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Let’s talk caffeine – typically black tea and coffee!!

This is probably the hardest item for many to avoid during the programme, including myself.

WHERE IS CAFFEINE? Caffeine is found not just in coffee, but some teas and chocolate too (as well as some headache medications!!). It is the most widely used (and abused) psychoactive stimulant in the world. It is the second most traded commodity on the planet, after oil.

Coffee may be a delicious morning ritual, but it is also highly addictive. Addiction to caffeine is now recognised by the World Health Organisation as a clinical disorder.

Most of us LOVE our cup of coffee and general 1-2 cups per day is ok for most (depending upon your age, sex and health issues).

However I suggest trying your best to omit for this cleanse programme as caffeine does make the liver work much harder.

For those NEW to the programme or on the LIGHT programme keep to one single expresso/decaff before midday if too hard to give up. 2-3 Green Teas/Matcha during the day are great as the chemicals called catechins are anti-inflammatory to the liver help prevent fatty liver. This inclusion of low level caffeine may also help prevent side effects from keeping coffee out.

Benefits excluding Caffeine

  • Less anxiety.
  • Better sleep (see explanation below)
  • More efficient absorption of nutrients. Typically blocks iron absorption
  • Balanced hormones for women (may increase inciddence of hot flushes/night sweats)
  • Lower blood pressure.
  • Balanced brain chemistry.
  • Fewer headaches (after the withdrawal)



  • Caffeine (especially from coffee), can interfere with your body’s natural detoxification process. Constituents in coffee can actually interfere with normal drug metabolism and detoxification in the liver, making it difficult to regulate the normal detoxification process in the liver.
  • The ability to detoxify it depends upon how YOUR genes react with the environment (specifically a detoxification gene called CYP1A2). 50% of us have problems breaking down caffeine.
  • Half the population have a FAST caffeine metabolism gene which means they process a cup of coffee/black tea 3 times faster than a slow metaboliser. The other half of the population have the SLOW gene. This means caffeine makes them jittery, raises blood pressure and is too stimulating so just one or two cups will keep them awake. With this slow gene there is also a higher risk or Alzheimers and diabetes 2.

How caffeine impacts sleep and why you should have your cuppa before midday

  • We build up a chemical called adenosine during the day and it is this that increases a pressure in the brain stimulating desire to sleep. However, caffeine blocks adenosine from getting into the body cells preventing the natural “sleepiness” you should have as the day goes on. So caffeine´s effect is a bit like sticking your fingers in your ears to shut out noise, and it tricks you into feeling alert and awake.
  • It takes time for caffeine to leave circulation. Half is “diluted” after approximately 7 hours….This means you still have half of an expresso circulating up to 14 hours after drinking it.
  • Caffeine also elevates the hormone cortisol which is one of the body’s key fat-storage hormones. Cortisol spikes can also wake you up during the night.  Over time higher cortisol from caffeine will make the body more resistant to insulin so that it turns blood sugar (glucose) straight into fat and decrease insulin sensitivity. This is an issue for many females in late peri-menopause and menopause. Cutting out caffeine will prevent fat storage around the middle – so definitely to be avoided if the aim of the game is to reduce body fat!
  • Relatedly, caffeine can trigger the release of adrenaline — the source of your “fight or flight” response. While this response is useful for life-threatening situations, it’s not so great for conducting everyday business.

De-caffeinated does not mean non-caffeinated. The amounts are reduced, but still present.

I know some may struggle without your coffee (first -timers) and if you feel you are unable to manage the programme without then ensure you only have 1 coffee or black tea per day (during the morning!)

Other drinks:

Ginger and lemon with a little matcha powder

Matcha latte

Dandelion “coffee”

Chicory “coffee”

Turmeric latte

All other infusions – Rooiboos is a great replacement for those usually drinking a black tea.

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