By Meredith Cochran
Feel good all day long
Your alarm just went off, it’s still dark outside. Your mind begins to wake and you start thinking about your day. If you’re among the 50% of adult Americans, you’re reaching for your cup of coffee to start your morning. Until recently, I was one of them. I decided to replace my morning cup of coffee with bone broth and I was shocked at how great it made me feel. You may be asking yourself why in the world I would ever consider such blasphemy if you’re a fellow coffee lover. But, I had realized that I was habitually drinking coffee in the morning and had made myself dependent on it in the process. Because I love sipping warm beverages in the morning when it’s coolest, I decided to give bone broth a try because it’s been known to energize your body in a natural way.
According to science, the morning is actually the worst time to drink coffee. Our bodies follow a natural circadian rhythm that is inherent to our humanity. The morning is the time our bodies produce the most cortisol. Think of cortisol as the body’s natural alarm clock. Made in the adrenal glands, cortisol is our body’s largest “stress” hormone. It can affect your metabolism and immune response, amongst other things. When you consume caffeine during a cortisol peak, you can experience an even larger “crash” later. Additionally, caffeine interferes with the body’s own production of cortisol, forcing you to consume more caffeine to compensate for the reduced cortisol your body is now producing.
Why is bone broth the new coffee?
When you wake up, you’ve just fasted for the last 8 plus hours or so. Your body is looking for a nourishing food that can gently begin your digestive process. Bone broth is incredibly gentle and easy on the digestive system. Plus, it’s low in carbohydrates and calories which can prevent a blood sugar spike. According to chinese medicine, bone broth is a qi (energy) and blood builder. This means that you will actually be giving your body the tools it needs to create its own energy. But, I really love bone broth in the morning because it keeps me focused during one of the most productive times of the day. Often when I consume caffeine, it over stimulates my attention and makes it difficult to focus on one task at a time. The amino acids in bone broth work as building blocks to give your body the tools it needs to lower inflammation (weight) and boost collagen production. Bone broth is the life hack your body is craving. Don’t have time to make it yourself, buy it here.
One of the best reasons to swap out your morning cup of coffee for bone broth is to boost your immune system. Revered by ancient cultures as having the ability to resurrect the dead, bone broth is a potent immune booster. And let’s not forget to heed Grandma’s advice to have plenty of chicken noodle soup when you’re sick and I’ll give you a hint, it isn’t for the noodles. A recent study links chicken soup to diminishing levels of white blood cells caused by inflammation associated with the common cold. Plus, amino acids such as arginine, cysteine, and glutamine help to reduce overall inflammation (the body’s natural response to infection) and help boost our immunity. With over 70% of your immune cells located in your gut, it makes sense that you would need to consume nutrient-dense foods to fuel your immune system with the right tools to tackle any attack.
Two of the amino acids that are found in high quantities in bone broth are glycine and glutamine. Glycine works as a protein builder in your body by enabling collagen production. It is also a precursor to creatine production which is used by the brain and muscles as energy. Glycine regulates blood sugar levels and mobilizes it to be used as energy throughout the body. Additionally, glycine works as a neurotransmitter to increase biochemical activity, such as serotonin (effects sleep and mood) and also key receptors in the brain that affect learning and memory. In fact, a recent study shows the correlation between glycine and memory/attention in young adults. Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid found in blood. In fact, it’s one of the few that can cross the blood-brain barrier. Glutamine is regularly utilized by intestinal and immune cells for energy. A recent study shows that increased glutamine consumption reduces fatigue due to its affect throughout the krebs cycle and gluconeogenesis, which are both cellular processes involved in energy production. There are a number of other amino acids found in bone broth, such as proline. Proline is critical to apoptosis, which is the process of old cell turnover so it can be cleared out and replaced with new and healthy cells. Proline is also a potent antioxidant and scavenges free radicals. Free radicals contribute to aging, which we are all looking to slow.
How Does Coffee Work & The Withdrawal
Caffeine is a stimulant that increases heart rate, blood pressure, and the stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine. Coffee mimics adenosine in your body, which is fired during normal neuronal activity throughout the day. As the day progresses, more adenosine builds up and it is what triggers sleepiness and rest at the end of the day. Caffeine is the same shape and size as adenosine, which binds to A1 receptors and tricks your body into thinking it isn’t tired by blocking the adenosine. During this process, the body is producing more neurotransmitters like dopamine, which gives your body a jolt of energy. Essentially, caffeine blocks the sleepy molecules while allowing the stimulating molecules to flood your system. In essence, you are experiencing a temporary energy surge by borrowing from your future energy and so the cycle continues.
When you first swap out your morning cup of coffee for bone broth, you may experience some withdrawal symptoms depending on your addiction level. Caffeine withdrawal is often characterized by a pounding headache, fatigue and low energy, feeling less alert, and heavy. These symptoms can occur within 12-24 hours after eliminating caffeine. Headaches are common with coffee withdrawal because caffeine causes blood vessels to narrow, decreasing blood flow to the brain. In fact, a study found that just 250 mg of coffee can restrict cerebral blood flow by as much as 27%. While you may experience these symptoms momentarily, the long term effects of swapping out your coffee for bone broth will be long lasting.
Today’s society of poor sleep, demanding jobs, and unhealthy diets can cause feelings of low energy. This causes many people to reach for an external source for boosted energy, such as coffee. Try swapping out your morning cup of coffee for bone broth and feel good all day long without the crash. I often add a pinch of sea salt or blend it with an avocado for a delicious smoothie that keeps you full for hours. Whichever way you enjoy bone broth, swap it out for your coffee and feel good all day long.