Caffeine and Candida: Can I Have My Coffee and Tea?

ultimate candidaIs caffeine allowed when following a Candida diet?

There is so much information about Candida on the internet and the same is true in regards to caffeine containing beverages such as coffee and tea.

Most food lists would tell you to avoid coffee or caffeine and in fact my list said the same which I have now amended.

After looking at the reasoning behind excluding caffeine from a Candida diet, as a biologist, I don’t exactly buy it. I would tend to place this in the Candida fiction category. Of course, as hot drinks are concerned, there would be better choices available.

Red Bush tea as well as Pau d’Arco Tea are both caffeine free choices that actually have antimicrobial properties.

caffeine-candida-coffee
Also, most caffeinated beverages would contain  lots of sugar and other unhealthy ingredients, but after looking at all the evidence I believe that an unsweetened coffee or tea is acceptable in small amounts. Coffee and tea contain many healthy antioxidants and the recent studies show so many health benefits from them, that it would be unwise to totally remove them from the diet.
Sources on the net refer to an article from the International Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine in 1993, which states that caffeine is an adrenal stressor and this in turn hurts the immune system, therefore, leaving the body open to Candida overgrowth. While there is truth to this, one coffee or a couple teas will not have caffeine amounts high enough to cause this. In fact the antioxidants found in the coffee or tea have been shown to prevent disease. This research is quite frankly out of date and really shouldn’t be used as a reason to avoid all caffeine while on a Candida diet.


Another myth is that just like caffeine energizes us, it in turn energizes yeast cells. This is fiction because Candida feeds on sugars alone while caffeine works on the central nervous system. Yeast do not have one as they are one celled organisms.

Moderation is Key

So what’s the bottom line? Caffeine via natural products such as coffee and tea is acceptable in small amounts and if consumed unsweetened. Natural sweeteners such as stevia would be acceptable. The benefits of moderate coffee and tea consumption far outweigh any of the negatives associated from caffeine’s effect on Candidiasis.

If you are doing every thing else right on the Candida diet, but happen to have an 8oz cup of coffee, tea, or green tea a day, I seriously doubt it will have any effect one way or the other on yeast overgrowth.

The problem lies in having several cups a day that will indeed stress adrenals, acidify the body, and therefore make the body more susceptible to Candida overgrowth.

Posted in Candida Foods, Treatment Myths
36 comments on “Caffeine and Candida: Can I Have My Coffee and Tea?
  1. Laura says:

    It was my understanding that coffee was bad for a candida diet because it is a bean. Is this not relevant?

  2. admin says:

    @laura- This is one of those topics that I feel there is so much mis-information out there… All the reasons I found for exclusion of coffee didn’t hold water scientifically. My advice is that coffee is fine in moderation and unsweetened. The antioxidants in coffee are amazing!

  3. Elaine says:

    I agree. Moreover, what do you think of this? http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2195351

  4. admin says:

    Wow, thanks for the Link, Elaine. That shows that caffeine actually may be of some value in keeping Candida’s DNA from replicating, which is necessary for budding. Great find!

  5. Paula says:

    Elaine and admin, you are my saviors :)

    Working as a barista and having suffered from candidiasis for a while now, I feel like I can make it through the next 6 weeks. thanks!!

  6. admin says:

    great Paula! Just remember moderation, which could be difficult with your job…lol

  7. Jared says:

    Wow for once i dont feel like slitting my wrists after reading about this diet. woohoo

  8. admin says:

    Good to hear Jared, I see what you mean, some sites would have you eat nothing but celery sticks and oatmeal! The Candida diet doesn’t have to be awful…

  9. Dianne says:

    Finally a voice of reason. Now if we could only get rid of the “sugar in cheese” myth. There are journal articles that state that there is little to no simple sugars in commercial cheese. This makes sense if you consider that simple sugars are the first to go in the fermentation process. That fermented products have some sort of materials available for Candida makes little sense also. Since most of the “food” would be used up by the fermenting organism and remainder would be by-products which often toxic to the “fermenters”. It seems as though someone was thinking but not trained in biochemistry. I mean, jeez vinegar is made by nematodes; round worms for heaven sake. How does this relate to Candida?

  10. Jeff says:

    I too have been baffled by why so many websites say you should avoid caffeine on the candida diet, and I think I found why.

    Cynthia Perkins states: “However in regard to Candida, the biggest concern with caffeine is that when you drink caffeine, it causes your liver to dump large amounts of sugar into the blood stream. Candida then feeds on this sugar and grows more out of control.”

    This seems to make sense, and upon further research it seems that it is true that caffeine causes your blood sugar levels to spike. I stopped the coffee, but relied on stuff like taking small pieces of caffeine pills to give me energy. I have been struggling to keep caffeine out of my diet.

  11. Jeff says:

    Oh here it the website where I found that quote:

    http://www.holistichelp.net/blog/candida-overgrowth-and-diet/

  12. admin says:

    Hey Jeff, That research is pretty out dated and the new studies really refute that notion of coffee raising sugar levels. Studies show that people such as diabetics are actually benefited from drinking coffee..Check this one out. http://www.energyfiend.com/2009/11/coffee-and-diabetes

  13. Jeff says:

    Wow that’s really interesting. I absolutely love coffee…but coffee doesn’t love me back! I always drink organic coffee, but I think the acid maybe aggravates my stomach. I started drinking Low acid organic coffee from puroast, which has less of a chance of bothering me. At least I know now I know I can drink non-decaf green tea now. Thanks!

  14. Amanda says:

    If you are a coffee drinker should you leave out all sugar from your coffee to retain the benefits of fighting the candida fungi? Sugar is supposed to be one of the big no no’s as far as a candida diet goes. I did not know if we were defeating the benefits of coffee if sugar is used.

  15. Rebecca says:

    I was under the impression that coffee and tea had small amounts of mold on them like dried spices and nuts. A result of sitting on shelves waiting to be consumed and from processing.
    I think this article made my husband’s day. Could you sweeten coffee with the manuka honey?

  16. admin says:

    yes, but make sure it’s active manuka to get the fungus killing benefits.

  17. dlm says:

    I find coffee (I drink instant and mostly decaffeinated — caffeine in the morning and for headaches) makes me have to have food with it or my gut is too acidy — so although I drink it all day (everything else upsets my gut) it probably adds weight. I think Candida ruined my digestion and health in the 1980s and although nystatin for a year I have never recovered health. Since then migraines, hypoglycemia, depression, diabetes type 2, low thyroid, severe 24 hour chills, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgiaetc.etc. The low carb diet “cures” hypoglycemia and diabetes. I’ll try the candida diet and supplements again, maybe even nystatin or whatever I can get prescribed to see if at least my digestion can return to close to normal. Good articles you have.

  18. Misha says:

    An interesting article, but debatable : -) .

    Good point that quantity is always highly subjective, and as such a coffee or a tea won’t make too much a harm.. apparently, because:
    1) the quality of coffee is important (drying, roasting, grinding – at some point the coffee might be contaminated with spores/molds toxins)
    2) some teas can be contaminated with molds/ their toxins, which can be troublesome for a Candida sensitized person.
    3) finally – we are talking of years of yeast aggression on the adrenal system , and such, somebody can be more sensitive to a ridiculously small amount of caffeine (even if outdated I’d say there is still some grain of truth in that research study )

    It’s true the coffees & teas are packed with very helpful substances, but it’s difficult to balance the good vs. the troublesome … so I understand the “better without” version. Besides they are not to be removed for ever. : o)

  19. tori says:

    What about the fact that caffeine causes the liver to release glucose, which is a sugar an feeds yeast, into the bloodstream?

  20. tori says:

    That’s actually why we feel energized from caffeine.

  21. Editor says:

    Is that indeed a fact? Caffeine causes you to feel energized because it stimulates the central nervous system. Caffeine doesn’t release glucose when it’s metabolized by the liver.

    Caffeine is metabolized in the liver by the cytochrome P450 oxidase enzyme system (to be specific, the 1A2 isozyme) into three metabolic dimethylxanthines,[129] each of which has its own effects on the body:

    Paraxanthine (84%): Has the effect of increasing lipolysis, leading to elevated glycerol and free fatty acid levels in the blood plasma.
    Theobromine (12%): Dilates blood vessels and increases urine volume. Theobromine is also the principal alkaloid in the cocoa bean, and therefore chocolate.
    Theophylline (4%): Relaxes smooth muscles of the bronchi, and is used to treat asthma. The therapeutic dose of theophylline, however, is many times greater than the levels attained from caffeine metabolism.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caffeine

  22. Esther says:

    Since paraxanthine elevates glycerol, isn’t glycerol considered a sugar alcohol where it can be used as a sweetener, solvent, homectant, etc.?

  23. Editor says:

    glycerol isn’t an alcohol but rather the backbone of lipids. It doesn’t serve as a substrate for microbial growth nor raise blood sugar levels.

  24. cliff browning says:

    Well I have read about yeah aboid beans because they have molds and fungus or werent really ment to be consumed, I also get the authors pov, but what came to my mind is caffiene and stimulants increase blood sugar which is why I thought they were a no no. I love coffee though. also many people believed to have candida are believed to have taxed out adrenals and coffee adds more pressure on them

  25. cliff browning says:

    add on since I seen tori said similar points. The coffee itself isnt made into glucose but to stimulate the body the body says we need more fuel so puts out more blood sugar. Have a diabetic drink coffee and check their sugar in about 35 minutes

  26. lynette says:

    I notice a small gap in the above debate – does caffiene produce, turn into, or is it acidic? Which would promote candida as it prefers acidic envioronment?

  27. Editor says:

    I think this is a bit overboard.. we are talking about one cup of coffee a day, which will have inconsequential effect on the pH of the body or adrenal function.

  28. lynette says:

    Thank you! Although I don’t even plan to have one a day – I get quite addicted to coffee and then can’t do without a cup a day – but will miss it if not allowed as a treat now and then!

  29. Frances says:

    So much conflicting information on this topic it is hard to know what to believe!
    Are you certain that stimulants such as caffiene and nicotine don’t raise blood sugar levels?
    However, if this was the case, I thought candida fed off the sugar in your intestines and the food you break down (not your blood stream).

    What are your thoughts on smoking and nicotine? I only smoke 2/3 roll-up cigarretes a day. It would make getting through the diet so much easier, but i dont want to be feeding the candida….

  30. matthew m curtin says:

    perhaps the real issue here is not the caffeine but other chemicals in coffee which stimulate growth of] fungal organisms…the acidity also is a key factor.

  31. Sean says:

    Quote:

    Another myth is that just like caffeine energizes us, it in turn energizes yeast cells. This is fiction because Candida feeds on sugars alone and caffeine works on the central nervous system which yeast do not have as they are one celled organisms.

    Look, I haven’t looked into caffeine and candida, but this, with respect, is faulty reasoning. I am a biologist as well. Our brains are comprised of cells- cells with receptors. Just because an organism is only one cell in size doesn’t mean that it can’t have receptors for caffeine.

    Caffeine activates a specific type of adenosine receptor found in neurons. Adenosine receptors have been identified on yeast cells. So far, the idea of yeast processing caffeine doesn’t seem unreasonable…

  32. MimiLee says:

    Without a doubt, caffeine raises blood sugar levels. My dad has diabetes, and cannot drink caffeinated coffee, or it will spike his blood sugar too high. Caffeine is also metabolized, in part, by healthy gut flora, so having compromised flora and an imbalance of candida would in turn influence caffeine metabolism. For these reasons, it is worth considering cutting back or eliminating caffeine while on an a candida diet, at least for a period of time.

  33. justin_o_guy says:

    I started feeling a kind of strange, bothersome buzzing, not in my ears, they ring constantly from years of abuse, but Inside my head about 7 years ago. Over time, it has grown so oppressive, so ever present & overwhelming that I sometimes get so exhausted I just cant press thru to think straight enough to feel safe even driving. Ive been on a strict diet for about 2 weeks. I am taking pain meds for injuries & am able to do more now, but, before the diet I would have woken up very sore today after having done the few things I did yesterday. The inflammation is much decreased after this time on the diet.
    My lower back pain is diminished, even prior to the pain meds.
    Ive been dodging coffee now for two WEEKS & I decided to just come look for some happy news,, Woo HOO! Im heating some up NOW!

    Also, I declined the offer that pops up, the one to get E-Mails of a diet plan, because I wanted to see what the site was like, first.
    I closed the page, re-opened it & didnt get the offer again,,
    Id Like to see that diet now that I know the author is not kidding around & knows whats up.

    Also, do you consider blood type in diet? Mr Admin? & If you dont mind, please hook me up with that diet..

  34. Ted says:

    Hey Justin, I’m glad you like the site. You can sign up for the mini-course in the sidebar by entering your email there. I’m not sure I buy the Whole Blood Type Diet. I eat many foods on my forbidden list and I’m really healthy.

  35. Margaret Pheeney says:

    Can I please sign up for the diet plan, unfortunately I deleted it. Thanks.

  36. Donna Kirby says:

    I would also like to sign up for the diet plan.