A month ago, I had decided to quit coffee. Why on earth would I do something like this, you ask. Coffee is delicious and flavorful. It’s a daily ritual and a way to connect with friends. It’s your go juice and your study buddy. I love, love, love cappuccinos, but I also love love love feeling 100% and lately, I wasn’t feeling 100% at all after drinking coffee. That’s why I chose to quit.
Now, I was never the sort of coffee addict who drank 5 cups of coffee a day. In the past couple of years, unless it was after a long night of partying or staying up super late, I didn’t even drink coffee in the morning. My daily coffee routine always came around 12 or 1 in the afternoon after lunch when I was feeling sleepy and couldn’t focus. I would then make my pour over or french press and keep on working.
Something Didn’t Feel Right
Unfortunately, for the past several months, coffee just wasn’t cutting it anymore. I was feeling exhausted and run down, even after a cup of coffee. Or, some days I felt tightness in my chest and felt my heart beating faster. I also felt like coffee’s taste had changed for me and that, for me, was a sign.
I then decided to take a gander on the internet and take a look at some of the negative effects of coffee on the human body. There are quite a lot. Obviously, though, just like with anything on the internet, it’s easy to find 101 reasons why not to do something. So I wasn’t planning on going overboard, but just to take a look. What I ended up with were the following personal reasons for why I wanted to quit coffee:
1. Lack of Good Sleep
I have trouble sleeping in the first place. Sometimes (like two nights ago), I have so much going on in my head and I can’t shut it off. My husband will fall asleep in 2 minutes, whereas I can sometimes lay there for an hour tossing and turning. And even when I fall asleep, I’m a light sleeper and will wake to noises like my dog’s claws clicking on the floor. When I can’t sleep, I get stressed out as I count down the time to when I have to wake up. Since coffee can affect how your brain comprehends sleepiness and sending signals to produce more adrenaline, it can greatly affect your beauty sleep.
2. Stress and Anxiety
I can be stressed. Often. My husband would call me high-strung. It’s something I’ve been working on and has vastly improved in certain areas of my life. But when it comes to work or situations that are already stressful, I can work myself up even more. And coffee doesn’t help with relaxing me at all. Sometimes, I even feel this tightness in my chest and get jitters from the caffeine boost. There were plenty of times I felt this way and I most definitely didn’t like it. I could feel it would affect me for the rest of the day, and I wouldn’t sleep well at all.
3. Feeling Off
Coffee began to feel more acidic, almost like battery acid. No matter what sort of roast or preparation method I chose, coffee began to have such an unpleasant taste that I was over it. I don’t even know how to describe the feeling, but my whole body began to feel acidic after coffee. It wasn’t a feeling I liked.
4. It was an Addiction
Coffee is highly addictive. Even though I only drank a cup a day, I still considered myself addicted. I would crash in the afternoon if I didn’t have my coffee. I couldn’t function or think and if I didn’t have a coffee I would have to take a nap to regain some energy. These are not things a 27-year-old woman should be doing at 2 pm.
Deciding to Quit
Quitting coffee can be rough, depending on how your body reacts. I know many people can get body pains during their coffee withdrawals. I was lucky enough not to have them, but, instead, I had massive headaches. Some days they were bordering on migraines. The headaches also started causing tension in my neck and shoulders, which led to even more headaches. Needless to say, it was rough. I was also feeling tired the whole day, and any time someone had coffee near me and I could smell it, I wanted to give in. But I didn’t!
Thankfully, the headaches and feeling tired passed after several days. At the two week mark, I was very proud of myself for not giving in and having a coffee. Now it’s been a little over a month and I have to say, I’m damn proud! I no longer feel like I need my coffee! I don’t feel like I shut down in the afternoon, nor do I feel like I need to have my caffeine fix. Overall, I feel like I have more energy and sleep a lot better.
What I Drink Instead
So what do I drink instead of coffee throughout the day? TEA! I am a tea fanatic! I love green and herbal teas and the various flavors you can have in them. We have a store in Brno called Oxalis where you can go and buy a variety of loose leaf teas. And by a variety, I mean, there’s probably more than 150 jars of tea in this store. It’s tea heaven! I generally try to keep my caffeinated tea to one or two small cups a day, and the rest of the day I sip on herbal teas and water. I don’t drink juices or sodas. That’s it.
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Whether or not you should quit coffee is up to you. I did it because I felt like I needed to give my body a break. It’s important to practice self-care and to listen to your body. Sometimes it’s actually trying to tell you something! You just have to listen. Either way, life is still full of other amazing flavors and I’m feeling quite fantastic!
P.S. If you’re looking for tips to quit your coffee addiction, check out Cheeseslave’s post on utilising amino acids when you’re quitting in order to reduce withdrawal symptoms.