Coffee and Eating Disorder


There’s no doubt that caffeine, particularly coffee, is a normalized part of our culture and for many of us, our day to day lives. While caffeine can be consumed safely in moderation as a part of normal eating, it is unfortunately very commonly used as part of disordered eating/eating disorder behaviours.  

Caffeine is not a substitute for meeting our bodies’ biological needs of food, water, and sleep.


Dear Readers,


Please find below an article written by Cyrila from Kenya. Thank you for this great contribution.

There’s no doubt that caffeine, particularly coffee, is a normalized part of our culture and for many of us, our day to day lives. While caffeine can be consumed safely in moderation as a part of normal eating, it is unfortunately very commonly used as part of disordered eating/eating disorder behaviours.

During the early years of my illness, I became dependant on Coffee. I started consuming first white coffee with lots of sugar to get me through the day then as the illness progressed, I switched to black coffee with no sugar. It impacted my eating, my sleep and my nervous system. The deeper I fell into the world of eating disorder, the more I abused caffeine to get me through life. Caffeine addiction is the excessive and harmful use of caffeine over a period of time, such that it has negative effects on your health, social interactions, or other areas of your life. Too much caffeine, you may be doing more damage to your body than you realize. Now I realize that nothing is off limits , you can eat everything but rule is to have it in moderation. Anything in excess is not good. If you enjoy a hot cup of coffee in the morning, or a green tea as a mid-day pick me up, remember to pair that with some food, ideally including protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Caffeine is not a substitute for meeting our bodies’ biological needs of food, water, and sleep. If you or someone you care about is struggling with their relationship with food and caffeine, please seek help.


Coffee Wine of Islam

 Abuse of Caffeine in Eating Disorder




Caffeine is a stimulant that can speed up the nervous system and make you feel more awake. It’s a popular choice for people with eating disorders, who may be trying to control their hunger.


It’s thought that caffeine triggers a release of hormones in the brain, including cortisol and adrenaline. Cortisol is known to suppress appetite and increase feelings of fullness. Adrenaline is also known to help reduce anxiety, which can make it easier for some people with eating disorders to cope with negative thoughts about their food or weight.

Coffee: The wine of Islam

Coffee is a drink that has been enjoyed by Muslims for over 1,000 years. It is not just a drink but a way of life that unites people around the world.


Coffee was first introduced in Arabia during the Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) time. The Prophet (peace be upon him) drank coffee and so did his companions. Coffee was used as a medicine and to treat ailments like headaches and stomach aches.


The popularity of coffee spread from Arabia to other countries including Turkey, Iran and Africa. In fact, it was introduced in Europe in the 17th century where it became popular for its medicinal value along with its taste.

Drinking coffee as a beverage is said to have originated in Yemen in the 15th century in Sufi Shrines. It was there that coffee berries were first roasted & brewed in a way similar to how the drink is prepared today.


The Origin of Coffee

Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world. It has been consumed for centuries, and it has become a staple in many households around the globe.


The origins of coffee can be traced back to Ethiopia, where it was originally grown as an agricultural product. The beans were then roasted and ground into a fine powder before being mixed with water and served as a beverage.


In the Middle East and North Africa, coffee became more popular after the Prophet Muhammad received his first revelation from God through a heavenly messenger (peace be upon him). The drink quickly became popular among Muslims who were traveling or living far away from home.

Have you ever heard of Sufis

Sufism is a mystical, spiritual, and esoteric Islamic tradition. Sufism is an open-ended concept that has historically been defined in many different ways. Sufi orders are often influenced by the doctrine of Wahdat al-Wujud (“Unity of Being”), which states that “God is One, yet He may be known in four ways.” This doctrine was developed by Al-Junayd (c. 873-948), a member of the Banu Haarirah sect of the Sufi order known as the Qadiriyyah. Sufism has played an important role in the history and philosophy of Islam since its earliest days.


Sufis believe that God (Allah) is unknowable and therefore cannot be described directly or fully explained through human language. As such, they maintain that all possible knowledge about God comes from His creation, man. Sufism is based on belief in mystical teachings from various sources and prophets throughout history which include Abrahamic religions as well as Hinduism and Buddhism.


The most common practice among Sufis is dhikr (remembrance) through repeating the name of Allah (God). Other practices include reciting prayers or studying.

How Sufis drank coffee

Coffee was a drink of choice for Sufis and other mystics, who thought it had spiritual powers.


A coffee cup is a symbol of Islam. The word comes from the Arabic word kahwa, meaning “coffee.” It is also known as qahwah (Arabic: قهوة) in Arabic-speaking countries, or simply as kahve (Turkish: خواص), in Turkey. In the Levant and North Africa it is known as shai (Hebrew: שי) in Israel and Judea, and in Egypt it is usually called kahwa.


In many Muslim cultures, coffee drinking is considered an important part of religious practice for Muslims. Coffeehouses are a common site during Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr among Muslims living in urban areas especially those with large populations such as Pakistan and Indonesia.


The Sufis drink coffee as a way of connecting with God and experiencing his mercy. They believe that the best way to do this is through an act of kindness: giving something away for free.


The Sufis also drink coffee as a way of helping others, which aligns well with their belief in oneness and equality among all people. If you want to order coffee for yourself, then that’s fine — but if you want to order it for someone else for free, then go ahead!



How is caffeine abused?

While caffeine is considered safe when consumed in moderation, many people abuse its effects by drinking too much coffee or other caffeinated beverages. Caffeine can cause side effects like nervousness, agitation and irritability when consumed in large quantities over time. Some people experience insomnia when they consume too much caffeine at once; this is called “caffeinism” or “coffee intoxication.”

What are the benefits of Coffee

Coffee is a drink that Muslims are allowed to consume in moderation. According to Islamic scholars, the consumption of coffee has some benefits such as:


  • In Islam, coffee is not just a drink but it is also used as a medicine. Coffee contains caffeine which can relieve headaches and migraines.


  • It helps you to stay awake during long days and nights. This is because it has a substance known as caffeine, that enables you to stay awake.


  • Coffee can help you concentrate for our work or studying.


  • It helps you to relax after a hard day’s work or studies; it also helps to fight insomnia by giving a pleasant feeling after drinking coffee as well as giving an alertness when needed (as an example).


  • Drinking coffee can make you feel more energetic throughout the day, which is good for students who need to study or people who have jobs that require them to wake up early in the morning.


  • Coffee can also be used as a medicine when taken in moderation (for example, it can treat headaches).

How can coffee be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet?

Coffee is a popular drink that can be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet. It contains caffeine, which means it can affect sleep patterns and energy levels. Caffeine is also an irritant to the stomach, so pregnant women or those who are sensitive to caffeine should avoid coffee.


Coffee contains various nutrients and antioxidants such as chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid and quinic acid. These can help with blood sugar regulation, reduce inflammation in the body and improve cholesterol levels.


Disadvantages of taking too much coffee

Coffee is a popular drink and it has many advantages. Drinking coffee can help you to feel more alert and give you energy. But drinking too much coffee can lead to health problems, including serious cardiovascular problems.


Coffee contains caffeine, which is a stimulant that increases heart rate and blood pressure. Caffeine also acts as an appetite suppressant, making it possible for people with eating disorders to lose weight without feeling hungry.


However, caffeine can cause insomnia in some people, especially when taken at night or in large amounts. This can lead to restless sleep and low energy levels the next day.


Other disadvantages include;


  • Kicks up the sugar levels in your body. While coffee may help reduce blood sugar spikes after eating, it can also cause blood sugar levels to remain elevated for longer periods of time. This is especially dangerous if you have diabetes or high cholesterol issues.


  • Can make you jittery. Consuming too much caffeine can lead to caffeine intoxication and anxiety, which can be uncomfortable or even dangerous if you’re driving a car or working out at the gym (or both).


  • Can make you feel low. If you consume more than 400mg of caffeine per day, it could increase your risk for depression.
  • Caffeine can cause insomnia and fatigue, which may increase risk for mood disorders such as depression. The Atkins diet recommends limiting caffeine intake to 200 milligrams per day, whereas the Mayo Clinic suggests limiting your intake to 400 milligrams per day.


Coffee has throughout history been considered an important part of the Islamic religion. It is cited as a hot drink to be consumed during sunrise prayers and afternoon namaz, where it is tied to the Jewish practice of Sukkoth, or Tabernacles. There are many variations to a cup of coffee to be found in Muslim countries, all tied to local traditions and methods for brewing.


It’s clear from the title that this article does not have an upbeat tone, but it does cover a serious and important issue. It’s also not specifically about coffee, but rather about the relationship between coffee, weight control, and eating disorders. We can certainly all stand to understand the dangers of overeating, but this article takes a different approach by explaining some of the characteristics of those who have an eating disorder and how these can be related to coffee consumption.




About Author

Islam and Eating Disorders founded in 2012 – run by Maha Khan, the blog creates awareness of Eating Disorders in the Muslim world, offers information and support for sufferers and their loved ones.

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