PicMonkey-Collage-1 Coffee is one of the greatest gifts to our society. It wakes us up, puts our head in gear and it’s social. How brilliant. Or is it? Are you sipping on coffee as you read this (I am!), perhaps even your second? Maybe it’s time to taper things back...

I'm not going to demonize it, don't worry. I love my Americano's, but if you are having more than one a day these are some things to think about.

Caffeine has long been consumed to temporarily reduce tiredness and increase alertness. However, this little wonder drug is now over-consumed more than ever in our society. While your morning coffee has some positive effects (feeling awake is probably the greatest) there are numerous negative side effects too, which include addiction, increased heart rate and blood pressure, nervousness, irritability, restlessness, dehydration, insomnia, headaches and anxiety.

Have you ever noticed that once you’ve had your coffee you feel bloated or very quickly off to the bathroom? Maybe you don’t eliminate until you drink your coffee each morning? This is because the caffeine stimulates our adrenal systems to go into ‘fight or flight’ mode. As a result our digestive systems are quick to go into spasm and eliminate. Now if this is you, then these are signs you need to address what is happening in your body and, in particular, the interaction between your adrenal and digestive system.

Makes you nervous doesn’t it, losing your coffee? Well, I’m here to tell you it’s not all bad. In fact, if you’re feeling any digestive issues compounded by being increasingly tired (also a delightful side effect of too much caffeine) then the news is good. Some simple things are going to help you feel a million dollars again. How? Small changes such as:

- Halving your coffee intake week by week over a series of weeks until you are down to one per day.

- If you can’t move until you see coffee first thing in the morning then wait longer than usual for your first cup, so your digestive system has a chance to do its thing without the stimulation of caffeine.

- As you reduce coffee intake, try swapping to green or regular tea, both of which contain less caffeine than an espresso and provide some valuable antioxidants to nourish your body.

- Increase the intake of wonderful vitamin B and magnesium-rich foods so you feel energized instead of depleted. Your digestive system will love you most for this.

-Drink at least 500 ml's of water extra for every glass of coffee you do consumer! Coffee is super, duper dehydrating and can cause really bad headaches, ache and pains and muscle soreness.

I love the taste, experience, culture and vibz of coffee! But I do know how important it is to know my limits, and not go over one cup of a coffee a day. Listen to your body, and if you are trying to cut back hopefully these help you out.