If we were to describe a detox in not-so-scientific terms, we could say it’s like giving your body a holiday - even if it doesn’t always feel like one. During a detox, we’re allowing our kidneys, liver, and colon to remove all the waste that has built-up over time, so that they can function at top performance once again. Following a detox, these organs will be more effective at removing the daily toxins we take in from foods and the environment. When you're detoxing, it's not just about removing harmful foods, but liquids as well. Here is why you should avoid drinking coffee during your detox.
Although not everyone likes coffee, many people do - and that’s an understatement! Along with water and tea, coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world. Over 400 billion cups of coffee are consumed every year. Although the UK takes a lowly position when it comes to coffee drinkers (average of 2kg per person per year), there are countries with much higher coffee consumption rates, such as Finland and Norway where folks enjoy up to 12kg of java per person in a year.
The issue with coffee is not the taste, but the caffeine in it. The ingredient that gives us the boost is technically considered a drug. And like other drugs, caffeine needs to be broken down once it enters our body. This means that the liver, kidneys, etc. don’t get their deserved break during the process. This is, of course, the opposite of what you want during your detox. We want to lighten the load on these organs so they can work efficiently again.
As if the caffeine content wasn’t bad enough, there’s another problem with coffee, and that’s the high acidity.
Many detox plans involve eating fresh fruits and vegetables, which happen to be alkaline, as a way to bring our body’s acidity down. This will help prevent inflammation and many other potential ailments. Some detox routines even recommend you take alkaline supplements like calcium, magnesium, or potassium to help with this.
Unfortunately, simply drinking some Decaf won’t cut it either.
Coffee-lovers know: Caffeine withdrawals sure ain't pretty. However, for those coffee-loving folks who plan to detox, you can at least plan ahead to make things a little easier.
The best way to go about this is to reduce your caffeine intake two weeks before you start with your detox. One way people who drink a lot of coffee do this is by cutting out a cup each day. This will help ease withdrawal symptoms like headaches. Remember, you should also abstain from decaf because it is often exceptionally acidic. Black tea, unfortunately, also contains caffeine, so you shouldn’t use it as an alternative.
The best alternative to your morning cup of joe will be herbal teas. Some herbal teas bring additional benefits to make your entire detox even more effective.
For a good start in the morning, one excellent choice is ginger tea. Ginger tea can actually give you a nice, swift kick in the morning not unlike coffee, but without the caffeine. In addition, it supports digestion, which makes it just perfect for your detox! Most folks who detox and who really need a hot drink in the morning believe ginger tea is the next best thing to coffee.
Peppermint tea can also be a good alternative. It has a delicious, minty-fresh taste and of course, it doesn’t contain any caffeine either. The menthol in it has a mild cooling effect and it promotes sweating, which can be supportive to your detox.
If you like, you can also give some chamomile tea a try, although it’s probably better suited as a drink at night. Chamomile tea is relaxing and makes a great drink that you can enjoy if you want to de-stress and unwind. Probably not the best choice if you want a boost in the morning, but it’s great in the afternoon and evening!
If you’re a coffee-lover and you haven’t been weaning yourself off caffeine before your detox, it’s best not to quit cold turkey. Instead, you might want to give yourself some extra time for your body to adjust to the change before starting your detox. Plus, after it’s finished, nothing says you can’t go back to drinking coffee.