Coffee first. Schemes later.Leanna Renee Hieber
A cup of Java or nada? Many nutritionist coaches will recommend coming off the caffeine during your fertility journey. Other nutrition experts and information found in quick Google searches will say that taking in less than 200 mg a day will do no harm.
So which is it? For me it was super hard to come off the caffeine. My fertility journey was postponed and prolonged during the pandemic. Also, an additional six week long wait related to some additional ordered testing stretched out the timeline. With no retrieval date in sight and plenty of work to do meanwhile it was very easy to not take the caffeine audit very seriously.
Here is what I did to whittle down my caffeine intake as much as possible.
- I tried to stick with the one cup in the morning of a regular cup of coffee. Nespresso please! Nespresso claims that their pods have anywhere from 60-150 mg of caffeine…not bad!
- I looked for coffee alternatives (see recommendations below)
- I became more cognizant of where suspect sources of caffeine were leaching in. I am an iced tea drinker! I spend a lot of time in the South! Had to really watch my (unsweet…I’m not thaaaaat southern) iced tea intake.
As an option to explore you may want to consider that a plethora of caffeine alternatives exist out there. It could sound absolutely gross but a quick search on mushroom coffee alternatives on Amazon will yield a ton of choices. I bought a milk frother off Amazon and got really creative with coconut, goat, and oat milks. Throw a little manuka honey in there… I’m just saying! I was creating a new diet for my second cup options after I had one cup of the real stuff.
Reviews on the three types of coffee alternatives.
1. Ryze Mushroom Coffee – I bought this one while scrolling through Instagram or Facebook…I can’t remember. This is the best of the three that mimics a latte. Slight creaminess that the other two can’t match.
2. Teccino Hazlenut – Who likes to drink “coffee at night or need that 4 pm coffee? I always told myself before 6 is still in the green zone. This is a really nice tea that brews just like a coffee. I also happen to be a tea drinker from Pu-Erh to Lapsang Suchong I really enjoy tea. This one is no different and is like a hybird between tea and coffee.
3. La Republica – I came across La Republica while scrolling on Amazon. It probably tastes best like a bright morning cuppa Columbian. I don’t mind dropping it into a nut butter and oat milk smoothie concoction with superfood vitamins to give that yummy coffee taste to a smoothie…used to be a coffee flavored ice cream guy and I found that this was a really great rendition of that. *Disclaimer-La Republica actually has trace amounts of caffeine as coffee is listed as the first ingredient…this may still be useful for those trying to do the slow reduction in caffeine intake.
Especially during a cold winter? Nothing beats a cuppa in your hand! But it is that recognition that you actually just crave something warm to drink…could you substitute in herbal teas instead? For me it was easy, so easy in the winter to add in warm nettle tea for example when I was craving something warm to drink. Have fun finding and exploring what fun tea options you make your crafted TTC friendly brews!
In my own journey I was willing to look at all herbs and vitamins to take that could possibly help. Nettle, red clover, and raspberry leaf. These all happen to make great teas that support the female system! I tried to substitute my afternoon iced tea craving with these herbal teas, but iced. Kombuchas are also really great treat because they provide that occasional fizz fix! Caffeine is taxing on the nervous system and so I looked for herbs or supplements that helped me give additional support to the nervous system. I have been taking ashwaganda for years, long before the TTC journey, to keep my adrenal glands in check. Caffeine usage is also very taxing to the adrenals. Maintaining optimum health during the TTC journey is about balancing hormones so that your entire system can work synergistically to do what it needs to do to get…pregnant and stay pregnant!
“Both the pituitary and adrenal glands are responsible for releasing hormones into the body.” mainehealth.org
If you love your tea and coffee as much as I do, chances are you may have a hard time weaning off the caffeine in the TTC journey. I mean, I am someone who loves coffee flavored ice cream and green tea flavored ice cream! For me an audit into when I would reach for the caffeine really helped. Asking myself (beyond that first cuppa joe in the am) every time I knew caffeine was in a drink helped to bring awareness to when I was reaching for caffeine so at least I knew I could be making the decision to have caffeine consciously.
- Do I need a treat?
- Am I comforting myself? Are there other ways to comfort myself?
- Am I tired? Can I do other things to relax?
- Is caffeine part of the drink that I want? Are there ways to take the caffeine out?
Let me confess to you what my weakest moment was during the day. This time I would be most likely to reach for caffeine because I was getting tired, the day still had so much more to go and anything that had bubble up emotionally for me I had yet to spend time on and process and so I would just reach for a treat to pick me up! Or, OR, I really was starting to get hungry and didn’t want to eat 2 hours before dinner.I am for team Do-It-Consciously…it really helps to at least start with the awareness
I really found that the coffee alternatives lead to great “coffee flavored” shakes to “trick” me. Here is a very basic smoothie recipe from MUD\WTR™.
- 6g of coffee alternative
- 12 oz of almond milk (I like coconut milk)
- 2 tbsp of Almond Butter
- 1 Banana
- Add ice and blend
MUDWTR is also another coffee alternative I experimented with. It is a powder-like in texture and in between sips reminds me of chai and hot cocoa. Something about the subscription service allows me to spoon heapfuls with complete abandon into a mug for a late afternoon cup of motivation or to hit the soothe nerve! The cacao rounds everything out to trace amounts of sweet! I find that I can just add more hot water to keep drinking on a cup I started earlier in the day. I have never never found it to be bitter! It may be coffee-free but it is not completely caffeine free…there are some small amounts of black tea powder added.
So, it is possible to reframe our choices and to do so while grabbing a few extra adaptogens!
Please be sure to share what coffee alternatives you have found and enjoy! Are there any special ways that you prepare your cuppa?