Coffee and caffeine are not the enemy, what matters is how your body responds to them. 

Feeling tired, anxious, overwhelmed and stressed out from the moment you wake up?

What do you feel like after your morning coffee or tea?

  • energetic?
  • bowels moving better?
  • ready to get your day going?
  • same as when you woke up?

What is the caffeine doing for you?

Take notes, get curious!

I often run saliva cortisol levels for my clients to know if they are spiking their cortisol in the morning based on their habits.

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High morning cortisol levels can cause afternoon crashes, all day fatigue and feelings of anxiety, overwhelm and even depression.

Imagine your body thinking it’s running a marathon all day every day…

…it would be tiring, frustrating and yes, depressing to repeat the same thing every day.

What could you do to see if coffee really benefits you or not?

  • switch to 1/2 de-caffeinated 1/2 regular coffee
  • opt for a decaf or caffeinated coffee that is tested for mold & toxins like  Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof Coffees or Decaffeinated Danger Coffee
  • decrease the amount of coffee you drink by 1/4-1/2 cup every day
  • switch to black or green tea then drop off of this to a mushroom coffee
  • try mushroom coffee like Ryze
  • see what MudWtr is all about
  • try a adult hot cocoa with cacao powder
  • opt for a caffeine free herbal tea

Caffeine headaches and bowel changes are common coming off of the daily coffee. 

Taper as mentioned before, if you’re prone to these symptoms.

The coffee withdrawal effects show you that the caffeine and tannins (acidity) in the coffee are stimulating your circulation.

Circulation is something that all humans struggle with because stress reduces your ability to circulate blood effectively.

It’s an interplay between the liver and the autonomic nervous system. 

The more you’re stuck in fight or flight mode the more the sympathetic (fight or flight) part of the nervous system triggers liver inflammation and decreases blood flow through the liver.

More time in parasympathetic mode leads to less liver inflammation as blood flow in the liver increases and allows for enhanced repair. 

Chinese Medicine teachings from thousands of years ago talk about the concept of “liver qi  and blood stagnation”…

…and the importance of keeping the liver circulation healthy for longevity!

“Liver qi and blood stagnation” is why so many adults will see cholesterol levels increase despite doing “all the things” to eat well, exercise and more!

The coffee’s herbal tannins and natural caffeine stimulate blood flow and enhance circulation.

Excessive caffeine in an already stressed individual wears down the body’s ability to easily switch between stress mode and chill mode. 

This isn’t good because the more time spent in fight or flight mode the higher the levels of inflammation.

Elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels are a sign the body is trying to repair itself.

High liver enzymes indicate there is damage occurring in the liver.

Inflammation is a natural repair process.

Yet, when inflammation regulating signals are out of balance with chronic stress the liver becomes damaged.

Want to learn more about chronic stress and liver inflammation? Check out the research HERE.

What’s an excessive amount of caffeine that causes the liver function to be compromised over time?

Great question, research shows 300 mg plus to be excessive but I see clients with elevated morning cortisol levels drinking caffeine levels around 160 or so mg (that’s an 8 oz drip coffee or 1 cup of caffeinated green or black tea).

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What if you got to the root of the stress issue in the first place?

Could you then resume drinking a little more coffee?


As with anything it takes time and I’d monitor your saliva cortisol and cholesterol levels to assess progress.

Keep in mind drinking alcohol compounds the liver inflammation situation. 

Do you have to give up alcohol too?

It depends on how hard you’re willing to work to get your body out of fight or flight mode and into chill mode more often.

Excess of anything will put stress on the body. 

Getting to the root issue of what has you dependent on coffee or alcohol is the key here. 

What could you do today to become more curious about your response to coffee or caffeine?

How can you support your liver to reduce inflammation over time?

  • Liver Love – a comprehensive formula for liver function (for hormone imbalances, high triglycerides, total cholesterol, brain fog, anxiety, stress and occasional depression too) – THEHEALTHFIX gets 10% off.
  • Liver Nutrients – a supportive formula for liver function (for everything above minus hormone imbalanced)
  • Milk thistle – Gaia Herbs – a singular herb to help the liver function better and reduce elevated liver enzymes
  • Free and Easy Wanderer (Xiao Yao San) – a traditional Chinese herbal formula to help the liver deal with life’s stressors

I use Liver Nutrients and Free and Easy Wanderer as “tonics” to support liver and stress most commonly in my practice. 

Liver Love is quickly becoming my new favorite liver support as it has added support for hormone detox pathways. 

It’s interesting how much wisdom there is from ancient medicine that is being overlooked. 

In a few weeks my podcast with Johnathan Doza, FNP comes out where we talk all about the liver and it’s connection to your brain and total body health.

Stay tuned for that!

Till then, have questions about your liver? Curious about getting some testing?  Let’s talk. Hit reply. 

Here’s to your health,

Dr. J

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PS: If you’re open to discussing your health further and see if you may be a fit for working with me, click HERE to schedule a complimentary call. 

Jannine Krause

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