or funny t-shirts dedicated to any other beverage? (Other than beer — maybe.) via GIPHY And while coffee does have its benefits, it also has its downsides. In an attempt to have a better chance at making this a reality (which, ahem, worked extra well for me), I gave up my beloved cup of Joe a few months ago. And, even though it was a little challenging at first, I found that…
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Get ready for some caffeination and motivation in this ep with ultra runner and coffee entrepreneur Jax Mariash. Because, wow, does this woman have an amazing amount of energy and wisdom to spare! Jax is a professional ultra runner who was the first woman in the world to compete in the 4 Deserts race series Grand Slam Plus. In addition to that, she won all of the 4 Deserts races in one fiscal year. Yup — she is a certified badass, and in this episode, she shares her favorite adventures including the time she ran on sand so hot that her…
The post Podcast Ep 101: Ultra Runner Entrepreneur Jax Mariash appeared first on Fit Bottomed Girls.
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Today’s post is served up by the folks at PaleoHacks.com. Thanks to their team for the awesome recipe ideas. Hope you all enjoy!
Get ready to drink your way to health with this nutritious Protein Shake Roundup!
Smoothies and shakes can get a bad rap for spiking your blood sugar—especially ones with artificial sweeteners. But with the addition of protein from a healthy source—like collagen peptides or protein powders—smoothies and shakes can make a great snack or meal replacement.
These guilt-free smoothies and shakes are made only with wholesome ingredients and natural sweeteners—no dairy or processed sugars here! You’ll be surprised at how some of these healthy shakes and smoothies drink just like dessert.
Keep this list handy to help you find top-notch recipes that’ll energize you throughout the day!
#1 Amazing Paleo | Dark Chocolate Smoothie with Collagen Peptides
Yes, even chocolate shakes can be healthy! Banana, cacao powder, nut butter, coconut milk, honey and vanilla combine with two scoops of collagen peptides for one decadently-rich smoothie.
#2 Further Food | Vanilla Chai Collagen Protein Smoothie
Skip the chai tea latte and opt for this blended protein smoothie. It’s spiced with cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and cloves!
#3 KetoDiet Blog | Creamy Keto Cinnamon Smoothie
When it comes to the protein in this creamy smoothie, you’ve got options! Choose from your favorite protein powder or go for a few scoops of collagen, then blend up with coconut milk, coconut oil, cinnamon, and chia seeds for even more protein.
#4 Autoimmune Wellness | Collagen-Berry Green Smoothie
This protein-packed smoothie is the perfect on-the-go meal for those following the autoimmune protocol. It helps balance blood sugar by blending collagen with healthy fat!
#5 Healing Family Eats | Maple Pumpkin Collagen Shake
Channel those fall vibes with this protein shake packed with pumpkin, banana, fresh oranges and cinnamon.
#7 Cook Eat Paleo | Espresso Protein Shake
This high-protein shake is almost like breakfast in a glass. Espresso or strong coffee blends up with cashew milk, bananas and ice for a creamy treat better than anything you can find at the Starbucks drive-thru.
#8 Wicked Spatula | Brownie Batter Protein Shake
This protein shake is like eating brownie batter off a spoon, but way healthier. Dark cocoa powder adds rich chocolatey flavor while collagen peptides boost its nutritional value.
#9 It’s a Mom’s World | Almond Joy Protein Shake
Get your candy fix with this nourishing chocolate, almond, and coconut-packed protein shake. It’s full of healthy fats to give you some serious staying power.
#11 Love and Zest | Coconut Cream Pie Protein Shake
Dessert for breakfast? Yes, please! This shake is dense with coconutty flavor, while protein powder rounds everything out for the perfect meal replacement.
#12 The Kitchen Prep | Samoa Cookie Protein Shake
If you’re a cookie fiend, this protein shake is for you. It’s made with coconut flakes, Paleo caramel, and dairy-free chocolate chips to remind you of your favorite Girl Scout treat!
#13 Appetite for Energy | Raspberry Keto Protein Shake
Raspberries make for a sweet and tangy shake that mixes perfectly with coconut cream, but feel free to use any combination of berries you like!
#14 Low Carb Alpha | Almond Vanilla Protein Shake
This almond vanilla shake is full of staple pantry ingredients, so it’s extra easy to whip up on a dime.
#15 Against All Grain | Chocolate Paleo Protein Shake
Cashew milk makes for an ultra-creamy base to this simple and nourishing recipe chocolate protein shake.
Thanks again to PaleoHacks for their post today. Do you have favorite smoothie recipes? Share them below, and have a great week, everyone.
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