Lately, I’ve been thinking about my own journey into the world of tea, but that’s probably of little importance to you. However, if you clicked on this then chances are you too have been thinking about your relationship with tea, or it’s widely debated
opposition counterpart – Coffee!
And before we get into it, I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t know a whole lot about coffee, but what i do know, first hand, is the effect it can have on your body. Unless you’re a part of the 1% who remain unaffected by it’s caffeine levels, then this post may not be for you.
But if late nights have gotten later thanks to the evening cup of arabica, or the mid-noon slump brings on fatigue, headaches, or any other symptoms, then you’re in the right place.
You know the symptoms I’m referring to:
-The dependency of a midday pick-me-up when your energy crashes once the caffeine levels in your system dip
-Feeling like you can’t be as productive in the absence of the cup o’ joe
–Insomnia if you drink coffee too late in the day
-The jitters you get after your second latte, or your americano, with a double shot of espresso each time. (or maybe your tolerance is stronger than mine)
When it comes to giving up or weaning off such an addictive substance as caffeine, some opt for the cold turkey approach while others prefer a gradual decrease over a period of time. While I could project one approach as being better than the other, I’d rather present the facts and allow you to choose your preferred method.
Cold Turkey vs Weaning/Tapering method
Cold Turkey: The idea of abruptly quitting something you are addicted to altogether
In choosing to quit coffee cold turkey, within the first couple of days or weeks, there are a number of withdrawals symptoms you’ll likely experience, those of which include:
-Irregular sleep pattern
Most people who choose this method often do so in the hope that this’ll delay the onset of the symptoms they would experience if they were to just stop altogether. In the grand scheme of things, this option allows you to have your coffee cake and eat it, but it comes with the same withdrawal symptoms.
Some people claim the symptoms settle a lot quicker with this method. Apparently, it’s likely that your sleep will suffer within the first few days.
Why should you listen to me?
While I admit that I’ve never been a coffee junkie, I once had a short-lived dependency on the beverage and quickly switched to once the jitters became a regular side effect. But in taking this topic seriously, what did i do? I enlisted the help of those more experienced than me in the world of coffee to share their experience of quitting altogether (and temporarily) to learn of the similarities and differences in their experiences.
Also, if you’d like an in-depth, day by day account of quitting coffee, experimenting with the weaning and coffee approaches, check out this article.
What is your relationship with coffee like?
When we think about the things we are reliant on, especially when it’s a co-dependent kind, we often apply the ‘if it ain’t broke, why fix it’ mentality, but its always worth at least knowing why you like coffee. If it’s for taste great. If it’s for the benefits, good for you, but if it’s because you ‘can’t function otherwise’, you can understand why that might be worrying.
So now onto:
The 5 reasons you (came for) should consider
1. Your sleep
Perhaps you’re tired of the disruption to your circadian rhythm as a result of you having say three cups (or ,more) a day, or maybe you’re one of the lucky few whose sleep goes unaffected. But if you relate with the former, perhaps you’re looking to reclaim your functional sleeping pattern. And if that be the case, you could consider the tapering method.
Perhaps you’ve had enough of not being able to ‘function’ till you’ve got some caffeine in your system, and while habits can be hard to break, the operative word here is ‘break’. Breaking the habit by quitting coffee altogether (or reducing your consumption) will allow you re-regulate your natural levels of energy.
We all know about coffee’s acidity and because of the caffeine, it’s ability to flushes out the kidneys, which in turn flushes out vital minerals and nutrients, like magnesium and calcium.
4. to kick the addiction
As the saying goes, ‘the first step to overcoming an addiction is admitting the problem’ and if you’ve gotten this far, you probably know your dependency has progressed further than you intended. Not to worry though, it’s not the end of the road, as this may be a turning point, either to reduce how many cups you have, or the type of caffeine-filled you opt for instead.
5. Duty (dooty) calls
Perhaps you’ve noticed (or you’re so accustomed to it now) that you make frequent visits to the toilet, be it to pee, or if you drink enough in the day, to let the bowls run loose. This is due to it’s laxative properties which can affect the digestive tract, but as mentioned in number 2, it’s diuretic properties also causes you to expel more sodium and water which would explain the frequent trips.
I must mention here though that the caffeine itself isn’t the problem, but rather overdoing the recommended limit that creates these side effects. And given that caffeine isn’t in coffee alone ,it’ very easy to overdo it, with other things like chocolate, tea, soft drinks among others.
If you’re interested in more in-depth info on al things caffeine, the Caffeine Informer is a great source to consult.
Now that I’ve done my part, I’m out. Happy sipping TEAsers! If you’d like to stay up to datte with the upcoming posts then drop your email below.
Till we stir the next set of leaves,
P.S. Next up we’ll be talking about the coffe substitiutes you can try in making the switch.
Sources (and further reading list, should you wish to check it out):
SELF on ‘Is coffee actually dehydrating?’