8 things that happen when you stop drinking caffeine
Name a mum that doesn't exist on coffee for that post sleepless night jolt in the morning.
Admit it, you have an urge for a cuppa the minute you peel open your eyes. Surely we're not alone?
Nobody can deny that caffeine improves alertness, and the lure of it's frothy beauty (it's probably the most shared image on Instagram), but hey, it's still a stimulant just like booze. (Sorry).
You get into a one of those ever-whirring vicious circles: coffee to wake you up, then another one when you come down from the first one – then the afternoon slump kicks in and you can't survive until bedtime without it. And then it affects your sleep, robs you of precious nutrients in your system, and you wake up and do the same thing all over again. Can you tell, we're addicts.
But, here's a few facts that might make you think twice about how many you consume each day. Try a little gentle weaning off the black stuff – try it for a few days at least – you might feel so much better that you limit your intake from now on.
You'll survive, we promise.
1. Mood enhances
You'll feel like crap (for a little while, 7 - 10 days, to be exact) says Wesley Delbridge, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics in the US. That will subside. You will tend to dwell on the times you didn't have coffee and the emotional roller-coaster that ensued, but that is anxiety – a direct result of 'coming down' from the high of caffeine. Eat breakfast and hydrate yourself throughout the day to halt fluctuating hormone levels and energy dips. This also helps to flush out the fear.
2. Libido increases
If you consume 250 milligrams (or above) of caffeine per day, you are a legitimate addict. The suppressant makes you less likely to get your sexy on under the covers. Mainly due to indifference and prioritising more important goals of the day, by the time evening comes, you have no focus left. The time for sex is subsidiary. If you have little ones? Plan ahead to squeeze in some time. Harsh, but true. Quit the habit and you'll bring the 'sexy back'. Thanks to my man Justin Timberlake.
3. Sleep will settle
Lethargy, inability to concentrate and a killer headache are all side effects of quitting, and then you wake up tired AGAIN. Caffeine wakes you up in the morning for the same reason that it keeps you awake at night. Your heart rate rises, you become anxious, and energy levels increase in turn. This is not a good thing. Increased heart rate is at odds with any attempt to relax and plays havoc with sleep patterns. You'll enjoy hitting the hay when you're caffeine-free because the wind-down time is minimal, and you won't need that glass of wine to 'switch off'.
4. Weight will become more manageable
Caffeine messes with your weight. Weight will reduce automatically if you are a cream and two sugars kind of gal, and you choose the cold turkey option. But, the real culprit here is the blended coffee drinks you consume. There are hidden calories in lattés, cappuccinos and flat whites with up to 200 more calories in every cup. Coffee can have a diuretic effect on an empty stomach because of it's acidity... never good before a morning meeting when you need to dash to the Jacks.
5. Anxiety is curbed
All that pent-up energy from a heightened heart rate, excess adrenaline in the blood and not enough activity in your day is not good – this shiftiness and things like foot-tapping are related to drinking too many mochas. Drink less caffeine and your breathing becomes less forced and shallow, and your body is less stressed.
6. Cravings are reduced
It all depends on how you consumed your cup of Joe originally. If you had two sugars or a Flat White with hazelnut syrup, you are sure to kick the cravings for sweetness almost immediately. The intensity you are used to is gone and your system will react accordingly. Your body will naturally replace this lack of coffee with whole foods that restore brain function. A good choice would be almonds and a mint tea on your morning break. The mint will invigorate you, and the almonds will stabilise blood sugars. Your body will need good alternatives so be prepared.
7. Alertness comes back
Get some ginseng into your morning and other alternatives to the hit you once loved.
8. Workout plans may return (I said may)
You will understand the term downhill incline on the treadmill in a whole new light. The intensity of your workout will wain but persevere. Start with a simple walk to work or with the buggy in the morning to de-clutter your brain.
Free yourself - even if it is only temporarily. Good luck!
If you have had any after effects of quitting the beans, hit us up @herfamilydotie