Coffee. Good? Bad? While we’d all love a conclusive verdict, there doesn’t seem to be one. Many researchers agree that it offers benefits in certain ways while others paint it as an addictive drug that wreaks havoc on the system. But stop drinking coffee entirely? Is that bonkers?
The only question that really matters is whether or not your body can handle it. Not all of us have to quit coffee cold turkey to stay healthy, but some may be way better off without it.
It's not all bad
Coffee has been shown to potentially lower the risk of coronary disease, cut stroke risk by as much as 25 percent, reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes, promote weight loss, reduce the risk of cancer, decrease the risk of depression, slow liver disease progression, and boost cognition.
While these perks are indeed enticing, they don’t come without their own set of drawbacks, which include a potential increase in cholesterol, insomnia, cardiovascular complications, muscle fatigue, and the eventual withdrawal symptoms.
Here are three signs you should maybe possibly consider quitting the habit. Or at least reduce it. If you practice moderation and none of the following symptoms don’t apply to you--so sip on, unbothered.
Quitting Coffee (for a Short Time, at Least)
I recently quit coffee for two weeks. I absolutely adore the ritual of a morning cup mixed with homemade almond milk and luxuriate in that first sip. I simply couldn’t imagine a day without it. However, after some time, I began to feel off, and my coffee habit was the clear culprit.
Coffee is emotional as much as it is physical to me, as I imagine it is for many others. Sure, it boosts my energy levels, but it is its aroma and taste that really make it a must in my daily routine. It calms my soul and keeps me comforted, especially at the helm of a long, hard day of work. Even so, I started to feel off-kilter about a year into my coffee habit.
And, I should have seen it coming. I went from one cup of coffee per day to three, and I stopped enjoying it like the treat it was. Instead, it was my crutch to get through every moment of the morning and afternoon. I felt tired more often, experienced heart palpitations, and found my mind to be busier, foggier, and more reactive than usual. I held on to all those proven coffee benefits (it was a superfood, kind of, right?!) as my excuse to have yet another cup, but to no avail. The time came for me to surrender, and I quit the habit overnight.
The first day without coffee was terrible. I had a distracting headache and felt lethargic and annoyed all day long. The second day, however, I woke up feeling rested and back to my old self. I avoided coffee for two weeks. From then on, I have been restricting myself to one cup before noon and I haven’t been feeling negative symptoms ever since.
3 Signs Quitting Coffee May Save Your Health
1. Increased Anxiety
If you feel more anxious, paranoid, and irritated, your coffee habit could be the culprit. Cut back your intake or nix the stuff altogether. Anxiety can reveal itself in the form of jitters, restlessness, insomnia, increased heart rate, and heart palpitations. Life is stressful enough, why exacerbate your reaction to it?
If you have trouble falling asleep at night or staying asleep, coffee may be to blame. I always make sure I consume my coffee before lunch as to avoid interrupting my sleep cycle. The effects of coffee can last from anywhere between 8 and 14 hours – much longer than you’d likely imagine – so plan accordingly. If you still have trouble sleeping, you may want to give up the habit altogether and see if doing so makes the difference.
This is a symptom I didn’t connect to my coffee habit so readily. Wasn’t coffee supposed to keep me upbeat and energized? Instead, I felt tired and nauseous all the time. I also experienced stomachaches when I’d drink coffee with my breakfast. The acidity of the coffee was clashing with the food I was eating and causing discomfort and nausea. If you continue to drink coffee in the morning, try enjoying it 30 minutes prior to your next meal so it has time to eliminate from your stomach. If you continue to feel nauseous, take a break from the caffeinated beverage.