I used to be a coffee addict myself. I couldn’t function without having that cup of joe in the morning; in fact, I was grumpy as can be until that warm mug was in my hands. I’d always thought that coffee was good for you—or at the very least, it wasn’t bad for you. But the deeper I dived into the effects of coffee on the body, the more I considered giving it up to see whether it would positively affect my health.
I decided to go cold turkey one day. It’s not exactly a method I recommend, considering the fact that I had withdrawals so strong that my headaches radiated all the way down to my kneecaps for 10 days in a row. But once I got over the withdrawals and my body reset, I felt like my entire life burst into technicolor. My energy levels rose big time, my sleep patterns completely changed, my anxiety significantly reduced, and the quality of my life generally increased. I wanted to just shout from the rooftops, “Life is better without coffee!”
Once I got over the withdrawals and my body reset, I felt like my entire life burst into technicolor.
I’m not saying that coffee is inherently bad in reasonable quantities, but there are quite a few benefits to be had if you give it up. It doesn’t hurt to try. Here are three reasons you should kiss your morning cup of joe goodbye.
You’ll Have More Energy in the Morning If You Don’t Drink Coffee
This sounds counterintuitive. We’re told that coffee gives us energy and makes us feel more alert. But coffee is an artificial stimulant. The human body is a complex, highly intelligent system, so once you get used to consuming coffee every single morning, your body will rely on this artificial stimulant to wake up. That means your natural energy sources are no longer needed, so they essentially shut off.
That’s why you feel very tired and slow in the morning before your cup of joe. When I was a coffee drinker, I was convinced that this was just normal. But this isn’t the case! Our bodies were made to be energetic first thing in the morning. If you find yourself feeling sluggish every morning before you sip a latte, that means your body isn’t used to producing energy for itself.
If you feel sluggish every morning before coffee, then your body isn’t used to producing energy for itself.
Once you give up coffee, you’ll go through a rough patch where you feel impossibly tired in the early AM. But once you fight through it and reach the other side, you’ll find that the body naturally wakes up with an abundance of energy. You’ll feel fresh and ready for what’s ahead; this will make it much, much easier to fit in that morning workout, meditation, or breathwork session. More energy means more productivity. Trust me, it’s worth it.
Coffee Is Wrecking Your Beauty Sleep—Which Is Wrecking Everything Else
When we’re young we take sleep for granted. We stay out late and think nothing of it, but make no mistake — going about your everyday life without proper sleep will leave you functioning at a much lower level than you’re capable of. And no good can come of that. Coffee is a strong stimulant that gives the body a jolt of energy in the early morning, but very few people realize that a stimulant that strong takes a long time to leave the system.
The half life of coffee is five hours. That means if you drink a coffee at 1pm, only half the caffeine has exited your body at 6pm, which is going to make it very difficult for your body to truly relax and unwind for proper sleep. There are a lot of things that happen when you don’t achieve enough high-quality sleep. Your amygdala (deep emotional center of your brain) becomes hyperactive while your prefrontal cortex (nicknamed the CEO part of your brain as it’s responsible for logical and rational thinking) is functioning at a much slower pace.
The half life of coffee is five hours.
This likely results in overly emotional decisions—hello, stress eating—and a decrease in self-control and productivity. Your short-term memory declines, your immune system takes a hit, and you experience increased levels of circulating cannabinoids, which basically means you get the munchies when you’re tired. Not to mention your skin appears dry and haggard when you skip out on your beauty sleep.
Coffee has a strong correlation with insomnia and disrupted sleep patterns, which means the more cappuccinos you throw back, the more you’ll face all of these negative side effects. When I gave up coffee and got over the withdrawal period, I couldn’t believe how much better I slept every night. I had no problem falling asleep, and I stayed asleep without any issues.
Coffee Exacerbates Anxiety and Stress
I’m slightly more prone to anxiety than the average person. When I was in graduate school, I was diagnosed with a general anxiety disorder, but after I changed my lifestyle I realized I didn’t have a disorder—I was just perpetually making the wrong choices that negatively affected my mindset and physical health. One of them was high consumption of coffee. I would start out the day with two cups of coffee and likely have another around midday. At times I had trouble breathing comfortably or had heart palpitations. I often had moments where I felt totally overwhelmed (this usually came after my second cup of the day).
My second cup of coffee caused heart palpitations and made breathing difficult.
These experiences aren’t uncommon, especially for people who are more prone to anxiety. The caffeine and stimulation offered by coffee can take you to an emotional place that doesn’t allow you to be productive and engaged with your day-to-day life. If you’ve been feeling stressed out lately, consider giving up coffee for a couple months and see if it changes anything for you.
Everybody reacts differently to different lifestyle and diet habits. The truth is, there are some people out there who can function perfectly normally while drinking coffee every day. But it’s just as true that there are a lot of folks out there who would see huge improvements in their life if they got rid of coffee. Giving up the bean worked wonders for me, and I’ve seen it bring great success to many of my clients as well. That’s why I highly recommend giving it a shot. See what your life would feel like without it. You’ve got nothing to lose!