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

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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…

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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Comments

  1. Amen Sister.

  2. Funny! I actually don’t drink caffeine, so when I have a cup of coffee or a soda with caffeine, WOW. I really feel it.

    Visiting from A Dish of Daily Life.
    ~FringeGirl

    • Mrs. Tucker says

      I’m not a big soda drinker, but I do love me some coffee and sweet tea. I’d give up the tea, but never the coffee. NEVER!

  3. You ‘ain’t never lied. I gots to have my coffee. However, red wine, which i do LOVE, is giving me trouble…

  4. Are you kidding me? Seriously – I’ve been through menopause (I’m almost ffffffifty sssssix) and I couldn’t have made it without my daily dose (2 cups minimum) of coffee! Then in the afternoon I would drink green tea – hot or cold – sometimes lukewarm when the day gets crazy. And those hot flashes come in handy during the winter sometimes – kind of like your own personal tropical paradise! When you run around in a winter storm without a coat and in short sleeves – people are actually in awe and think you must be one tough mama! Just smile and nod and enjoy the glow! The best part? You get to take more soaking baths or longer hot showers! Just use the excuse that you “flashed” a lot and need to deep clean all the sweat off! Enjoy this time of your life – before you know it you will be living in a world that just keeps getting increasingly colder! Now I know why my grandmother wore sweaters all the time! Haha

    • Mrs. Tucker says

      Bwhahaha! I had an image of my grandmother and the Kleenex stuffed up her sweater sleeve! Thanks for making me feel better about my coffee intake!

  5. You’re funny! I’m posting a devotion next week that was prompted by my love for a good cup of coffee : )

  6. Carol Covin says

    I think you’ve nailed it. Try it and see how your body is affected, then adjust accordingly.

  7. Frances D says

    I have been off caffeine since April, and those first couple of weeks were difficult. The first couple of days I slept about 18 hours out of 24. That was the main reason I gave it up. I have to say my “peri” symptoms were reduced, but I miss my lovely Starbucks Caramel Macchiatos, my Diet Coke, and my Chai. Loved your post – this is the time of life when a sense of humor is vital. Stay Gorgeous.

    • Mrs. Tucker says

      I’m a huge water drinker, and coffee is my only vice. Wait, and sugar. I know if I had too, I could say adios to coffee, but dadgumit, I don’t really want to. And yes, the humor be a help!

  8. This post-menopausal 50-something mama is HIGH FIVIN’ you Mrs. Tucker! I hear ya, and my family has heard me say “Touch that cup and . . .” on more than one occasion.
    A little knowledge, a lot of common sense, that’s how I’ve dealt with going through The Change. I think you could make a fortune marketing those cards – my husband would be first in line.

  9. Ha! I love it! I just got a Keurig so that I can have caffeine quickly whenever I like. IF someone told me I had to stop drinking coffee…yea, I don’t know what would happen. Especially now that I am a mom who gets no sleep!

  10. JU SO FONII!!! Of course those scientific studies couldn’t have been written by Cubans. They would have been tarred & feathered. Of course, considering ours is espresso, it would have been in double time. ; ) BB2U

  11. Your post made me screech with laughter. I can really relate. I can’t believe how crazy my symptoms are. And yes, I’m addicted to caffeine but frankly, I cringe to think of what I would be like with my coffee, espresso drinks and cokes.

    • Mrs. Tucker says

      WIN! It’s a ride, ain’t it?! And yes, do not take what gives us some pleasure in this trying time.

  12. You are too funny! Love your blog!

  13. Amber Day Hicks says

    The Dr. took away my caffeine and nicotine… Told him he was shit out of luck if he thought he was touching my wine… Lol. Great post as usual xoxo.

  14. I’m with you – I can’t function without my morning Jo 😉 I sleep walk to the coffee pot. Gotta have it.

    • Mrs. Tucker says

      On the weekends, whoever gets up first starts the coffee. I try like hell to stay in bed until Husband is up for at least 15 minutes cause that way I can walk straight to the pot!

  15. I need that coffee picture hanging by my desk at work haha

  16. I am addicted to caffeine! it’s so hard haha!

  17. 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!

  18. Mother of 3 says

    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.

  19. 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.

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

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