Answer by Steven Fowkes:

Inflammation can be experienced by the mind as focus. I've seen this many times when looking at urine pH patterns, in which allergic, inflammatory, infectious and delayed hypersensitivity reactions produce acidification to the blood stream, which is defended by the kidneys to manifest as low urine pH (1-2 pH units below the average urine pH, and extremely rarely approaching 3 units). This is one reason why "acidic" Americans are described that way by traditional Asian practitioners. This is also why there is a general correlation between our favorite foods and those that cause delayed hypersensitivities. This has been noticed by many alternative practitioners working in areas of disease associated with chronic inflammation, but I do not know how well known or acknowledged this is in the general medical community. Inflammation is not the only cause of acidification stress, but it is consistent, regardless of whether the inflammation is mediated by PGE2, histamine, interleukins, interferons, TNFa, or other cytokine.

In the average person, coffee is acidifying for roughly two hours. Rarely three. I think this is due to caffeine acting as a thermogenic agent, uncoupling mitochondria and temporarily increasing metabolic rate (more O2 conversion into CO2). But it is possible that you are resistant to thermogenic effects of caffeine and have a blunted acidification effect. You could test this to see if your response to other thermogenic agents regarding transitory body temperature increases are also blunted.

But the overall effect of coffee is alkalinizing. This alkaline effect shows up in average people after the 2-hour caffeine effect wears off. But if your thermogenic response is blunted, it might show up in you very quickly. You could also test this by numerous methods, one being an exaggerated sleepiness from decaffeinated coffee, and another from consuming pretty much any "green drink," especially one fortified with seaweeds, which are among the most alkalinizing foods one can consume. And you could also test your salivary and urine pH during such challenges to see if the patterns I describe here (1) show up in you as  I have indicated, and (2) the magnitude of the pH effects correlate with the severity of the effect that you describe.

If you are allergic to milk, it is possible that you would have a differential effect between casein protein and whey protein, between homogenized milk and raw milk, and between cow's milk and milk from other mammals.

There might be many other theories that might explain your seemingly paradoxical responses. But at least this one is testable.

Good luck. Please let me know if this turns out to be helpful.

Why does coffee give me brain fog, but milk clears my mind?