Caffeine: the good, the bad, and the most delicious

breakfast Dec 29, 2021

Let’s start by saying - caffeine is not inherently bad. You can take a deep breath & relax now. 

In fact, in general, moderate caffeine intake is not associated with adverse effects, and can even provide some health benefits.

Coffee not only helps on the fatigue front, but there is also evidence of the following health-promoting properties of coffee:

So we're not here to tell you to go cold turkey on your morning coffee. But there are a few ways that you can enhance the health benefits of your morning beverage: 

  • Buy quality coffee: The most harmful part of your daily routine could be the pesticide, mold, and mycotoxins on most coffee

    • Commercial coffee is one of the most heavily sprayed crops in the world. Pesticides are known to be harmful to human health and the environment. 

    • Mold and mycotoxins (toxic substances from fungi) are commonly found in coffee. 

    • If you experience negative side effects after drinking coffee, the solution could very well be finding a high-quality source that is tested for mold/toxins

    • Look for the following standards in coffee:

      • Certified organic (better for your health and the environment)

      • Toxin-free: look for a brand that tests for common toxins (pesticides, molds/mycotoxins), like Purity Coffee (code REVOLVE10 will save you $).

  • Avoid drinking coffee right upon waking or on an empty stomach. Here’s a very simplified explanation of why:

    • cortisol: coffee increases cortisol (aka the stress hormone), which can negatively impact hormonal balance, especially for women. Cortisol is high in the morning, and studies show that consuming caffeine when cortisol is high can cause your body to produce more cortisol. These days, most people experience excess stress, so we don’t need any more cortisol.

    • gut health: the information on coffee’s impact on the gut microbiome is far from definitive, but if you struggle with acid reflux or other GI issues, take note of how coffee impacts you.

    • to moderate the negative health impacts of coffee, try drinking after breakfast (between 9 am and 12 pm). If you feel groggy in the morning without your immediate dose of caffeine, try these other changes to improve your circadian rhythm:

      • stop using electronics 1-2 hours before bed

      • stick to a consistent sleep schedule (go to bed and wake up at the same time)

      • expose yourself to natural sunlight upon waking (swap your morning coffee for a morning walk)

When it comes to caffeine intake, the best tool you can use is being in touch with your body to know when you might want to experiment with decreasing your caffeine intake. Here are a few signs:

  1. Impaired sleep quality

  2. Feeling dependent on coffee

  3. Wired, anxious, and/or jittery after coffee. It’s not your fault - some people are genetically slow caffeine metabolizers (me + coffee = anxiety!)

  4. Struggling with hormonal imbalance

If you want to optimize your coffee, or you’re looking to wean yourself off, try out these simple but delicious morning beverages - from most caffeinated to least. 

Protein Coffee: adding extra protein and fat to this beverage will pack in some extra nutrients and enhance some of the benefits of coffee

~100mg caffeine/serving

  • ½ - 1 cup hot coffee 

  • 1 serving collagen powder

  • 1 egg yolk

  • ½ tsp cinnamon (optional)

  • 1 tsp maca powder (optional)

  • 1 cup raw milk, hot or iced (or coconut milk)

In a small jar, mix your coffee, collagen, egg yolk (and cinnamon & maca if using). Shake up the ingredients to mix thoroughly. You can drink it as is or pour over a glass of warm or iced raw milk. 

Matcha: matcha is a finely ground green tea with exceptional health properties. Matcha is full of naturally occurring antioxidants and amino acids; roughly 20 times those of regular green tea

~25mg caffeine/serving

  • ½ tsp matcha powder 

  • 1 serving collagen 

  • ¼ cup hot water

  • 1 cup raw milk, hot or iced (or coconut milk)

In a small cup or ceramic bowl, mix your matcha, collagen, and hot water using a matcha whisk, electric frother, or the humble fork. For a matcha tea, add another cup of hot or cold water. For a matcha latte, pour the matcha blend over a glass of warm or iced raw milk.

Hot cocoa: perfect replacement for a cup of coffee with much less caffeine

~6mg caffeine/serving

  • ½ tbsp cacao powder 

  • 1 serving collagen 

  • egg yolk (optional)

  • 1 tbsp maca powder (optional) 

  • 1 tsp honey (optional)

  • ¼ cup hot water

  • 1 cup raw milk, hot or iced (or coconut milk)

In a small jar, mix your cacao, collagen, egg yolk, and hot water (and maca & honey if using). Shake up the ingredients to mix thoroughly. Pour the mixture over a glass of warm or iced raw milk. 

Bone broth: if you’re going completely caffeine free, this is the perfect morning beverage. Warm and comforting and full of essential nutrients that will give you a pep in your step every morning. 

0mg caffeine/serving

  • 1-2 cups of bone broth 

  • Squeeze of lemon 

  • Salt 

Warm up a couple cups of bone broth and add a squeeze of lemon and salt to taste.


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