Let's first start examining the gunas, or qualities, of coffee. Coffee is hot, sharp, dry, and light like Pitta. It speeds up the mind and stimulates the release of stress hormones from the adrenal glands, kicking your body into "high gear" mode. For kapha constitutions, who often feel sluggish, heavy, and find it hard to get up and get going in the morning, 2-3 cups of coffee per week may be very healing. But, kapha constitutions should not rely on coffee for energy. If you feel sluggish in the morning, you should try avoiding heavy, oily, or sweet foods at night to bring a more authentic and vital 'pep to your step' the next morning. Instead of drinking coffee, you could try splashing cold water on your face, drinking a hot cup of ginger tea, and going for a brisk fifteen minute walk in the mornings to get you going.
People who have exhausted adrenal glands will crave coffee most at 3pm. Vata people (who have excess dry, light, and mobile qualities in their constitution) are more at risk for adrenal exhaustion. Unfortunately, the energy boost you receive after drinking coffee depletes the adrenals even further. Coffee over-stimulates the adrenals depleting them of fluids and creating more dryness. This process is much like whipping a tired horse. The energy that it provides is fleeting and can even be hurtful. In Vata individuals especially, coffee increases exhaustion, anxiousness, and fear. Instead of drinking coffee, Vata will benefit from licorice root tea in a warm glass or water, which will nourish instead of deplete them. Vata may combat tired afternoons by replenishing their fluids and electrolytes with a homemade version of Gatorade: Simply squeeze a wedge of lime and a pinch of salt into warm water.
Pitta folks, who have naturally sharp minds, intense emotions, and plenty of ambition do best to avoid coffee except for only on special occasions. Coffee irritates the digestive tract and heats up the liver, making a Pitta person irritable, hyper-focused, and critical. Fiery pitta people do not normally crave coffee anyway, since they already have plenty of energy.My Saved Articles | Most Popular
About the AuthorJohn Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.
John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.
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As someone with vata-pitta prakruti, and vikruti, coffee became very addicting, quickly. 15 years later, I'm still trying to find ways to quit, because slowly cutting it out never seems to happen, and cutting it out instantly is horrible with depression, extreme fatigue, headache, and pain in the backs of my legs similar to stretching too much - and this lasts 2 weeks, peaking at day 2-4. Not to mention how difficult it can be to adjust to a slow and steady life, as coffee provides quick bursts that help make one feel more productive. Any advice, for making the transition away easier?
Try gradually substituting decaf in higher and higher proportion. Maybe the first week do 1/4 decaf, the next 1/2, the next 3/4, then all decaf and then gradually ween yourself off of that.