Do you ever get that feeling that you alone could keep your favorite coffee shop in business? Coffee has become an increasingly social event. In the same vain as grabbing a drink at the bar, “meet me at *fav coffee shop*” is something many of us hear weekly, if not daily. While enjoying a cup of joe can be an energizing (yet somehow calming) way to start your day, it may be time to take it down a notch, and your body can tell you why.
Caffeine can be great, but like all things in life, moderation is key! If you’re finding that you consistently need more than a cup a day, here are four reasons you may want to encourage yourself to have a few times a year when you try abstaining from caffeine…
😜: Caffeine is a stimulant, and triggers the nervous system to go into overdrive. It can exaggerate feelings of nervousness or anxiety, along with irritability and grumpiness.
😴: Why do you have a morning coffee? Because it gives you energy, of course! One cup can be the perfect way to perk up, but having several cups a day sets you up for a crash. Caffeine does not provide the sustaining energy that you (or your organs) need to get you through a whole day. Limiting your caffeine intake will also promote clarity of mind, allowing you to focus on the day’s tasks.
💩: Coffee is a diuretic, meaning it increases the passing of urine. In addition, it causes food to move beyond the stomach quicker than normal. This means that before the stomach does its job of breaking food down and absorbing nutrients, an undigested meal is already in the digestive tract. While it may seem that coffee helps you to be more ‘regular’, too much can actually deprive you of necessary nutrients.
🤕: Just like any drug, going cold turkey on caffeine can lead to withdrawals. It’s possible that missing your daily dose will lead to headaches. Headaches are to be expected, but they’re a necessary step in weaning your body off caffeine dependence.
Now…HOW to kick the habit. Here are just a few quick tips to get you started:
- Start by shrinking the size of each cup. That way, you can still have your 4 cups a day, but you’ll still be drinking less! It’s all in how you think about it.
- Have a substitute. Whenever you feel like taking a sip, make sure a different drink is within reach. The best substitutes are water, herbal tea, or a fresh juice or smoothie.
- Come up with a coffee budget. Set a certain amount of money that you’re allowed to spend on coffee each week, and stick to it. Here’s the catch: try to keep it to $30 or less!
The occasional, even daily cup of coffee is fine, but wouldn’t you like to be able to train your body to survive without it? Although coffee can be the perfect pick-me-up at times, our bodies are not designed to be dependent on drug-induced energy, and that’s precisely the dependency caffeine can create if you’re not careful. If you’ve successfully cut down on your coffee intake, let us know which techniques worked best for you!