I usually drank about 5-6 cups of coffee a day. It all started when I was a kid. I still remember the first time I tasted coffee. I just knew that I would be with it for a very long time. But what I didn’t realize at that time was that it would affect my life! So through this article, I have tried to let you know what happened with coffee and how things turned out way better after letting go off it. It was undoubtedly a tough journey to quit, but I worked through it.
The Science Behind Coffee:
Though many of us drink coffee every day, very few of us would have attempted to learn why we prefer the drink so much and how it affects us in the long run. Thus, before we discuss quitting coffee, let us understand what exactly coffee is and how it affects us.
Coffee consists of caffeine, one of the most commonly used legal drugs across the world. Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant. It belongs to the drug category of methylxanthines and alters the course of adenosine. Adenosine is a neurotransmitter. When it binds, it tells the brain to slow down and lets you sleep. When you drink coffee, the caffeine that enters your body binds with the same receptors that the adenosine was supposed to bind. Thus, stalling your sleep cycle. When this happens, the other stimulants in the body, such as dopamine and glutamate, are produced in abundance in your body. Thus making you feel more happy, positive, and energized.
You might now be thinking that coffee is not directly responsible for enhancing your mood! It was more of a captivator of one set of chemicals in the body, thus enabling the other to be present in larger numbers than usual. Let us now learn how much coffee a day is ok and how much is too much.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) agency of the US, about 400 mg of caffeine is sufficient to be consumed by an adult daily. Anything above this might be harmful. However, this widely varies from person to person. Sensitive people should consume lesser amounts. If you are suffering from any health issues, then you should undoubtedly consider reducing the amount of coffee you drink. To help you calculate, about 40 mg of caffeine would be present in 100 mg of coffee. This will vary if you prefer stronger shots of coffee. Thus, calculate the amount of your coffee intake according to and keep the caffeine count below 400 mg at all times.
The myth of decaf. Let us get over the thought that if you are a coffee addict, transferring to decaf can be the best solution. While it helps, it is not the best solution. This is because decaf only means that the amount of caffeine in it is lesser than regular coffee. But it still has caffeine in it.
Why Is Coffee Bad For Health?
During my journey to quit coffee, I did a lot of research. I wanted to know if all the acquisitions done on coffee were actually true or just a marketing scam from a more popular energy drink. During my research, I found many ways in which coffee is harmful. I have explained it in detail below:
- It may decrease your lifespan: Whoa! That’s a big surprise. You knew smoking could kill, but coffee too? Well, not every cup of coffee is a killer. But more than 4-6 cups of coffee certainly reduces your lifespan. However, the studies also stated that it was not just the caffeine that killed them to add to the remorse; it was their poor life habits, no exercise, and a lot of stress. Some studies have also shown that excessive coffee can lead to heart-related problems.
- Your blood pressure might boom: Many people think that coffee helps them relax. Studies have shown that if you drink coffee a lot, your blood pressure increases, especially if you are trying it for the first time or drinking it when you already have hypertension.
- Insomnia: If you consume too much coffee, you might be sleep-deprived. It would become impossible to sleep at night for you. No matter how much you try, you would not be able to sleep.
- Indigestion: Coffee, especially when consumed on an empty stomach, can cause indigestion. Thus your first cup of coffee in the morning might be bad for your digestion!
- Your anxiety and depression might increase: If you feel anxious or depressed and consuming a lot of coffee, this will only make your condition even worse. Studies have shown that when people with depression and anxiety consume excessive caffeine, they are forced to depend on the other antidepressants and other drugs.
- Increased stress levels: When you drink coffee, catecholamines are released. These are the stress hormones in our body. When they increase, the insulin level in our body is also increased. Which, in turn, increases the inflammation, thus making us feel lousy.
- Coffee can easily become an addiction: Coffee helps you increase your productivity level and gives you a sense of happiness for a short while. Many people tend to get used to this feeling very quickly, and it becomes tough to let go. This is what happened to me! Thus it is always better to stay away from it instead of thinking of trying it and then deciding what you want to do!
How To Quit Coffee:
The process will undoubtedly be long and difficult. But that doesn’t mean it is not possible. Here is the process that has helped many like me to quit coffee. Try it consistently, and I am sure that you will overcome the need to drink coffee.
Reduce gradually: You don’t have to go from 4 cups to no coffee on day one itself. It is a process, not a sudden change. The body needs time to adjust itself as well. Thus, try to decrease your intake of coffee gradually. You can start by reducing one cup in the first week. Then another and so on.
Increase water consumption: When you try to quit on coffee, your urge to drink something will increase. During these times, grab a bottle of water and chug it. Or maybe shift a fruit juice. This will help you have a good diet and cut out on coffee as well.
Eat clean: Have a good diet in place for yourself. When you are already trying hard on quitting one of your favorite drinks, your body has to be substituted with something else. Make sure that this something else is not junk but a healthy diet.
Exercise: This helps your mind be focused on something better than coffee. Many people have found this helpful. When you exercise, dopamine is released in your body when it gives you a feeling of motivation and satisfaction.
Sleep: Try to get more sleep during your process to quit coffee. Our bodies undergo the reboot function when we sleep. Ideally, an hour of extra sleep during quitting coffee should help you make the journey smoother.
What Happens Once You Quit:
You might now be wondering if the rigorous process of quitting coffee worth it? Should you consider it? Here are a few things that helped me and changed my life after I quit coffee. If these are the things that you want in life, too, start your coffee quitting process today.
The first thing that I observed after I let go off a coffee from my system was how easy it was to sleep! I would just lay on my bed, and within minutes, I would have dozed off. I would have given anything for this to happen. I am grateful that I went through the complete journey of coffee and now able to sleep peacefully.
As stated above, caffeine increases or fuels anxiety. I was able to understand this as soon as I quit coffee. I still feel anxious at times, but it is way less than what I experienced when I was regularly having coffee. I had been repeatedly informed that letting go off coffee would help, but didn’t believe it until it happened!
No doubt, every shot of coffee helped me perform with more energy! But what I missed noticing was that this energy would wear off very soon—a post which I would feel depressed or sad again. But as I left coffee ultimately and switched over to a better diet plan, I have consistently performed every task that has come my way with an equal amount of energy.
No More Jitters:
This was one of the worst things I experienced due to excessive caffeine in my body. My hands would shiver whenever I tried to hold something. It was annoying. Luckily after I let go off coffee, I have a very steady pair of hands now!
Love Of Water:
The magical liquid! Water was something that I turned towards every time I had an urge to drink water during my quitting process. Post quitting, I have developed a routine of drinking water regularly, which is, in fact, a very healthy practice.
Oh, yea! With no more coffee regularly, I have been able to save a lot as well. I usually spent about $8 a day on coffee! That’s almost $240 a month! Now this money is going directly into my savings! This was indeed one of the major motivators while I was trying to quit! You can get to know how much a cup of coffee would cost in your region here: https://www.statista.com/chart/14087/the-price-of-a-cup-of-coffee-worldwide/
Lowers Your Blood Pressure:
Many people like me might have experienced that we tend to have hypertension when we were drinking many cups of coffee in a day. But post-coffee, I have seen that my blood pressure level has come down to normal.
Headaches Are Almost Gone:
These days I have never experienced any headaches. I did my research and understood that caffeine causes headaches when consumed in excess. Happy that I am over it now.
No More Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes:
While I was drinking a lot of coffee, people usually mentioned how it might cause diabetes. Especially because I like my coffee sweet, but now that there is no more coffee, I am free from the thought of type 2 diabetes too!
Lesser Risks Of Cardiac Problems:
Along with diabetes, another problem associated with people with excessive coffee consumption is heart diseases. This is because caffeine makes your heart beat faster with more contractions.
I hope this article has helped you under everything about coffee and its effect on us! More importantly, you might have learned how, after quitting coffee, I have been able to lead a much happier life. Quitting coffee is certainly not an easy thing to do. It is more challenging if you have been drinking coffee for a long time and have seen a few positive results because of the drink. However, be aware that these positive results are only short-lived. In the long run, coffee injuries your body and does more bad than good. The journey of letting go off coffee is going to be a long one for sure. But it is going to be worth it. There have been millions of people who back this up every day. Start today, and make your life better with no coffee.