If you’re anything like me, a cup of coffee or tea in the morning sounds like heaven. There’s nothing I love more than slow mornings with a warm mug in my hand. But, have you noticed that you need more and more coffee to actually feel the caffeine? That your 3 o’clock cup isn’t giving you that afternoon boost like it used to? You can thank your brain for that.
When you have caffeine, it binds to your brain’s adenosine receptors, making them unable to bind to the chemical. And yep, you guessed it, adenosine is what makes us tired. On top of keeping us awake, caffeine prevents our dopamine from getting absorbed, so we feel good-longer. Both of these effects are what make caffeine so addictive!
Less Calories & Added Sugars
My biggest problem with caffeine is how much sugar I need to use to actually enjoy it. A coworker of mine watched me put sugar in my coffee one evening and told me I was nuts- and probably addicted to sugar. Truthfully it wasn’t something I’d ever thought about, but once he mentioned it, I paid more attention. I put so much sugar in my iced tea or my coffees – all. day. long. And I’m a sucker for the seasonal starbucks drinks, which can add up to over 500 calories for just one drink! These are truly empty calories, and not something I need while I practice mindful eating.
Working long days can be headache inducing enough. Kudos to all of you who commute to and from work, because that rush hour traffic is no joke. But, your coffee habits could be adding to your headaches. If you tend to have multiple cups a day at the office, when your body comes down from that caffeine high, you can find yourself with a mean headache.
Now thankfully this isn’t something I normally experience. However, I’ve had numerous friends tell me that they’re anxious or jittery and my first question is always how much coffee they’ve had today. Caffeine is known for triggering your body’s fight or flight response, and feeling that all day can absolutely trigger some anxiety. If you find yourself struggling with this, maybe it’s time for a break from the coffee – or at least have decaf.
I know that if I’m not at work, but I have a cup of coffee later in the day, I definitely notice my body not being tired at my usual time. When you need to be up early or feel well-rested, this can definitely cause problems. The easy fix, stop having caffeinated beverages 6-8 hours before your bedtime. Caffeine’s half-life is 6 hours, so refraining in the evening will help keep your body on its regular schedule.
If you find yourself becoming one of those “Don’t talk to me before my morning coffee” people, it might be time to take a break. I know that once you’ve reached that point, the thought of going a week without it can be difficult, and will surely result in some grumpy mornings, but it’s worth it in the long run. Once you’re no longer dependant on your caffeine in the morning, your mood will stay more stable throughout the day. You’ll be able to wake up without feeling grumpy and irritable. Plus, once you introduce caffeine in your life again, it will work so much better.
Lower Blood Pressure
If you’re someone who struggles with high blood pressure, then caffeine definitely isn’t for you. Caffeine skyrockets our adrenaline, which is linked to the fight or flight response mentioned earlier. Side effects of increased adrenaline – increased heart rate, headache, dizziness, etc.
Now here’s the big one. A 3 or 4 dollar cup of coffee doesn’t sound like a lot when you’re handing over the cash, but when it all adds up… it’s a different story. To prove this, I looked through my bank statements. Since August, I’ve spent $175 at various coffee shops. And that’s just with my card – who knows how much I’ve spent in cash. Deleting some of these cups of coffee from my day will help my health, and my bank account.
I hope these give you guys some inspo to join me in my month without caffeine!