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There’s always a new hot topic in the growing health and wellness world. One being the discussion around adrenal fatigue and coffee. In today’s world, hustle culture and burnout are frequently used vocabulary. With so much going on at all times, coffee is a natural stimulant most people turn to daily, if not multiple times a day. This habit can be helpful or become hurtful, depending on the person. Adrenal fatigue is a new buzzword that gets thrown around, however it’s much more than just an overworked person that feels exhausted all the time.

In today’s blog, we’ll discuss adrenal fatigue and coffee, answer the question: does coffee cause adrenal fatigue, look into whether you can get adrenal fatigue from coffee or not, and more.

Tired woman leaning on her hand

*Photo courtesy of @cookie_studio

What is Adrenal Fatigue

Adrenal fatigue is a theory that patients and some doctors have come up with to explain the side effects of long-term stress. Yes, it’s true–adrenal fatigue is simply a theory and not a true disease or diagnosis. [1] Our adrenals are made up of two glands that sit above the kidneys and help release hormones, such as cortisol. When we experience stress, our body releases cortisol hormones, and if you experience extended periods of stress, it’s believed that the adrenals are releasing so much cortisol that they become low, or “fatigued.” [1] The real question seems to be more so how to reduce stress, rather than enhance the function of adrenals.

Does Coffee Cause Adrenal Fatigue

Now that we have more insight into adrenal fatigue, let’s get to the common question people are asking, “Does coffee cause adrenal fatigue?” The reason adrenal fatigue and coffee get lumped together so often is because coffee can cause stress on the body. It’s the most widely used stimulant in the world, and has shown to compound stress in everyday consumers. [2, 3] Not everyone reacts to coffee the same way, though. Obvious factors like age can affect reaction to caffeine. For example, adolescents and young adults are more sensitive to caffeine than mature adults. Genes can also play a factor, as well. [4]

It’s not so simple to pinpoint whether someone will be sensitive to caffeine or not. Our focus should be empowering people to listen to their body and know if a daily ritual they once enjoyed is no longer serving them. Put simply, you don’t experience adrenal fatigue from coffee alone, but an ongoing stressful lifestyle may lead to side effects known as adrenal fatigue. Headaches, waking up tired, lack of focus and lack of motivation are all factors to consider when talking about caffeine intake. Next time the topic of adrenal fatigue and coffee comes up, consider the options you have to reduce the symptoms. Experiencing the effects of what we refer to as adrenal fatigue from coffee are very real, however there’s never been a better time to crowd out coffee consumption with caffeine-free options.

A cup of dandelion tea with fresh flowers

In the nutrition world, “crowding out” is a term for replacing a not-so-healthy food or drink with something else. It’s much easier to give something up if you’re replacing it with something equally enjoyable, rather than cutting it out cold turkey. For example, you could crowd out coffee with herbal coffee alternatives like dandelion root coffee or caffeine-free tea options. These delicious alternatives are tasty, and contain little to no caffeine. Overall, reducing stress is a great health tip, and if caffeine is causing your body and mind stress, it may be a great time to take a break from caffeine, too.

Happy Sipping!

Dandy Blend is not a supplement or medicine. Any health related questions or concerns, we always recommend consulting with your primary care physician.