Does Coffee Increase Cortisol?

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Does Coffee Increase Cortisol?

We’re here because we are busy and we are trying to find the best way to stay healthy and still increase our bottom line…

Hate to say it, but that means that we need some artificial help now and then. Well, not exactly artificial help, but more along the lines of some natural supplementation; i.e. coffee. The funny thing is, even though I make a mention of coffee like it’s this big “no-no,” the stuff really isn’t all that bad. Heck, it probably has more positive health benefits than it does negative.

But there is one thing that we can’t avoid, and that is that coffee does elevate our natural cortisol levels. And in case you haven’t heard some of my rants about cortisol and how it can disrupt your state of flow or even disrupt your ability to make logical business decisions, let me tell you, it can be a serious problem. A good example is this:

You’re cruising along through your day making some great decisions and running the company like you should, and then “WHAM!” You get hit with a phone call that says your CFO just put in his two-weeks notice. You’ve suddenly gone from productive to distracted with an increase in blood pressure and an inability to make educated decisions.

This is why cortisol is not always the best thing. Plus, it can make you fat.

But if coffee increases cortisol, why is it good to drink coffee now and then? Well, the benefits of coffee are almost endless. It is a powerful antioxidant, it has some serious fat burning components, and it stimulates some feel-good hormones that can make you more productive. But yes, it does increase cortisol, which we don’t want to have happen all too often.

But the reason why a regular surge of caffeine may not be bad when it comes to cortisol is actually quite simple. You know how you build a tolerance to coffee? If you have one cup of coffee for a few months straight, suddenly you feel like you need more, and more, and MORE, right!? Well that happens with the increase in cortisol when you drink coffee too. The first time you drink coffee, you’ll likely spike your cortisol levels high, but then as you begin to develop a tolerance to the caffeine, the effect on cortisol tends to mellow out and not be so high.

This means that you’re left with a happy medium of caffeine benefits without the increase in cortisol that is going to make you feel disconnected and stressed (and make you fat). This is also one of the main reasons why it is not always best to drink coffee when you’re already stressed out, even the increase in the feel-good hormones that come from caffeine don’t counteract the additional cortisol that is being added to the already torching fire!

In fact, I did a video on opting for green-tea vs. coffee when you’re stressed out and just feel the need to sip on something. You can check it out here.

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