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How to hack your adrenals with caffeine

coffee chemistryYeah you heard that right.  Coffee has some amazing health benefits but as many of us know first hand, over-caffeination in a hectic modern life leads to adrenal fatigue for a lot of people, leading to nasty side effects ranging from brain fog and depression to infertility and an inability to gain muscle.

But coffee can still be therapeutic when you apply a little bit of knowledge.  Here comes the hack that’ll change your life!!!

The key to the caffeine hack is TIMING.  I’ve mentioned before my mom is famous for needing two cups of coffee each morning, “one for each eye” as she lovingly puts it (and god help you if you get between her and either one of those cups!).  But what if she really doesn’t need both of those boosts?  What if one of those cups is actually being WASTED and causing burnout, while the other cup is like rocket fuel in a cup?

The science run down:

Our circadian rhythm is largely controlled by the ebb and flow of cortisol throughout the day. That’s the hormone that keeps you feeling peppy and alert during the day and winds you down at night (as cortisol dips and melatonin rises).   It naturally spikes in the morning, right around 8 and 9am.  Guzzle a few cups of morning joe, add in a morning workout and a stressful commute on a crappy night’s sleep, and it’s no wonder most of us go running (crawling?) to the fridge or the snack drawer for a sugar fix.  We burn ourselves out dumping jet fuel into our systems over and over and over before the day is even half gone!  But what if you save that boost for the midmorning dip, between 9:30 and 11:30 when cortisol starts to dip?  Think about it, if you’re in a finely-tuned race car, you don’t hit the boost button at the starting line.  You’d burn out way too soon.  You ramp up and run the system until everything else is locked in, and THEN you bump that mutha’ into overdrive.

So do you give up that morning cup of joe?  What about that delicious aroma that takes you to another world, the feel of the warm cup in your hands, the moment of gratitude it affords you?  Rituals are a POWERFUL practice, and we continue to honor ours.

This is where the Live Free hack comes in….

We start our morning with our blessed Live Free coffee ritual, but our first cup is a toxin-free swiss water processed DECAF.  We keep all the benefits out of the ritual we love, including a boost of antioxidants.  Then, we make a SECOND cup of the “real” stuff and store it in our Klean Kantine, which keeps the coffee nice and hot without any toxins leaching into the brew.  That goes with us to the office.  When we start feeling that midmorning dip, out comes the mug for a well-timed boost of beast mode. 

We created the “adrenal hack pack” for people who want to take their coffee experience to the next level.  The hack pack comes with a bag of decaf and a bag of your choice of fully leaded to make sure you are getting the most out of your daily fix.  

Pro tip: Timing your LAST cup of coffee

By around 2pm , cortisol levels naturally dip again.  This is when most people crave a nap or a bag of fritos or an entire chocolate bar.  This is the perfect time for your final cup.  If you take your second dose at 2 (we enjoy a fresh-ground French press and electric kettle for our afternoon pick-me-up), by the time you’re ready for bed it should be cleared out of your system so it doesn’t interfere with sleep.  Then you sleep better, and won’t be clawing for the heavy stuff when you wake up grouchy and unrested in the morning.  Coffee should be a therapeutic boost of high performance energy, concentration, mood enhancement and overall great health, not a raggedy crutch to limp around on. 

Remember, to keep your energy high and avoid mental crash, quality matters.  When farmers are forced to produce poor quality beans for the cheapest price, the beans can often become contaminated with toxic mold, and companies have a much easier time using toxic fertilizers and pesticides without protest, as well as mixing in unwanted additives like twigs, soybeans, and even dirt to cheapen the cost per pound.  Yeah that’s right, you could be drinking dirt sludge every morning on your way to work!  If your body is working to eliminate garbage, it’s not going to be able to focus on high-end mental tasks and becoming a beast of a physical specimen.  Stick to toxin-free, ethically sourced coffee to maintain your edge.

And remember, with everything in life, YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.  We started Live Free because we wanted to support hard working farmers and drink clean-tasting, toxin-free kick ass coffee while trying not to hurt the Earth or destroy priceless human lives.  That costs a few extra bucks.  It’s what we demand for ourselves, and we think you’re worth more than slave labor and dirt water.

Know somebody who is ready to take their coffee experience beast mode and hack their adrenals?  Forward this message and share the love!
Photo credit: Greg_Rodgers / Foter / CC BY