Benefits of Giving Up Caffeine
Caffeine is a highly addictive drug. Just like any other substance, we develop a tolerance to it through frequent consumption. That tolerance comes at a price. Most of us pay much more than $5 for a cup of coffee. We pay with the slavery of our chemically altered minds and bodies.
Here I’d like to remind you of the huge benefits in giving up caffeine. What do you stand to gain by making a commitment to quitting caffeine today? Well, a better way to rephrase that question is… What do you stand to avoid? The answer, is quite a lot!
1. Caffeine can heighten anxiety and stress.
If you suffer from any kind of nervous disposition, caffeine serves only to heighten your anxiety and stress levels. The drug goes straight to the cortex of your brain and multiplies the intensity of mental activity. The ‘positive’ effect of caffeine is the feeling of alertness, but this cruelly brings out the worst in negative and nervous emotions. It might as well be labelled the anti-social drug. How ironic given the reputation of coffee houses where we choose to consume it!
2. Caffeine causes insomnia and bad sleep patterns.
A cup of coffee can take up to 10 hours to leave the system. So, drinking coffee anytime after 1pm is likely to have the knock-on effect of ruining your sleep later in the evening. Heavy users of caffeine are likely to suffer fatigue as soon as the initial boosting effect of the drug has begun to wear off – which is in the first 2 hours! Do you see the trade-off there? 2 hours of ‘feeling alert’, for another 8 hours where your body is crashing all around you. It’s a bad trade.
3. Caffeine makes you feel tired even after sleeping.
When you wake up, what is the first thought that crosses your mind? It’s probably something along the lines of ‘urinate, feed dog, trip over dog, drown myself in espresso‘. It certainly was for me back in the day! Heavy users of caffeine wake up feeling awful because it’s typically the longest they go in a day without consuming the drug. It’s a mini-withdrawal. Unfortunately, caffeine users are prone to the kind of light sleep where the mind and body finds it impossible to rest because it’s still chemically altered. If you wake up feeling like you’ve barely slept, it’s probably because you haven’t.
4. Caffeine turns you in to a moody dinosaur.
Rarely is it mentioned in those Starbucks adverts that one of the most potent side-effects of caffeine is a massive wave of irritability and agitation. Do you lose your temper, resent your colleagues and regularly break down in the office cubicle? Maybe you’re in the wrong job. Or perhaps you’re overdosing on caffeine. The drug is, after all, quite famous for making us feel like anti-social dinosaurs when it has us addicted and craving another top-up.
5. Caffeine gives you the jitters.
Do you ever suffer from flushes of weak giddiness? If you find your hands trembling, or the overwhelming sensation of shakiness, caffeine is a likely culprit. It wreaks chaos with our nervous systems.
6. Caffeine causes palpitations and has been linked to heart problems.
It was a series of increasingly uncomfortable palpitations that finally convinced me to give caffeine the shove, and I’m very glad that I did. Studies have linked heavy caffeine users with slow metabolisms to a severely heightened risk of suffering a heart attack (up to four times as likely as non-coffee drinkers). I’ve been forever cursing my slow metabolism, but never more so than when I discovered this danger. The palpitations were like constant reminders of a horrifying worst case scenario.
7. Caffeine ties you to an emotional yo-yo.
Caffeine raises your adrenaline levels, which in turn triggers the release of extra blood sugar. It’s from this release that we gain our temporary ‘high’. At the same time, the pancreas is forced to work overtime. It releases extra insulin to deal with the excess blood sugar. A heavy user of caffeine is likely to have an overworked pancreas, and this can drain too much of the vital blood sugar that the body relies on to stay energetic and focused. What follows psychologically is the notorious yo-yo effect on your emotions. You crave an extra hit, while your body craves rest. A combination of horrible fatigue and moodiness is the most likely result.
8. Caffeine raises your blood pressure.
High blood pressure is something that affects millions of people around the world. It can prove deadly if left to accumulate over the years, especially if neglected in favour of the typical life of excess. So, if you have any kind of heart condition whatsoever – or want to avoid one – it’s a good idea to quit caffeine.
9. Caffeine makes you urinate more frequently.
The diuretic effect of caffeine can increase the need to urinate to a point where it feels uncomfortable without a toilet on your doorstep. This is because the kidneys are pumping more water in to the bladder than they usually would. Nobody wants to feel like they’re on the brink of a natural disaster in their underpants, so quitting caffeine is a worthy preventative measure.
10. Caffeine addiction can be super expensive!
Let’s say you spend $5 on your Starbucks coffee on the way to work. There are 252 working days in a year. Over the course of a year, that’s $1260 in coffee expenses alone! What would you buy with an extra $1260? Please, don’t say a coffee machine. Big chains like Starbucks and Costa know full well that we will pay the premium for our morning hit, despite the average coffee costing $1 to produce. There are healthier and much cheaper options. I’d love for you to join me as we explore them further.
You’ve seen the benefits…
As you may be aware, giving up caffeine is not easy. In fact, it’s notoriously difficult.
So, what is the best way to break the addiction? Find out by viewing our Complete Guide to Quitting Caffeine. One read and you’ll never look back!