When it comes to menopause there’s really only thing you need to worry about and that’s stress.

Managing stress is crucial to managing your menopause symptoms.

And you know when we think about stress you tend to think about the obvious stuff, external influences. Too much to do, difficult people, traffic jams, too many emails. It’s a 21st century lifestyle thing.

But actually stress is internal too.

Your body will get stressed out by the food you put in it, what you drink, the toxins you’re exposed to and even the type of exercise you do.

One of the most common and damaging stressors you’re exposed to is caffeine.

Caffeine is a trigger for a whole range of symptoms including hot flushes, anxiety and palpitations.

But it also stops you sleeping, steals your memories and makes you put on weight.

And I’m not just talking about coffee. The caffeine in tea and energy drinks is just as potent.

You see caffeine puts stress on your system and triggers your fight or flight response which means your adrenal glands pump out cortisol to give you the energy to either run or to stand and fight.

The energy cortisol gives you is provided in the form of sugar. But if you’re still drinking coffee at your desk, stuck on the M25 or locked in a meeting for the afternoon you’re not going to burn that sugar off.

Your body still needs to do something with the sugar, so insulin is released to mop it up.

And here’s the thing, cortisol and insulin buddy up and deposit the sugar as fat around your menopause middle!

Caffeine’s also a powerful stimulant so it can impact your sleep whatever time of day you’re drinking it.

A cuppa first thing might give you a brief burst of energy but you’ll pay for it later and you get stuck in a vicious sleep cycle. Or to be more precise a vicious lack of sleep cycle.

My advice is, if you’re having difficulty sleeping cut out caffeine after midday – if you still can’t sleep cut it out altogether.

Brain fog and poor memory are hugely frustrating menopause symptoms that can also be linked back to caffeine consumption.

And that’s because high cortisol levels have been linked to changes in the landscape of your brain, – specifically the shrinking of the hippocampus where your memories sit.

So if you’re struggling to problem solve, remember names or find your keys it’s time to ditch the caffeine.

Whats your favourite caffeine free cuppa?