I am passionate about coffee. Coffee is beautiful. Fresh-ground + French press = eternal happiness.
Spoken like a true addict. That is one of the main reasons I decided to quit coffee for 30 days – to see if I could release coffee’s death grip on my life.
I don’t know if I’m going to quit coffee forever and ever, but I’m quitting it for 30 days to see if it makes a difference in my skin, my energy, my stress levels, and my hormones. More on my 30-day trial here!
Take note that I am not wildly addicted to coffee. I have 1 – 2 cups a day, and seldom if ever do I drink it later than 4pm or so.
I’m also replacing those 1 – 2 cups of coffee with green tea (which I’ll talk more about tomorrow), so it’s not like I’ve gone completely caffeine-free.
So why quit coffee? Let’s talk about some of the reasons that compelled me to jump off the bandwagon!
Coffee and Hormones
Drinking coffee increases seratonin levels, which is the hormone that makes us feel good, and regulates mood and sleep. That’s one reason why when we quit coffee, we feel yucky – the happy chemicals have been cut off.
Cortisol, a stress hormone, is messed around with by caffeine consumption. And there are mycotoxins in coffee (a type of mold) which causes inflammation in humans, so it’s not just caffeine that’s the culprit here.
Genetics may play a role, too. Some people get a pleasant boost from coffee, while others have issues like anxiety to contend with, which coffee consumption can exacerbate. Since I’m one of the latter types of people, it seems like a good idea for my mental well-being to see if I’m less stressed when I’m off coffee.
But a study does show that coffee increases blood pressure, as well as adrenaline levels, and these elevated levels persisted until bedtime.
Coffee inhibits mineral absorption
If you drink coffee at or near a meal, it can inhibit iron absorption by 24-73%. This is caused by the phenolic compounds in coffee. So if you’re smart about when you drink coffee and keep consumption away from meals, you’ll be fine. Still, it’s worth mentioning, since many people (like myself) tend to drink coffee at, or right before, breakfast.
Coffee creates an imbalance in gut flora
Our gut health is crucial to our overall health, something we’ll talk about a little later in the month. But coffee consumption can have these effects:
- Raises stomach acidity (reduces the amount of stomach acid available for digestion later on)
- Promotes acid reflux
- Aggravates IBS
Since I’m making an effort to take probiotic supplements, and eat things like ‘kraut and kimchi on a daily basis, I figured cutting coffee might have a beneficial effect as well.
Coffee affects your sleep
Even just a single cup of coffee can disrupt your sleep. However, if you’re a habitual coffee drinker, it will impact your sleep less than someone who drinks it randomly. Cutting coffee for a whole day, whether it’s a morning cup or evening cup, can lengthen and improve your sleep quality. If you have any issues sleeping, cutting caffeine could help.
Coffee isn’t all doom and gloom – it can be great for increasing mental clarity, and even contains antioxidants. On the whole, though, it seemed very likely I’d receive some benefit from quitting coffee for 30 days, which is why I decided to do so.
Over the past couple of days, my energy levels have been see-sawing and I’ve been a little more irritable than usual. It’s possible that I’m experiencing minor withdrawl – though thankfully I have no coffee headaches to contend with.
Thanks for reading, friends, and I’ll catch you next time!