Jessica Sepel is a clinical nutritionist, best-selling author, international health blogger and the beloved voice behind JSHealth and @jshealth.

Ah, coffee! Who doesn’t love a cup of coffee in the morning? It truly is one of my most cherished morning rituals. It seems that in Australia, we’ve developed a love affair with coffee. And who can blame us? We have some of the best coffee and baristas in the world. While studies have shown that coffee can benefits our health, from clinical experience, I’ve seen that too much coffee can negatively impact the body.

You see, consuming excess caffeine causes a spike in our cortisol and adrenaline (the stress hormones), which puts our bodies into ‘fight or flight’ mode. When our bodies are in a state of stress, it wreaks havoc on our hormones, puts a load on the liver and can make weight balance incredibly difficult. Moreover, drinking coffee in the afternoon can bring on sugar cravings and disrupt our sleep patterns.

Now, I’m not saying that you should give up your coffee. If you love it, please drink and enjoy it! But I do encourage you to limit it to one cup of coffee a day before 10am. It’s also important to mention that the health benefits of coffee can be outlined by how you drink your coffee. For example, adding two sugars, low-fat milk and a sprinkle of cacao isn’t going to benefit your body.

Instead, try some of these healthier options:

  • A long black: with a dash of good quality cow’s milk or almond milk (if you prefer dairy-free).
  • A piccolo:a shot of espresso with only a small amount of milk added. This is what I have. Sometimes I have cow’s milk, but when I’m cleansing, I enjoy almond milk.
  • A 1/2 latte or flat white:a cup of milk with the espresso shot. I sometimes order this.
  • A small 3/4 latte or flat white: this is 3/4 of the cup milk with no added sugar or sweetener.
  • A small latte: this is a full cup of milk with no added sugar or sweetener. A small latte is actually quite a lot of milk. This is as much as I would go. No more!