Why You Should Stop Drinking Coffee
In this modern age, more and more people are making healthier choices when it comes to their lifestyle. In fact, people young and old are becoming extra health-conscious as they become more informed about better lifestyle options.
The main habit that is becoming subject to change is diet and nutrition. Whether it’s becoming vegetarian, vegan, or simply cutting out certain foods, many of us have made adjustments to our diets as more information becomes available. Let’s be real, things that we have grown up to believe are healthy, have been proved to be quite controversial. Coffee is one of those things.
For those of you that are coffee addicts, believe me, I was one of you not too long ago and I’m still recovering from that, but when I made the switch, I haven’t looked back just yet.
Curious as to why you should consider reducing your intake of coffee? Read on to find out.
Signs that You Should Stop Drinking Coffee
If you have been coffee-dependent for a long time, you may be having trouble taking the plunge and completely cutting off the stuff. Perhaps the best way to start is by reducing it. But first, let me tell you why.
Here are just some ways your body is telling you to stop drinking coffee.
1. Caffeine Crash, Hangover, and Withdrawals
For those of you who have heard of a sugar crash, you will definitely know what caffeine crash is. Caffeine crash happens after you consume too much caffeine, especially on those early Monday mornings. During the crash, you will feel irritability, fatigue, sleepiness and a lack of ability to focus.
Aside from crashes, coffee drinkers can also experience hangovers and withdrawals. Now, alcohol consumers out there know how hassling a hangover headache can be. The same kind of headache combined with nausea and lethargy can occur after consuming too much caffeine. Moreover, regular caffeine drinkers who stopped consuming the beverage can also experience withdrawals, in which their bodies tell them to drink coffee through headaches, lack of focus, anxiety and bad mood.
If you notice yourself having symptoms of crashes, hangovers, and withdrawals, then it may be time to stop drinking coffee.
2. Stomach Problems
One of the most noticeable things, when you drink coffee, is that it has effects on your digestive system. While coffee has certain acids, it is not as acidic as most people think. However, consuming this drink with an empty stomach can definitely lead to problems such as acid refluxes that then result in other undesirable effects.
Caffeine is also known to increase the production of acid in your stomach. Moreover, the substance itself definitely irritates the stomach.
In high concentrations, this substance can make you hyperaware and jittery. This is why most drinkers can feel anxious after consuming a big batch of coffee. This reaction is caused by the body’s natural fight-or-flight response, which is triggered by the hyperawareness brought by caffeine.
Another side effect of drinking the stuff is palpitations, especially because it is a strong stimulant. This can result in the drinker becoming more prone to anxiety even with minor stimulations. In more serious cases, this can lead to anxious feelings without a good reason.
4. Increase in Blood Pressure
Some scientists believe that this substance leads to high blood pressure because it causes your body to release more adrenaline. Other researchers think that caffeine inhibits the production of hormones that aid in widening arteries. While there is no certainty as to why caffeine has such effects, it is important for people suffering from high blood pressure to stay away from the coffee or reduce the amount they drink.
5. Sleep Issues
Lastly, you need to observe your sleeping patterns. If you are having trouble sleeping on days when you consume caffeine, then it is a good enough reason to stop consuming the drink. Aside from erratic sleeping patterns, you may also notice interrupted and unrestful sleep, even full-on insomnia. This can result in groggy mornings, which in turn can cause a lack of productivity, motivation, and efficiency.
Those are just some reasons why it might be a good time to quit coffee. Being a coffee lover, I used to drink between 2-3 cups a day, especially at work. My reasons for quitting coffee were more personal, but nevertheless, I haven’t looked back since.
I have documented the first 30 days without coffee with very detailed descriptions of how exactly I was feeling each day and when I noticed the change. I will be posting that very soon so stay tuned.
Now I would not just tell you to quit coffee and not have some kind of substitute, that’s crazy talk. Read on to find out what I’ve been drinking instead.
Top 5 Coffee Substitutes to Get You Going
So, if you should not be drinking coffee then what should you consume instead? Here are the best alternatives that can keep you energized through the day.
Before you point out that many types of teas have caffeine content as well, keep in mind that these beverages contain lower levels. This means that teas can be a great start for individuals who are not ready to go cold turkey. If you opt for teas, you have a wide variety of drinks you can try, making this a great alternative for adventurous people.
People who feel that they really need caffeine to get through the day can definitely turn to teas for help. Aside from having lower caffeine content, these drinks have vitamins and minerals that are much healthier than coffee.
Your morning energy supply can also come in the form of lemon water. Lemon is rich in vitamin C without any traces of caffeine and calories. Vitamin C aids in the production of red blood cells that help carry oxygen throughout your body. This vitamin also helps your body convert fat into energy. Therefore, lemon water gives you the energy your body needs in order to function efficiently.
The best thing about this is that it helps you maintain your water supply, unlike coffee which can leave you dehydrated. Moreover, you can experiment with different additional ingredients to make your morning drink more interesting.
Chicory Root Coffee
This has been by far my favorite method of replacing coffee and made me very successful in not relapsing to my old habits. Chicory root coffee is made of, no surprise here, ground and roasted chicory plant. It is a good source of inulin, which is a probiotic fiber that improves your gut health, linking it to weight loss. Chicory root also contains manganese and vitamin B6, which have been proven to improve brain health.
When drunk with coffee creamer, or sweetener and milk of your choice, it tastes very much like coffee and gives you a natural boost of energy through vitamins.
Those who cannot let go of dairy in their morning beverages can opt for hot chocolate instead. Like teas, cocoa has low levels of caffeine, offering a perfect transition away from this beverage. Moreover, chocolate is a proven mood enhancer due to its theobromine content. Just make sure to avoid adding too much sugar and you are good to go.
For a dairy-filled alternative without any caffeine, the so-called golden milk is a great choice. You can easily make this concoction by mixing milk and various herbs and spices. Some common ingredients for this drink include ginger, turmeric, black pepper, cinnamon, vanilla and honey. This can greatly improve your mood, which is known to boost your energy. Moreover, golden milk aids in processing fat, which is used to supply your body with energy.
How Being Coffee-Free Affects You
So, some of you may have decided to withdraw or at least cut your coffee consumption. Well, you certainly made a good choice because this move is sure to have positive effects on your body. Here’s how being coffee-free affects you:
1. Restful Slumbers
As mentioned, caffeine can drastically affect your sleep. For regular drinkers, overconsumption can lead to restless nights and groggy mornings, while underconsumption can result in headaches and lethargy. By opting to drink alternatives, you can eliminate these sleep problems, helping your body recover fully with enough rest and sleep.
2. Less Irritation, Anxiety, and Aches
With the overstimulation and hyperawareness excessive caffeine brings, long-time coffee drinkers definitely know the feeling of irritation, anxiety and aches (headaches, stomach aches and according to some, joint pains) brought by the substance. By eliminating this drink from your diet, or by simply minimizing your consumption, you can also reduce the occurrence of these negative effects.
3. Holistically Healthy Body
If you are an avid drinker and you begrudgingly decide to exclude coffee from your daily life, you will be glad to know that this decision can positively affect your overall wellbeing. With improved sleep, better mood and state of mind, you can count on your body to recuperate faster and improve.
Now that you know how this move can improve your health, you can rest assured that ditching coffee is the right thing to do. So, make sure to try out the alternatives outlined here, and you are on your way to a healthier version of yourself.