I started drinking coffee after graduating from college, so I haven’t been a coffee drinker for very long, but I’ve been hooked ever since. Kyle (my husband) and I have this routine on the weekends where we brew a pot of coffee, sip on it while we hang out on the couch and enjoy not feeling rushed. It’s also a tradition of ours to scout out local coffee shops when we travel. Coffee is very much a part of my daily life, or, it was.
Back in January I decided to eliminate coffee. All caffeine actually. I had been feeling a little addicted to it. I was relying on it to wake me up in the morning, wasn’t getting deep restful sleep and experienced a little bit of indigestion. That’s when I knew that I needed to take a break.
The first week was hard, but I never had any of those awful withdrawal headaches you hear about. I did allow myself to have some green tea the first couple of days and then after that I cut out all caffeine, cold turkey, for one month. After about a month of being caffeine free I added in matcha tea and never experienced any of the symptoms I had when I was regularly drinking coffee. There are even some days where I don’t want matcha and I only stick to water.
Things I have noticed since going coffee free:
- Hydration. Coffee is a diuretic which means that it is not a hydrating drink and you actually need to drink MORE water throughout the day. My skin is clearer, hardly ever have headaches, and have a steady amount of energy all due to staying hydrated.
- Improved sleep. When I was drinking coffee I felt “tired and wired”. I wasn’t getting deep restful sleep. Now, when I go to sleep, I stay asleep all night and wake up feeling refreshed.
- Digestion. Coffee was giving me a little bit of indigestion and it’s probably because it is acidic, which can interfere with your stomach’s natural production of hydrochloric acid.
- Sugar cravings. Around 3pm I would find myself reaching for a snack because I thought I was hungry when I was actually just experiencing the crash from the caffeine in coffee. The afternoon snacking plus being dehydrated was actually my body signaling to me that I had some blood sugar imbalance. Without coffee, I have had a lot less cravings.
- Mood. I’m not as irritable because I am sleeping better, my blood sugar is balanced, and I don’t have the mid-afternoon crash.
- Energy. Waking up refreshed, staying hydrated, and balanced blood sugar gives me all the energy I need to get through the day. Sensing a theme here?
Coffee is warm and comforting and gives you a jolt of energy so you feel ready to cross off everything on your to-do list. It also comes in so many different flavors and you can customize your own concoction. Add some collagen, butter and coconut oil and you have a bulletproof version that claims to boost you into fat burning mode. The options are endless! But some people cannot tolerate coffee or they become very dependent on it to give them energy to get through the day when actually, your body knows how to do this on its own!
After almost three full months coffee free, I had a HUGE craving for cold brew coffee. Cold brew with a splash of coconut milk is my favorite and I decided I’d give it a try to see how my body would react. Within about thirty minutes I started to get the jittery feeling. Verdict – it didn’t feel great, so for now I am going to stick with matcha with the occasional coffee drink – because, hey, life’s too short!
Eliminating coffee or caffeine might seem crazy to you, but I think it’s smart to give it a try every once in a while. Or at least cut back. I mean, who wouldn’t watch better sleep, better digestion, balanced blood sugar, improved moods and tons of natural energy?!