I pretty much used to be obsessed with coffee. I would have a cup or two every morning and occasionally(but very rarely) a cup in the afternoon. Since I only had a cup or two a day, I didn’t think of myself as a coffee addict or suspect that anything was wrong with what I was doing; so when my boyfriend asked me to quit coffee a few months ago I literally looked at him like he was crazy.
I love coffee. I love the smell of it, the taste of it, and the feeling of it in the mornings; there really is nothing like holding a warm cup of joe on a chilly morning! I love the memories it brings me and the comfort it gives me. I love walking into a coffee shop, smelling the roasted coffee beans and getting a cup of my own. I love sitting around a table with my family while sipping on some coffee and eating something sweet. I am totally a coffee lover- no doubt about it!
Whenever people used to tell me they didn’t drink coffee, I could never understand how or why. I told myself I would never, ever quit coffee since it was my one vice, and since it made me happy. I really, simply, couldn’t ever imagine my life without coffee (yes I was that in love with it!); So when my boyfriend pretty much forced me to stop drinking coffee a few months ago, I thought my world would be over. I tried it out for a week anyways, since my boyfriend can be pretty convincing and since I’m always up for a challenge. I didn’t experience any major headaches from stopping, but I was a lot more tired, grumpy and hungry than usual. I also felt a lot more calm, which I was never used to since I have always had a “go-go-go” personality. I missed all of the energy I used to have and my go-getter attitude. And oh boy was I was counting down the days until that week was over so I could sip on my beloved cup of coffee and feel alive again…
When the week was over and the day finally came for me to reunite with my cup of coffee, I was beyond excited. What I didn’t expect was the jolt of anxiety that came along with it. For the rest of the day it felt like I was paralyzed with anxiety, and I wanted to do anything just to get rid of the feeling… I never felt like this with coffee before, or I just never realized what it was doing to my body since I was so used to drinking it.
After my time off from coffee, I realized what I don’t like about it. What I don’t love about coffee is the anxiety that comes with it and the way it makes me feel in the long run. Sure, coffee wakes me up in the mornings but it also makes me more tired throughout the day. It also contributes a ton to my anxiety and my overall mood swings. Coffee effects your stress hormones, which in turn affects pretty much all of your hormones and contributes to hormonal imbalance, which is something I currently struggle with. Caffeine can even lead to infertility in women and can negatively effect our sex hormones. It also depresses your appetite and depletes you of minerals such as calcium and iron which can both lead you to missing out on a ton of important nutrients! Coffee is also extremely acidic, which can negatively effect the lining of your small intestine and lead to issues such as IBS and stomach ulcers. I feel a lot more tense when I drink coffee and feel like I get irritated easily as well, and ever since I stopped I feel a lot more in tune with my body. I was also occasionally experiencing irregular heart beats which have stopped as well. Coffee can be very dehydrating, and I seem to drink way more water now than before which is always a good thing! I’ve always had pretty good skin, but now I realize how dry it used to be compared to now, which I also believe has to do with me reducing my coffee consumption. There are a ton of negative effects that come with drinking a lot of coffee, but I personally think the worst part is being so dependent on a drink for happiness or merely just to function!
Since that week off, I’ve never gone back to the coffee I used to drink. I still have coffee two or three times a week, but it’s always decaf with a drop of regular or just purely decaf. Now I stick to drinking Matcha, English Breakfast Tea, or Chai in the mornings, since even though they all contain caffeine, they don’t have the same effect on my body as coffee does. If I want something more soothing and completely caffeine free, I either have dandelion root coffee or my homemade hot chocolate. I don’t think i’ll ever completely give up coffee, since I really do love it, but now I enjoy it in moderation without “needing” it. I am now more in tune with my body, and if I see that it is effecting me too much I will cut it out for a week or so. I feel way more calm now and my anxiety has decreased a ton!
Basically, I don’t think being dependent on any substance is healthy, but I believe that in moderation some coffee here and there is okay! Completely depriving ourselves of things we love is never a good idea, but if they are harmful to our health in any way we should definitely limit them.
Recipe for my favorite coffee alternative:
- 1 heaping Tbsp cacao powder
- 1 tsp maca powder
- 1/2 tsp mesquite (optional)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp coconut sugar
- 1-2 tsp’s stevia
- 1/4 cup hot water
- 3/4 cup warm coconut milk
First, mix all first 6 ingredients with hot water until melted. Add in the coconut milk, mix well, and enjoy!
What do you guys think about coffee or caffeine in general? Would love to hear your thoughts!