We know that a few things help stimulate autophagythe body’s ability to clean out damaged cells and toxins, in order to regenerate newer, healthier cells. Some of these things are fasting, HIIT training, quality sleep, a high fat-low carb diet and limiting protein. However, there is one more thing that this study says will boost autophagy, and that is COFFEE!

According to the study, “…trials revealed that chronic consumption coffee is associated with the inhibition of several metabolic diseases as well as reduction in overall and cause-specific mortality. We show that both natural and decaffeinated brands of coffee similarly rapidly trigger autophagy in mice. One to 4 h after coffee consumption, we observed an increase in autophagic flux in all investigated organs (liver, muscle, heart)”. 

Did you catch that it didn’t matter whether you drank caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee? This is great news for people who find they cannot tolerate caffeine. However the quality of coffee did matter. More on this below.

The power of Polyphenols

The reason researchers believe coffee works in this way is because coffee is packed with polyphenols. Polyphenols can also be found in other foods as well, such as green and black tea, dark berries, dark chocolate, olives, red wine, leafy greens, and even some spices.

The study goes on to say that beyond just autophagy, coffee does many other amazing things for our health, such as reduce cancer, heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, diabetes, infections, as well as liver, breast, endometrial, prostate, and colon cancer. The researchers cautioned that coffee is dose dependent, which means that the benefits max out at 6 cups per day!

The type of coffee matters

Conventional Starbucks and Pete’s coffees won’t get you the results you want. The key to getting the autophagy benefits of coffee is making sure your coffee is toxin free. Coffee beans are among the most highly sprayed and chemically treated crops in the world. Studies suggest that mycotoxins such as citrinin, aflatoxin and T-2, commonly found in conventional coffee, can contribute to mitochondrial dysfunction. So in order to get the health benefits of coffee, look for toxin and mold free coffee. Our favorite is Camano Island Coffee, which is organic, shade grown and fair trade. Try your first bag for FREE with my link.

What you should know about coffee and fasting

  • If your intention is trying to stimulate autophagy, you’ll likely want to ditch the added fat, like the MCT oil, butter or cream, as this will likely take you out of autophagy. 
  • On the other hand, if your intention is to maximize the antioxidant benefits of polyphenols, then there is a theory that consuming coffee with fat can help uplevel the antioxidant effects of polyphenols into our cells. 
  • If you are adrenal fatigued, you will also likely want to ditch coffee before addressing your adrenals, because consuming over 2 cups will tax the adrenal glands. If you are a woman over 40, you also have to remember that your adrenals are helping mak sex hormones, so  you want to be careful not to add unnecessary stress to adrenals by drinking coffee.

Remember that autophagy and ketosis are different. For some people, black coffee may keep you in autophagy but kick you out of ketosis, watch the video to understand how that works. Does coffee pull you out of a fasted state? If you are trying to stay in ketosis, I recommend