Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Coffee and Mood

Good Morning Lovely Readers and a warm welcome to new follower, Miss U

Part of our huge clear-out has included looking at what we eat or drink. A member of my close family has bi-polar and for this reason we have been looking very carefully at what we eat and how this affects mood. Many people that I know suffer from depression and I feel that this cannot be the state we were intended to live in. I know that some of my readers also suffer from depression/low mood, so maybe this blog might help - I hope so.

The first casualty of the food/drink clear-out has been coffee. Why? Like many of you I adored my daily latte and didn't see the harm I was doing to my body. As a sufferer of Meniere's I have to avoid three things which can trigger attacks; caffeine, salt and alcohol. More importantly perhaps, I was aware that a family member's extreme mood swings were in no small part linked to their consumption of coffee.  Interested? Please read on .............

Most people don't realise that their morning cup(s) of coffee sets their bodies up for a rollercoaster day of highs and lows. Just a few hours after consumption, when the artificial high dies down, many people may reach for more coffee or something sugary to get another lift, leading to daily fluctuations in energy and alertness, and possibly to eventual chronic adrenal exhaustion.
Just one caffeinated drink – whether it's a soft drink, caffeinated tea or coffee – will put your body on the caffeine rollercoaster. When you consume caffeine, the drug begins its effects by initiating uncontrolled neuron firing in your brain, according to Stephen Cherniske in his book, Caffeine Blues. This excess neuron activity triggers your pituitary gland to secrete a hormone that tells your adrenal glands to produce adrenalin.

Adrenalin is what gives athletes that winning burst of energy and Good Samaritans the ability to rescue people by lifting cars. Adrenalin is also the source of our "fight-or-flight" response, which enabled our prehistoric ancestors to escape from saber-toothed tigers and other predators. By stimulating your adrenal glands to produce adrenalin, caffeine puts your body in this "fight-or-flight" state, which is useless while you're just sitting at your desk. When this adrenal high wears off later, you feel the drop in terms of tiredness, irritability, headache or confusion.

At this point, you may reach for another "hit" of caffeine, followed by another, and another and maybe even one more. If you constantly keep your body on a caffeine high, you're constantly keeping your body in "flight-or-flight" mode.

Cherniske explains your body's "perspective" of this constant state: "Imagine you lived in a country that was always under threat of attack. No matter where you went, there was a perpetual state of alert. Not only that, but your defenses were constantly being depleted and weakened. Does that sound stressful? Caffeine produces the same effect on your body, like fighting a war on multiple fronts at the same time." Cherniske calls your body's constant state of alert "caffeinism," which is characterized by fatigue, anxiety, mood swings, sleep disturbance, irritability and depression.

After prolonged "caffeinism," your body enters a state of adrenal exhaustion. Your caffeine consumption has simply pushed your adrenal glands so much that they've burned out. Ralph T. Golan, ND, describes this unfortunate state in his book,Herbal Defense: "Caffeine forces your glands to secrete when they don't have much left to give, and they have to keep digging deeper and deeper, making you more and more tired over time. And over the years, it takes more and more coffee to get the same result. Some people reach the point of drinking half a dozen or more cups of coffee to get the same result and it's barely keeping them awake. That's severe adrenal depletion." 

This, on the other hand, will give you energy and refresh you on a cellular level and effect your mood in a positive way.

If you suffer from anxiety, nerves or depression, then passiflora tea can really help.

I order mine from Rob at

This is what Rob says about passiflora tea.....

"Passion flower leaves are an anti-depressant and natural mood lifter. Steep 1 teaspoon in hot water, maximum 3 to 4 cups per day.

It works well used along with St Johns Wort to make "happy tea".

Passion flower leaves contain an analogue to pinoline which works as a MAOI inhibitor which increases neurotransmitter levels in the brain.

Please note that this product is not suitable for pregnant women because it may stimulate uterine contractions."

Now wouldn't you rather have that than a cup of coffee?

Feed your body - feed your mind!

Enjoy your day

Love Mrs Thrifty


  1. What an interesting post, she says as she pushes away the third cup of coffee of the morning!!

    It is decaffinated that okay?

    Really though that's a fascinating post, does passion flower tea taste like 'tea', I really cannot drink tea unfortunately, I have tried lots of fruity ones and still they seem too 'tea like', do you think I'm a lost cause or is it worth a try?

    Sue xx

  2. That is really interesting. Every so often I give up tea and coffee - then have to put up with that horrible 'caffeine' headache for acouple of days. But somehow I always gradually go back on to it again.

    The silly thing is, coffee doesn't even taste very good - it is just habit!

  3. That's amazing! I feel like I have 'adrenal depletion'...even though I haven't got a clue what it is! I must look into this further...thank you! I so agree with Becky Bee too.. I don't even like coffee much...and yet I have at least 4 a day... hugs, Jill x

  4. Thank you for your comments Ladies.
    Sue, decaffeinated coffee is processed either with chemicals or with water - the chemical processing leaves residues that are not great for health. If you must drink coffee, go to a proper tea shop and buy loose water-processed. A cup of decaf has about the same amount of caffeine as a bar of chocolate. No, passiflora is a delicate yellow colour and you have it without milk - I put a slice of lemon in mine. It is an acquired taste, but to my mind, worth it for the benefits. It is not unpleasant. Give it a try! xx
    BecckyBee - the headaches are the toxins coming out - let them out and then don't put them back - drink plenty of water lol xxx
    Stocki - if you drink coffee there is a good chance that you are and if it is just habit why not experiment with some herbals? xx

  5. Great post, I had to give up caffine years ago due to sezures, I do miss the idea of coffee sometimes when I pass a starbucks! Ha Now if I do treat myself to a soda on rare occasions I can only drink a few sips the caffine hits me like a ton of bricks.

  6. Thanks for doing this post.I have suffered with depression for over 10 years,7 years on and off anti depressants and therapy but nothing works.I do drink a lot of coffee maybe 10 cups a day! I am well and truely addicted to caffeine,I am moody when I try to give it up and dont even make it a day! But my mental health is more important so maybe its time to kick the habit once and for all xx

  7. gulp .....guiltily drinking a coffee whilst reading.....but have really cut down so not all bad!

  8. One coffee for me at breakfast, then only water decaf if I have another one in the day. I'm with Sue, can't stand tea or anything like it.
    Jane x

  9. What an interesting post! I don't drink coffee at all but I can't live without my chocolate (that does have caffeine in it, in small doses)!

  10. Awarded you the sunshine award!!! Check it out on my blog. You now need to answer the same 10 questions

  11. I drink quite a lot of coffee in the morning, and find it rather difficult to cut back. I will start working on that!!
    Very interesting post.

  12. We gave up coffee over 20 years ago & then I started up again 3 years ago while on holiday. I drink 1 cup of black espresso, though not always every day & it's usually just before we work, or after eating - instead of something sweet... I'm a huge water & herbal tea drinker too, but I don't eat chocolate. Yerba Mate's a good tea to replace coffee with, as it does have a little caffeine, but it's effects are much more gentle.

    Kay :)


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