The average American drinks about three cups of coffee per day. While this may not seem like an overly excessive amount of caffeine consumption, too much caffeine can actually wreak havoc on your health.
Poor sleep, mood changes, and less-than-stellar eating habits can all be tied to caffeine withdrawal, as can a lack of energy, splitting headaches, and hard-to-shake drowsiness. With symptoms like these at the risk of cutting your caffeine habit, who would want to give it up?
Getting off caffeine doesn’t have to be the challenge it’s made out to be. With the right amount of knowledge and preparation by your side, kicking that caffeine habit to the curb won’t be such a discouraging obstacle to overcome.
Let’s look at some of the best reasons to reduce or eliminate your caffeine consumption, and how to do that.
How Getting Off Caffeine Can Change Your Life
Every morning when your alarm goes off, you find yourself struggling to get out of bed and get ready for work until you’ve had your first cup of coffee or an energy drink.
You’re irritable and grouchy, snapping at your family or coffee shop employees until that delicious black brew is safely in your hands.
If this sounds familiar, caffeine may actually be the root of the problem.
For too many adults, there’s simply not enough time in the day. We sacrifice getting a good night of sleep because we have to catch up on shows after the kids go to bed, or there’s a deadline looming on the horizon.
Adults need seven to nine hours of sleep per night. If you’re going to bed late enough that you won’t be getting these 7-9 hours, you’re probably depending on your morning coffee and a handful of energy drinks to get you through another day.
Perhaps you have the best intentions of going to bed at a reasonable hour, but when you lay down, you have trouble shutting off your mind. If you’re drinking – or even eating – something with too much caffeine, you’re just winding your system up for alertness, not the relaxation that’s necessary to fall asleep.
When you focus on getting enough quality sleep each night, you’re allowing your body to truly rest and reset itself. Quality sleep means that you’re able to wake up more easily, that your alertness levels will be higher throughout the day, and your established good sleeping habits will make it easier to fall asleep at night.
A good night of sleep can also work wonders on your skin, the functionality of your body, and improve your mood. And who would say no to these factors?
Consider The Alternatives
Once you’ve decided to reduce your caffeine intake, you may fear the inevitable host of side effects that happen. Caffeine withdrawal is all-too-real, and the pain of the headaches alone is enough to send plenty of people skipping back to their morning Joe.
But quitting caffeine doesn’t need to be so dramatic.
There are plenty of caffeine alternatives on the market, and they can effectively help to manage the side effects that come from reducing your coffee intake. You may find that some of these alternatives are preferable to coffee or energy drinks, giving you the alertness you need without the buzz of caffeine.
These alternatives are also great choices if strong coffee or energy drinks make you feel anxious or shaky, or if the acidic nature of coffee affects your digestive system.
The amount of sugar in energy drinks is another fantastic reason to consider alternative caffeine sources. Hidden calories in drinks are a key contributor to obesity, so cut the crap and do yourself a favor.
Cut The Habit To Free Yourself
Maybe you don’t want to give up coffee entirely. You enjoy the flavor and the act of enjoying a cup every morning.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that! But if you are having any problems with sleep, your moods, your alertness, or stomach health, cutting back may be the answer for you.
Alternatives such as green or black teas have about half as much caffeine as coffee, and can still be dressed up with milk, cream, or sugar if you so desire. Teas are also great alternatives because they are more hydrating than coffee.
Even plain peppermint tea can become a great way to wake up. The natural minty flavor of peppermint invites your body to perk up and brace itself, giving you the gentle kick you may need in the morning.
There’s also a great sense of freedom when you cut coffee or caffeine out of your system. You’re no longer chained to the need to make or pick up a cup of coffee in the morning, and your energy levels in the afternoons will be much higher naturally.
Trade Caffeine Dependency In For Caffeine Enjoyment
When you become dependent on a substance, there’s very little enjoyment to be wrung out of the need to indulge.
But by getting off caffeine, you can teach your body how to enjoy a cup of coffee with friends, or embrace cultural caffeine variations on a special trip to another country.
If you’re asking yourself how to flush out caffeine, the journey does not have to be a daunting one.
Embrace the chance to taste caffeine alternatives. Make a conscious effort to reset your sleeping schedule. Do your body a favor and stop drinking acidic coffee or sugar-loaded energy drinks.
You can only benefit from reducing your caffeine intake. It may take a little bit of trial and error before you find a balance that works well for you, but the journey is one that’s well worth taking.