Should you give up coffee?

You’re probably wondering WHY in the world would anyone ever give up coffee, am I right?

I was one of those people, just a short time ago. So why did I give it up?

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Rewinding a bit, to give you a background I cut back my coffee from roughly 3-4 cups a day to 1 cup a day about a year and a half ago. I was never one to say that I totally needed or depended on it, but I really do love the taste and smell and ritual of coffee. I just couldn’t totally give it up.

In January I saw a naturopath who told me I should try avoiding caffeine. I have been dealing with pretty bad stress and anxiety, and coffee is a stimulant which causes cortisol (stress hormone) spikes. I pretty much rolled my eyes and thought to myself- ‘yeah right ’ at the time. Besides, I only had one cup a day, and seriously how bad could that be for you right?

You’ve probably heard that coffee is good for you (I latched onto those articles to justify my addiction….). It probably can be. There have been studies linking it to all sorts of good stuff….all you have to do is type in “coffee benefits” and see what happens.

I guess about a week after I saw the naturopath I woke up one day and I was like “I’m not going to drink coffee this week and see what happens”. So I did it! I was having such crippling anxiety at that point I felt like would try anything.

So what happened? Honestly, not much. I didn’t feel like it had an effect on my anxiety and stress. If anything I kind of felt MORE depressed. It’s pretty hard to go teach a group of 20-25 eighth graders in the morning without coffee. I found myself just with no pep in my step that I usually had in the morning.

But I’m here to tell you that it wasn’t that bad. I didn’t die. Besides the lack of pep, I pretty much didn’t see any effects of giving up coffee- good or bad. I read that I would sleep better. That didn’t really happen. I read that I would have terrible headaches. That didn’t happen. But once I went a week, and then two weeks, and then a month I didn’t really feel the need to start drinking it again. I know there’s something not right with my health right now and I don’t feel like I should compromise it by relying on caffeine. I feel like I’m fine without it or just drinking half-caf so I’m not going to make any moves back to it when it’s not necessary. I think coffee is for healthy people, and I don’t feel that way right now, so I’m not going to chance it. Hopefully soon I can get to the bottom of the health issues I’ve been dealing with.

In the meantime, I’ve tried some other coffee alternatives that have worked out quite well! This is Teeccino, if you haven’t heard of it. It is herbal tea that “tastes” like coffee. Some people love it and some hate it. I found it to be a great alternative. I mean, it’s not coffee people, but it’s still a warm, delicious drink in the morning.

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I also have tried my share of loose leaf tea. My cousin got me a tea set for Christmas and I have been using it often.

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This is another coffee alternative- dandelion root. I think it’s a generic version of Dandy Blendtea. This is also alright, but not coffee.

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And there’s always decaf! Which I’ll have a couple of times a week. I have half caf occasionally as well.

I think cutting out caffeine is something everyone should try at least once. If you feel like you need coffee to live, it’s probably a clue that something else is off in your body. When your body is truly healthy then you can decide if you want to add it back in!

Here’s some other resources from trusted people talking about coffee:

Chris Kresser: Is drinking coffee good for you?

Robb Wolf

The Coffee Manifesto: Whole 9

Do you think you’d ever be able to give up coffee?

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6 thoughts on “Should you give up coffee?

  1. Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed

    I totally agree! I think people depend on coffee way too much and it’s good to take a step back and evaluate how it’s actually affecting you. I typically drink coffee a few times per week. Last night I got 8 hours of sleep, so I went with tea this morning! I usually only drink coffee when I’m really dragging, but I know if I get enough sleep I do not need it. I also know if I drink too much of it, I can make me jittery and anxious as well. When I do drink it, I usually have a tiny cup because that’s all I need and half the time it gets cold before I even remember to drink it haha.
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  2. Giselle

    I love coffee! I don’t necessarily need it though and typically only have one cup a day in the morning. If I have any much later than 12:00 I won’t sleep at night so I stick to a morning cup but that’s it. However, I’ve thought about cutting it out completely to see if I notice any changes with hormones etc. Thought about it but haven’t made any changes yet…
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  3. Carrie

    I have given up coffee for about a month but after that month, I went right back. I didn’t really feel any better without it although I will say my stomach felt a little more less bloated and “settled” if you will.
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  4. Jack

    I tried giving up coffee but after 1 week i just couldn’t keep on denying myself from the taste and semi-rush that coffee gives me as i start out my day. I also keep reading and hearing of the benefits coffee has on the body and the negative effects it has. Who to believe?

    Thanks for listing the alternatives to coffee I’ll try to give them a taste, i know i can’t keep drinking 6 to 8 cups of coffee everyday. If anything I know that having to much of one thing is not healthy.

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  5. Erin @ Miss Scrambled Egg

    Andrea – Twice a year, I decide to quit caffeine for at least three weeks. My body definitely feels withdrawal after the first couple of days. As a barista at Starbucks and teacher at a high school, I realize that a day without coffee is almost impossible. With a little willpower, I generally fight the urges to drink it all day. I stick with my venti black coffee to wake me up, but stay away from caffeine after that. 🙂
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