Coffee contains several compounds including caffeine, antioxidants, and oils. Caffeine is the most potent ingredient. It works by stimulating the nervous system, thereby releasing feel-good sensations. When you drink coffee, its caffeine content blocks adenosine. Adenosine induces sleep. When caffeine blocks adenosine, your brain will not be aware that it is bedtime. Thus, you will feel more alert rather than sleepy.
Also, caffeine makes the mind more sensitive to dopamine. Dopamine is a happy neurotransmitter. When activated, you feel happy. Unfortunately, regular coffee consumption leads to tolerance for caffeine. Thus, you may get to a point of consuming more caffeine to combat fatigue.
If you find yourself adding more cups of coffee to your regular daily intake, it means you are becoming addicted to coffee. This is the situation I found myself in. After realizing that I relied on caffeine excessively, I decided to quit coffee. So what happened when I quit coffee? Read on to find out from my experience.
1. Better Sleep
One of the reasons why I drank a lot of coffee is to boost my alertness. I could burn the midnight oil after drinking coffee. However, I had difficulty sleeping. After quitting coffee, I started enjoying better sleep. I’m no longer bothered to sleep.
2. Reduced Anxiety
Although coffee could give me a jolt of energy, sometimes, I could end up having anxiety with feelings of panic, nervousness, and heart palpitations. When I stopped drinking coffee, I’m no longer feeling anxious for no reason.
3. Reduced Bathroom Breaks
Caffeine in coffee acts like a laxative. When I used to drink a lot of coffee, I realized that I would visit the toilet more often. After scaling back on coffee, my trips to the bathroom reduced back to normal.
4. Reduced Dependence
After drinking coffee regularly over time, I developed a dependence to caffeine. I would need more and more coffee to feel its effects. After quitting coffee, my dependence on it reduced significantly.
5. Stronger, Whiter Teeth
Coffee has a dark, brown color. Also, it is acidic. As a result, it can stain teeth. After many years of drinking coffee, my teeth darkened slightly and my mouth would dry out at times. So what happened when I quit coffee? My teeth became stronger and whiter.
6. Stabilized Blood Pressure
After drinking a lot of coffee, my blood pressure would spike at times. Research shows that drinking coffee causes vasoconstriction, meaning the arteries narrow. Thus, the heart works harder to pump blood, leading to increased blood pressure. After quitting caffeine, my blood pressure stabilized.
7. Improved Nutrient Absorption
At one point in time, I was taking a multivitamin to boost my daily vitamin intake. However, there was poor absorption of the vitamins, something which was attributed to drinking a lot of coffee. Upon quitting coffee, I was able to see positive results with my multivitamin. That meant quitting coffee improved nutrient absorption.
8. Withdrawal Symptoms
Unfortunately, not everything was pleasant when I quit coffee. The worst part was developing withdrawal symptoms. Sometimes, I would experience trouble concentrating, tiredness, and headaches. Luckily, the withdrawal symptoms subsided after a couple of days and eventually stopped.
Tips for Quitting Coffee
Quitting coffee is not an easy process. Caffeine is comparable to drugs. Thus, quitting coffee cold turkey (suddenly) can leave you with terrible withdrawal symptoms. Preferably, reduce your coffee intake step by step. You can start by consuming half the amount you normally drink daily and replace it with decaf. Continue switching to caffeine-free drinks until you can quit coffee altogether.
Also, hydrate and have enough rest when quitting coffee. Drinking a lot of water will keep you hydrated. Resting and getting plenty of sleep will help you overcome most caffeine withdrawal symptoms. Also, exercise regularly to give your body a serotonin boost to help you sleep better and lift your mood.