Signs that it is Time to Give Up Coffee for Good
Hi my name is Lina, I was addicted to coffee!
I know, as an ex-coffee drinker it’s a hard decision to give up coffee. And once decided, it can be even harder to get through it physically. And I know it can be an emotional attachment too. I was born and raised in Colombia (where the best coffee comes from). Coffee for me was more than just a drink to get me through the morning. It was a religious habit, part of my culture, part of me in a way. I remember waking up in the morning to my grandmother making tinto (black coffee with sugar) and me having some cafe con leche right before school. I never had a problem with drinking coffee, I would usually have 1 cup of coffee first thing in the morning and I would go on with my day. It wasn’t until I started experiencing heartburn, anxiety and cluster headaches, migraines that I begin questioning if coffee had anything to do with my symptoms.
No matter how many hacks I would use - taking it with coconut oil, adding in the adaptogens such as chaga and reishi, drinking lots of water after it, switching my creamer- coffee simply wouldn’t come without a downside. It’s only when I started listening more to my body and doing lots more research into what actually happens inside us when we drink coffee that I realised I simply need to quit it.
Signs that it is time to give up coffee for good
It became normal for me to wake up with a headache and after drinking my cup of coffee it would go away. I also experienced anxiety and heartburn. Please note that everyone is different and I know it was coffee causing all these because ever since I stopped I haven’t had a migraine, heartburn and I haven’t felt anxious. These are some of the most common signs your body needs a break from coffee.
Often tired, fatigued or “crashing” during the day
Find it hard dealing with stress
Anxiety, depression and panic attacks
Feeling jittery, have cold sweats
Skin issues, such as psoriasis, eczema and acne
Hormonal imbalances, PMS, menopausal symptoms
Regular headaches and migraines
Can’t fall asleep
Waking up still tired
Fertility issues or libido
“Brain fog” during the day
Excessive fine lines or premature wrinkles
Feeling like you “need coffee to function”
Painful digestive issues - Acid reflux, bloating, gas, IBS
You have insulin resistance or blood sugar problems
What happens when you drink coffee?
Research shows that just 1 cup of coffee spikes our stress hormones catecholamines - adrenaline
1 and noradrenaline. When caffeine enters the body our pituitary (the “master gland”) gets a signal that some kind of an emergency is taking place.
This sets off a ‘fight or flight’ response:
Your blood pressure rises and your heart pumps faster - blood flow diverts away from your organs (including the stomach, bowel, ovaries, testes) towards your large muscles, to help you escape from danger.
Sugar is released into the bloodstream - a spike in adrenaline followed by cortisol. Cortisol enhances your brain’s use of glucose and increases the availability of substances that repair tissues.
You feel more alert - fat and sugar stores break down and release more energy into the bloodstream (= high blood sugar).
Digestion comes to a halt - cortisol shuts down all functions unnecessary in a fight-or- flight situation.
Urgency to go to the bathroom - your bladder and bowel muscles relax to let go of extra weight that could slow down your escape.
According to the Mayo Clinic: “when stressors are always present and you constantly feel under attack, that fight-or-flight reaction stays turned on. The long-term activation of the stress-response system...can disrupt almost all your body’s processes. This puts you at increased risk of numerous health problems, including:
Memory and concentration impairment” 2
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it would be a great idea to give up coffee from a few days to see if your symptoms improve. Remember, everyone is different and I am not a doctor, I want to share with you what has worked for me and I always want to encourage you to find out for yourself. In the next, blog post I will be sharing how I stopped drinking coffee and different coffee alternatives.
Nutrition/Fitness Disclaimer: Please note I am not a medical professional, licensed nutritionist, or registered dietician. This blog is a reflection of my own personal beliefs and opinions, based on research I’ve come across in the food and fitness industry. While I am a Certified Holistic Health Coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, I am not a doctor. Please always consult with your primary physician first before changing your diet, or starting a new exercise program.