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Perimenopause Can SUCK IT! #3: Caffeine is a No-No

Our peek behind the women’s health curtain of all thangs perimenopause continues: let’s take a look into the world of caffeine and perimenopause.

* Disclaimer: All information in this series is based on my personal experience and is not intended to take the place of your doctor’s advice.

Perimenopause Can Suck It #3: Caffeine is a No-No

graphic for perimeopause

I can’t be the only one who just shuddered.

No. NO! NOOOOOOO!, perimenopause, you may NOT have my coffee.

Or, as I should have really titled this post:

No, I Won’t Give Up Coffee During Perimenopause’s Death-grip on Me

Perimenopause is a beast and giving up coffee can reduce the weight of symptoms, but…but…

The news is not good. 

The theory that caffeine makes the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause worse is almost universally accepted as fact, Jack.

To which I rebelliously say, PLLLLTTTTTTT!

graphic reads dont touch my coffee; i will cut you

Seriously. 

Touch my coffee and I will cut you.

Some would say that simple, yet disturbing statement points to my sheer dependence on caffeine and for that reason alone I should ditch the dark delicious bean.

I reiterate: don’t touch my coffee; I…

[Tweet “Perimenopause Can Suck It #3: Caffeine is a No-No. Touch my coffee and I will cut you.”]

What We Know About Caffeine and Perimenopause and Menopause 

The lovely Mayo Clinic has a quick read article on this very subject, but here’s some of what we know:

#1) Consuming larger quantities of caffeine can trigger hot flashes.

Define large.

~snort~

While women who consume larger quantities of caffeine could have more hot flashes (and based on the study by the Mayo Clinic, they do), it’s still not known exactly how it happens.

Y’all science geeks gonna need to get back to me when you can lay down some TRUTH.

Until then, I’m not giving it up.

#2) Caffeine can effect mood and the inevitable awe-inspiring swings, not to be confused with the awesome swings on a playground.

Caffeine can ramp up normal annoyances into a peri rage, so that sucks.

But – here’s the good news:

Women’s Mental Health reports that caffeine users, IE us coffee swillers, “have fewer problems with mood, memory, and concentration.”

Can I get a HALLELUJAH!!!

#3) Caffeine can disturb already disturbed sleep.

Ugh.

Nothing worse than not sleeping well, right?

Perimenopause and menopause are marked with periods of interrupted sleep.

Hot sweats combined with late day caffeine consumption, can keep us gals up, interrupting our restorative sleep.

Did you know that caffeine leaves your body slowly?

It can take six hours for just half the caffeine to work it’s way out of your system.

That means if you are in bed by 10pm, you need to stop consuming caffeine by 10-11 am in order to allow your body to get its best sleep.

#4) When you drink coffee, some important minerals (calcium, magnesium and iron) that would normally be absorbed by your kidneys, may be excreted instead.

WHHHHHHYYYYY is it so hard to be a coffee-loving fool?!

As a perimenopausal women, as a menopausal women, you need those minerals for good health.

Just something to keep in mind as you debate one. more. cup.

#5)  Homocysteine levels increase, possibly increasing your risk for osteoporosis.

Y’all. This one is just mean.

There’s enough worries entering perimenopause and now I have to worry that my coffee is gonna put me at a higher risk to break mah hip?

While I have read all the stats, I have seen the research, I keep coming back to…

That’s the worst you got, Science?! 

I ain’t scared.

~glug-glug-glug~

full coffee cup

My counter points on avoiding coffee (caffeine) during perimenopause and menopause:

I’m gonna go point by point and let you decide.

#1) Coffee triggers hot flashes through perimenopause and menopause?

Fine. I’m going neekid while drinking my morning joe.

Doable, right?

Thangs get toasty and BOOM you’re already in yer birthday suit.

That’s one cup for me.

#2) Caffeine can make me cranky during perimenopause?

I have a foolproof plan so everyone is on the same page emotionally as I am, when the perimenopause rage hit.

Carry around soccer penalty cards as an early warning system and start throwing them as an impending mood swing begins. 

No Card Tossing = bluebirds and sunshine, baby. 

Yellow = I’m giving you a generous head start…RUN!  

Two Yellow which equals a Red = I’m fixin’ to tear the joint apart.

Red = Do I even have to tell you what happens if a red comes into play?!

The beauty of the cards is that it leaves no margin for error.

Watch those cards, yo!

#3) Caffeine effects on my sleep are minimal because…

One of the reasons I’m a runner is to burn off excess energy and wear myself out, much like running a toddler before nap-time. 

No energy/a spent body = mo’ sleep. 

So far it’s working.

#4) Eat the rainbow. 

No, not the Skittles rainbow, although those are delicious too.

So, the concern is I’m peeing more minerals out than I would be had I given up caffeine? 

The joke’s on you kidneys. 

I’ll just up my mineral uptake through nutrient-rich foods.

Eating the rainbow, meaning you eat as many colorful fruits and veggies you can stand, will offset this nuisance.

#5) Rising homocysteine levels don’t worry me enough to give up coffee, because…

I have weight trained my entire adult life (you should start now if you have never picked up a weight).

I have run my entire adult life (walking, skipping, jumping – do what ya love!). 

I gots good bones.

BOOM!

Y’all know I’m having some fun.

Kinda.

While I do take the research to heart, I gots to also live my life, just as you have to live yours.

If you want to drink caffeine, just understand what it may mean for your overall well-being during perimenopause or menopause.

There’s not all bad news for caffeine, though.

In low doses, caffeine has been shown to enhance athletic performance (at my age I can use all the help I can get). 

Coffee also contains antioxidants that are beneficial to heart health and if you keep your intake to 500mg per day or less (I’m pretty sure I fall below this number), you shouldn’t get the jitters or shakes brought on by overuse of caffeine.

Of course, this is based on being a healthy woman with no medical issues.

While this post is mostly tongue-in-cheek, the best thing you can do for yourself is to monitor the effects that caffeine has on your changing body to get through this graceless life-altering change the best way you can.

For me and my bod?

Gluggity Glug, baby!

Have time for another cup?

empty coffee cup

Seriously, don’t even play like you’re gonna touch my coffee.

* Disclaimer: All information in this series is based on my personal experience and is not intended to take the place of your doctor’s advice.

Original post: August 1, 2013. Updated post: June 10, 2019

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Ellen Hawley

Saturday 22nd of June 2019

I'm long past menopause, never mind perimenopause, but I can report that there are worse things in the world than hot flashes.

Patti Tucker

Sunday 23rd of June 2019

Yep! Having the knowledge, the information, that caffeine might ramp up a hot flash, allowed me to evaluate if giving up coffee was for me.

Michelle

Saturday 15th of June 2019

LOL! Love it! I’m 55 and the news on coffee has changed several times in my lifetime. First it’s good; then it’s bad; now it’s good again except for..... Pfffft! I will go by how I feel. I tried quitting coffee once (before perimenopause / memopause). I had no trouble quitting, but I didn’t wake up for the entire 3 months of the experiment.

Patti Tucker

Sunday 16th of June 2019

Bwhahahaha!

I'm with you (you know, in case you couldn't tell from the post).

I'll take my chances!

Mother of 3

Tuesday 11th of June 2019

While I don't drink coffee (I know I know I know-- I hear it all the time!)… I do consume some caffeine with my iced tea and I'm not sure I can give that up for anything.

Patti Tucker

Tuesday 11th of June 2019

I hear ya! NOOOOO!

Christina

Thursday 6th of September 2018

You’re post and the picture below made me snort my coffee. After two weeks of poor sleep, I tried to quit the caffeinated coffee - again. After two days of wanging headaches (and not much better sleep) I went searching the internet for excuses to keep drinking high test coffee (a.k.a. affirmation). And lo and behold there was your post. At least I know that I’m not alone. Thanks!

Patti Tucker

Thursday 6th of September 2018

Ha! We gotta keep laughing or we WILL cut someone ;)

So happy to give you a snort this morning!

Helene

Tuesday 2nd of February 2016

I am addicted to caffeine! it's so hard haha!

Patti Tucker

Tuesday 2nd of February 2016

It is hard! I figured if I am miserable, I'll stop, but miserable is soooo subjective. ;)