For many, coffee is a religious experience. A sacred ritual. Wake up, brew some beans, let out a sigh of relief, and then come alive. Most of the time, I am one of those people. But once or twice a year, I come to the realization that my caffeine intake teeters on the edge of unhealthy. I turn into a jittery mess after consuming my second pot of French roast coffee before 9 am.
While non-coffee drinkers may find this hard to believe, I love the taste of coffee. It’s one of my staple beverages, next to water and wine, of course. There are days I find myself easily consuming four cups of coffee without flinching. Earlier this month, I had one (okay, a lot) of those days.
When my common sense gets the better of me, I go cold turkey on coffee. Yes, it may sound crazy and like a borderline sin, but it’s my way to reset and give my body a break from the exorbitant amounts of caffeine I normally consume.
As this wasn’t my first rodeo, I generally knew what to expect when it came to caffeine withdrawal: tiredness, cravings for coffee, and headaches (oh, the headaches!). After about a day, I find it almost impossible to keep my eyes open. When the afternoon lull set it, I’m ready to call it a day and crawl into bed. By day two or three, my head will throb from morning to night. I’m basically a walking nightmare for the first week.
But then something crazy happens. My body starts to adjust and finds its equilibrium sans coffee. It may be hard for people to believe, but you can live and function as an adult without your daily coffee. Shocking, I know.
By the end of two weeks, I’m experiencing wonderful results as a result of my coffee cleanse.
I’m way less groggy in the morning.
Without having to rely on my morning cup of joe, I’m actually pretty functional and awake. Although I still snooze my alarm (a tough habit to break), I snooze it a lot less. I don’t feel like I need coffee to jumpstart my morning. Instead of waking up and crawling out of bed like a zombie, I wake up rested and ready to take on the day.
I sleep like a baby.
When I’m drinking coffee, I have the bad habit of drinking it throughout the day. There is no cut off time for me. 4 o’clock in the afternoon is just as good a time as any to down a cup. While I think this has no effect on me, my body is telling me otherwise. When I quit coffee, I get some of the best sleep I’ve had in a long time. Deep and uninterrupted sleep (besides my dogs insisting on cuddling in the middle of the night).
I have more energy.
When I don’t drink coffee, I feel alert and have more energy throughout the day. There’s no afternoon crash or 3 o’clock wall to hit. I have a constant stream of energy throughout the day and don’t feel the need for an afternoon pick-me-up.
Basically, I’m a fully functional and productive adult when I don’t drink coffee. Even though I wish I could say that coffee is the cure-all and the magic ingredient to success, turns out it’s not (at least for me). I can live a happy and (probably) healthier life without it.
So while my body may be telling me to permanently end my relationship with coffee, does that mean I will? Absolutely not.
I love coffee. Plain and simple. Maybe I’ll cut back my intake to only one or two cups a day (i.e. the practical thing to do), but I enjoy coffee too much to call it quits forever. Going forward, I’ll keep my body and my health in mind before I pour that fifth cup on a Monday morning.
And if I stopped drinking coffee, how would I be able to Instagram pictures of cute coffee houses and perfectly poured espresso drinks? How would I come alive in the fall without my pumpkin spice latte? How would I be able to sport those cute shirts with punny coffee references if I chose to break up with the wonderful creation that is coffee? I guess those are questions for another day.
Have you ever gone on a coffee cleanse? Could you live without coffee? Let me know in the comments!