We get it. Coffee is necessary to start your day. You need the caffeine; you need the routine. But did you know that consuming caffeine on an empty stomach may actually be inhibiting your ability to see results? Read on to learn how drinking coffee first thing in the AM before eating your breakfast may be holding you back from the health goals that you’re aiming for, and how to incorporate balanced and healthy breakfasts in your everyday routine.
But wait, aren’t there some health benefits of coffee?
Yes! We’re not telling you to completely avoid coffee. Coffee consumption has been shown to have many health benefits. Coffee has been shown to reduce risk of heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Potential harmful effects of coffee consumption
Drinking coffee first thing in the morning could do more harm than good. Some potential negatives, which we’ll dive deeper into, include digestive concerns, blood sugar imbalance, and increased stressed hormones.
Drinking coffee first thing in the morning can cause digestive issues such as bloating, nausea, indigestion, or acid reflux. Coffee consumption stimulates the production of stomach acid, which can be quite uncomfortable for some individuals.
Increases stress hormones
Coffee increases cortisol levels, also known as our stress hormone. Cortisol is important because it regulates energy, hormone balance, and other factors within our body. When we wake up, our cortisol levels may already be high. Coffee consumption therefore exacerbates that.
In addition to its influence on our stress hormone, coffee consumption prior to breakfast may also impact the absorption of thyroid hormone. This can cause an imbalance in hormones within the body.
Impacts blood sugar control
Our blood sugar is the main sugar found in our blood. It’s our body’s main source of energy. When our blood sugar dips, so does our energy levels. This can also be harmful for our health. Keeping blood sugar levels stable within a target range is helpful for prevention of long-term health conditions. These health conditions may include heart disease, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. Coffee consumption prior to breakfast can increase blood sugar response by at least 50% (which is not a good thing!). We want our blood sugars to rise and fall gradually, and not rapidly.
Due to its impact on hormones, blood sugar regulation, and digestion, coffee consumption prior to breakfast may also increase inflammation within the body. All of these are key markers to inflammation. Too much inflammation, especially chronic inflammation, can have negative long term health effects. Therefore, limiting coffee consumption without having breakfast would be advised to reduce inflammation levels.
Negative effects of coffee consumption prior to breakfast
As you can tell, coffee consumption prior to consuming breakfast has many potential negative health outcomes. Therefore, we do not advise consuming coffee in the AM without eating breakfast first.
What should I be eating for breakfast then
Can you have coffee in the AM? Yes, but pair it with breakfast! We recommend consuming protein for breakfast in addition to having a fiber. Protein and fiber keep us energized and keep us full and satisfied. A high protein breakfast has also been shown to manage hormone levels, increase muscle mass, and regulate glucose levels. Protein sources for breakfast include eggs, nut butter, nuts, seeds, yogurt, or cheese. Fiber is also crucial for breakfast. Outside of energy levels, fiber keeps our blood sugar stable, regulates our digestion, and can better our gut health. Sources of fiber for breakfast include nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, oats, and whole wheat bread.
Breakfast with Pure Plates
Before you grab your coffee for the day, set the intention to have something to eat first. Pure Plates offers a full breakfast menu so that you don’t have to worry about breakfast on your own (and therefore you can just focus on what your coffee order will be!). You can check out the breakfast menu here. We’re loving the Cage Free Breakfast, Poblano Omelet Supreme, and Southwest Frittata.
Overall, we recommend consuming breakfast prior or with your coffee rather than drinking coffee alone. Drinking coffee prior to consuming breakfast has shown to increase inflammation and lead to negative health outcomes. Here at Pure Plates, your health is our main priority, so let us take care of the food part for you!