Have you ever considered quitting or reducing your caffeine intake?
The truth: It’s not always easy, but cutting back on caffeine can have some powerful benefits!
In this post, I share what caffeine does to your body and ways you can help reduce it (or cut it out completely) from your daily routine.
The benefits of quitting or reducing caffeine
It’s no secret that caffeine consumption — particularly coffee — is HUGE in America.
In fact, 64% of American adults drink a cup of coffee every day. And for people 60 years or older, 72% drink coffee every day. The average American drinks about 3 coffee drinks per day!
If your consumption begins to get that high, it could lead to health issues.
For example, if your caffeine consumption is too high, you may experience jitteriness, dehydration, a lower quality of sleep, and even anxiety.
So if you can reduce your consumption by even a little (maybe have 1.5 cups instead of 3), you could experience some great benefits.
Some of the top benefits of cutting or reducing your caffeine consumption include:
- Better sleep. Because caffeine is designed to help you stay awake, one of the obvious benefits of reducing consumption of it is more restful sleep. For better sleep, one of the best things you can do is cut your consumption of caffeine in the afternoon and evenings. Because caffeine stays in your system for roughly 6 hours, try to not have any at least 6 hours before you plan to go to sleep.
- Better able to regulate your daily energy. Caffeine can make you feel like you’re just a cup away from more energy. But the reality is, the energy caffeine delivers is very short-lived. Plus, consuming caffeine can affect your hormone levels and impact your energy for the rest of the day. When you rely less on caffeine, you are more able to tap into your body's natural stores of energy.
- Decreased anxiousness/no jitters. One of the worst negative side effects of consuming too much caffeine is the anxiety and jitters it can create. A little is fine for productivity. But too much can wreck your nervous system. Cutting or reducing your consumption can eliminate feelings of racing thoughts and nervousness creeping in.
- Reset your body’s caffeine tolerance. One of the worst things that happens to your body when you drink caffeine daily is that you gradually push your tolerance up little by little. The same cup doesn’t give you the same jolt so you pour a little more. And before you know it, you need a pot before you feel your energy levels shift. If you reduce how much caffeine you’re drinking, you can lower the amount you need to begin experiencing a boost from caffeine.
- Weight loss. When some people reach for a coffee, it’s often not just a black beverage. It’s often loades with creams and sugars. That’s why another added benefit of cutting your coffee consumption is often a slimmer waist and toner body. You can save as much as 1,000 calories by removing large sugary coffees from your diet.
So those are the benefits. But how do you actually do it? Here some of my top tips.
Tips to reduce caffeine intake
Anyone can say, “You should drink less coffee,” but how do you actually begin reducing your consumption?
Try these two tips to start:
- Slowly reduce cup by cup. One of the best ways to cut your caffeine consumption is to not quit cold turkey. That can lead to headaches and painful withdrawal symptoms. Instead, I recommend you cut your consumption cup by cup. This will gradually help your body adjust to lower and lower levels of caffeine over time.
- Introduce half-caff and then decaf to none. When it comes to coffee, it’s not just the caffeine many of us love. It’s the habit of sitting down with a warm beverage. And removing the habit is the hardest part. That’s why I encourage people to try to swap their coffee with decaf or tea instead. This allows you to still enjoy a warm beverage with a fraction or none of the caffeine. Pro Tip: If you’re looking to go totally caffeine free, try switching your morning habit with a cup of hot dandelion tea. It has NO caffeine.
On your journey to cut out caffeine, you have to watch for foods with sneaky levels of caffeine. Because you could be cutting your consumption of coffee but still getting it from other places!
Sneaky foods or drink with caffeine
Watch out for these foods with sneaky caffeine levels:
- Chocolate. While it only has a small amount per serving, chocolate does contain caffeine. So if you indulge in sweets, you could also be consuming caffeine and not even know it.
- Decaffeinated coffee. Again, it’s only in small amounts but if you’re drinking a pot a day, it could give you the same amount of caffeine as a cup of normal coffee. So just be careful.
- Green tea. Teas can have caffeine, too! Aim for caffeine-free options if you’re making the switch from coffee to tea as a staple beverage.
- Certain medications. For example, two Excedrin Migraine tablets have the same amount of caffeine as a light frappuccino at Starbucks! Just look out for it. If caffeine is present, they have to put it on the label.
The Final Verdict on Caffeine?
So what’s the final verdict on caffeine? It can be a powerful tool for productivity but not when consumed in excess amounts.
In fact, you might feel a lot better when you rely on more natural forms of energy and cutting back on it than when you’re drinking pot after pot.
So consider cutting back for a week or two and see how you feel!
You might find out life is better without caffeine.