A certain amount of caffeine is not exactly bad for your health, but if you’re planning on giving up caffeine and caffeine dependence, there are many ways to cut back on it, such as caffeine free coffee.
Millions of people all over the world enjoy the daily cuppa coffee. It’s a miraculous pick up drink. The truth is caffeine is actually a mixed bag. It has both benefits and disadvantages.
For instance, it improves alertness. But it is also capable of destroying your stomach lining, mess up your sleep patterns, increase your blood pressure and so on.
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The issue here is that caffeine is highly addictive. There’s also the temptation factor. There are coffee shops in every corner. Every fifteen feet there’s a Starbucks present in the US. !!!
The smell of fresh and roasted coffee beans is tempting for many. It also helps you remain productive and energetic throughout the day. Hence, it’s a tough task giving up coffee. Do you know what happened when I quit coffee? Here’s how giving up coffee could affect your health with typical caffeine withdrawal symptoms.
Incredible Benefits of Quitting Caffeine or Coffee
Loss of Weight
Are you struggling to reduce weight? Well, giving up coffee could help. The pounds could just fall off if you stop drinking coffee.
- Intake of caffeine might increase temptation for sweets. It reduces your perception of sweetness and dampens the taste receptors, so you end up taking more sweets.
- Research suggests that coffee produces a hormone called cortisol that increases levels of blood sugar and increases fat. What’s worse is that the fat deposits are relocated to the abdomen, so you typically end up with a coffee belly! Hence, coffee withdrawal or quitting coffee could actually help you reduce that waistline.
You’re sure to experience some withdrawal symptoms when trying to stay away from the black brew, at least till your body starts adjusting to lack of caffeine.
- The speed of the blood flow to the brain is reduced when there is no caffeine in the bloodstream
- This could cause headaches and drowsiness
- You become less alert
- Due to changes in the brain electrical activity, you could also experience fatigue, as adenosine/dopamine hormone levels are reduced
- Your mood is low and you are more irritable. Concentration is reduced
- You might experience sleeplessness/insomnia and anxiety
Gain in Weight
Nix caffeine and you’re well on your way to gaining weight! According to Mayo Clinic, caffeine could help in weight loss to a certain extent.
- Caffeine speeds up metabolism, so giving it up could result in weight gain
- It increases lean body mass, reduces fat and enables your body to burn more calories
- If you drink coffee one hour prior to a workout it improves your physical performance, resulting in more calorie burn and hence better weight loss
- Coffee suppresses your appetite. If you go off caffeine, you are likely to be hungrier and eat more, thus leading to fluctuations on your scale.
Tip: Just take care not to load up your coffee with fancy creamers or sugar if you want to lose weight or try to take drinks without caffeine.
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Lowered Blood Pressure
- Caffeine increases blood pressure by a few points. Hence, quitting it could result in lowered blood pressure, so your heart doesn’t need to work that hard.
- Many doctor’s advice patients to avoid coffee before checking the blood pressure, as it interferes with the accurate measurement.
Tip: Check your blood pressure before a cup of caffeine and half an hour after drinking a cup of coffee. You will see an increase of about 10 points, unless you have developed a tolerance for it.
Effects of Quitting Caffeine: Better Sleep Patterns
When you give up coffee, you find that you have slept better. We all know that coffee is used to combat sleepiness during the daytime! It contains stimulants that interfere with your sleep. Stands to reason that quitting it will result in better sleep.
Caffeine Headache Symptoms
Can caffeine cause headaches? Caffeine is a major cause of headaches and migraine. If you alter your usual consumption quantity, it is likely to trigger a headache.
Again, caffeine withdrawal headache is also a possibility. Even if you reduce the caffeine amount by about 30 mg, you could experience a mild headache. If you’re attempting to cut down coffee cold turkey (or completely), the headaches will be stronger.
Coffee stimulates neuron activity within the brain. This alerts adrenals to generate more adrenaline as well as cortisol, resulting in a flight mode!! Your nervous system is on a constant red alert mode if you drink many cups a day!!
- Giving it up will bring down your adrenalin levels. You might experience tiredness and exhaustion
- Your anxiety levels will be reduced
- Insomnia will be reduced, helping you sleep better
Constipation / Less Urination
- Kicking caffeine could lead to temporary constipation, till your body gets used to the lack of caffeine.
Tip: You can balance this effect by increasing fiber in your diet. Eat more whole grains; beans and vegetables, drink more water and exercise more.
- Caffeine is a diuretic, which means that it makes you urinate more. Giving it up could result in less urination.
- Coffee contains an energy-increasing stimulant that creates bladder urgency. The bladder fills more quickly and you need to urinate more urgently.
Quitting coffee cold turkey is not a good idea. Take it slow.
- Switch over to a skimmed version from a high fat version to begin with
- Next, make it sugar free to reduce the calorie content
- Switch over to lower caffeine content, such as Fit Day or try coffee without caffeine
- Move to half regular combined with half decaf in the next stage
- Substitute with green tea or lemon water instead of your morning cuppa!
- Switch over to caffeine free options
Tip: Reduce amount of coffee and keep the amount of water the same, to reduce caffeine proportion.
- Check out lower caffeine blends
Kicking coffee? There are many people out there saying ‘giving up caffeine changed my life’ for the better!!! Maybe you’ve realized that you’re overly dependent on this black brew. Dependency on a drug, any drug, is surely bad news.
Even if you’re currently drinking just a cup or two, it is still a dependency. Breaking any addiction is bad enough. If your body has been addicted to caffeine for a long period, you need to wean it away slowly by reducing the amount by a little at a time. So what’s it going to be for you, cold turkey or slow fade?