I Cut Out Coffee Completely – And Here’s What Happened

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I hope you enjoyed my little bit of alliteration in the title. Over the years, I’ve apparently built myself a reputation as a coffee-addict, for reasons unknown. OK, the 4-5 cups a day is probably a dead giveaway but hey, could be something else. I found it hard to walk around town shopping without a cup in my hand, and mornings didn’t start until I’d had a latte from my beloved Nespresso Nespresso Coffee Machine. Then whenever anyone offered me a cuppa at work I just had to say yes, even if I didn’t really fancy one. There are hundreds of photos on my social media of my hand strategically holding a take-out cup (or, more recently, my KeepCup, or of me sitting in a cafe in front of some latte art – yet the amount of pictures of me plus coffee that are readily available doesn’t even scratch the surface of my caffeine intake. I was definitely addicted.

In a moment of clarity, I decided I would give up coffee for Lent then allow myself to indulge once again when Easter was upon us. The morning after, and for the next few days, when caffeine withdrawal hit I was really regretting that decision. I was tired, irritable, my hands were trembling, and I was battling a headache that just wouldn’t quit. Those 3-4 days were not fun whatsoever, and even after that I had really strong cravings for coffee and ended up pretty grouchy if everyone around me was drinking it and I wasn’t. Pathetic, right?

Why did I do it?

Primarily, health reasons. I’m not religious, so deciding to do this at the same time as Lent just happened to be a happy coincidence. Plus it was a little challenge for myself: I’ve had two extremely early starts in the last few weeks to catch flights so being able to make it through the airport jungle without a latte in each hand would be a tick in the personal achievements box.

I have an extremely sensitive stomach and digestive system, and for a while I’ve been fairly convinced that my caffeine habit hasn’t been helping that whatsoever. But I’d normally just shrug and pour myself another while lamenting feeling bloated and battling stomach cramps. Sensible isn’t my middle name.

Why exactly is coffee bad for you?

Coffee itself isn’t inherently bad for you. In fact, research has shown that drinking coffee does have health benefits, including protecting against Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes and liver disease, including liver cancer – but it’s all in moderation. If you start to tip the scale too far and consume too much caffeine, that’s when the problems can start. An excess of caffeine can lead to insomnia, anxiety, restlessness, irritability, an upset stomach, an increased heartrate and even muscle tremors. And with the amount of coffee I was drinking, I was definitely ticking the boxes of more than a few of those negative effects.

So what changed?

  • My morning energy levels have skyrocketed. I no longer crawl out of bed like a zombie, cursing the sunlight and wishing for a longer lie-in. I bounce up like Roadrunner on Red Bull and generally stay that way for most of the day.
  • I’m not as lethargic, and I don’t have energy spikes and slumps. I can start my afternoon with a glass of water and a smile instead of needing a quick cuppa to get me going. I don’t come home exhausted, dragging myself from the car into the house to pop the kettle on. It’s refreshing and revitalising, to say the least.
  • My gut is so much happier. I’ve struggled with IBS for years, ten plus, and have known for a while that limiting my caffeine intake would likely help with this issue. But I was so addicted to coffee that I just put up with those problems because I assumed cutting out my favourite beverage would be much worse. I was wrong: I don’t suffer from stomach cramps and bloating anywhere near as much as I used to. Here’s to a happy tum!
  • Not a migraine in sight. I can’t put this entirely down to coffee consumption since my migraines are now few and far between thanks to acupuncture, however when I did have a cup of coffee first thing in the morning the day Lent came to a close, I then battled a two-day migraine complete with sensitivity to smells and nausea. So I’m not saying there’s a connection, but there’s definitely a connection.
  • I’m more hydrated. Coffee dehydrated me a lot, and with that would come bad skin and sore, gritty eyes. But now I’ve noticed a huge difference in my hydration levels and I feel fantastic.

I’m not swearing off coffee for good, but going without it for an extended period of time has definitely shown me that I’m better off without it in my diet. The other thing I’ve noticed is that I’m consuming a fraction of the dairy that I used to. I don’t really drink milk or have much of it in cereal so my daily intake of milk has dramatically been reduced. I’ll probably still have a coffee first thing in the morning or occasionally if we go out for brunch, but

So what am I drinking instead?

  • Water! I have a couple of reusable bottles and I have one with me every day, and I’m drinking so much more water now than I ever was before. Sometimes with a little cordial in or sometimes just on its own. So refreshing!
  • Tea! I’ve always hated tea, so to actually be drinking it out of choice is a completely new thing for me. Earl Gray (black) is currently my drink of choice, but I’m also loving peppermint tea and fruit teas.
  • Chai lattes and green tea lattes. I’ve always had a soft spot for these.

So that’s it! This has been my first major life change of 2018. Please bear in mind that I’m not a health professional, I’m only speaking from my own experience. But I’ve definitely seen a transformation since cutting out coffee. Have you ever thought of doing it?

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  1. bingingonabudget
    April 3, 2018 / 5:07 pm

    For me this sounds dangerous, I’m so addicted to coffee lol. But for that reason I found this to be a very interesting read. I honestly don’t know if I could cut it out because of how dependent I am on it. Did you find any negative side effects from cutting it out?

  2. April 4, 2018 / 8:51 pm

    I don’t think I am addicted by any means, I usually have one cup and sip on it all day at my desk, but I definitely notice a mood change when I don’t have it! Interesting!

  3. April 5, 2018 / 10:12 am

    I’m not a massive coffee fan but I do drink it, I did go through a bout of not having it at all and cutting caffeine out of my diet completely. For the forst few days the headaches were relentless but once I got over them I had never felt better. I too didn’t feel groggy on a morning or tired all day long. May have to just cut it right back out.

    • April 5, 2018 / 10:42 am

      The headaches were awful for me too, but the end result was so worth it. I now drink a cup of decaff in the mornings and that’s it, and I feel so much better for the change!

  4. April 5, 2018 / 10:32 am

    True, true. I don’t really drink coffee or tea much. So, I’m going to send this to my sister!

  5. ivana11sk
    April 5, 2018 / 11:05 am

    I also cut out coffee a while ago and it was so beneficial for me. Loved this post 🙂

  6. April 5, 2018 / 11:12 am

    How can you tell me you cut out coffee, but show me absolutely scrumptious photos of coffee? Iced and hot and latte and with a meal… 😆 Don’t get me wrong, I encourage you to find your healthy, but showing me photos that glamorize something that we are trying to cut will probably inspire me to go grab my supersized cup. Thanks for sharing your journey. ☕️

  7. April 5, 2018 / 11:23 am

    I only drink coffee as a treat. Is that weird? There is something so indulgent in a latte

  8. Maggie
    April 5, 2018 / 11:49 am

    I should definitely try this and see if it makes a difference with my skin and/or dehydration headaches. I only have about 2 cups per day, but I definitely reach for coffee in the morning instead of water. That can’t be good. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  9. April 5, 2018 / 1:15 pm

    I give you credit! I tell myself to try and cut back on the coffee everyday….and then I pour myself another cup. It’s more habitual and I feel like you – every time I go out shopping or walking around town, or to work even – I just have to have it in my hand! Maybe i’ll take your advice and cut it down one day 😉

  10. April 5, 2018 / 3:47 pm

    Sounds good to me! good choice to make for Mr Brown and “some of his relatives!”

  11. Miranda
    April 5, 2018 / 6:33 pm

    I never use to drink much coffee, maybe a cup every other month but the last few “Cold” months I started drinking Bulletproof Keto Coffee, but now after reading this I think I may go back to Tea. There’s a lot of things I need to change so this would probably be a good start to the rest.

  12. April 5, 2018 / 10:23 pm

    I only drink one cup a day, but I don’t think I am brave enough to cut it out completely!

  13. April 6, 2018 / 9:31 pm

    I switched to decaf couple years ago because I couldn’t handle the shakes, I never drank it for the caffiene just the taste, and now I’m down to a half a cup a day.

  14. April 9, 2018 / 4:49 pm

    I can totally tell when I drink too much coffee my anxiety sky rockets! I dont need coffee, it’s more of a taste thing for me but I may try cutting it out too!

  15. April 9, 2018 / 5:03 pm

    I used to be a coffee addict as well and also cut it out for health reasons. Not only does it trigger my IBS but it just makes me so stinking anxious! I do really miss the taste, but it’s worth it to not have the symptoms.

  16. April 9, 2018 / 5:19 pm

    It’s not easy, but it is totally worth it! For me, it was soda, but the results were the same. Wow, I feel so much better without it in my life.

  17. April 9, 2018 / 5:47 pm

    I made the switch to tea a few years ago and I haven’t looked back since! My skin is clearer, my energy is up, no more afternoon slump and so many more benefits! It’s been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

  18. April 9, 2018 / 8:13 pm

    Loveee this post babe! I’m currently pregnant and have been finding it hard to give up on coffee, but this is such great motivation. The energy boost alone is an amazing perk! Thanks for sharing! xo, Brittany Nicole | http://www.theblistblog.com

  19. April 9, 2018 / 8:42 pm

    Once I got a really bad stomach bug and after no coffee for 5 days I decided to only have one cup a day and it was such a game changer for me! (I had been drinking 5-6 cups) I think so many people feel like they need a lot of coffee but too much makes you feel like crap! Great post!

  20. hhabeck
    April 10, 2018 / 1:09 am

    This is so interesting! I love my coffee too, but I typically only do one cup per day, which I think is ok for now!

  21. April 10, 2018 / 2:30 am

    You go girl! I definitely crawl like a zombie to the coffee machine in the morning, haha. I only have 1 cup each day though. It’d be tough to give it up!

  22. April 10, 2018 / 4:34 am

    This is such an interesting perspective. I don’t drink coffee- I tried but I just couldn’t get into it. My friends would always ask me how I got through the mornings without it. I told them I just woke up with energy but they didn’t believe it. Now I have proof so I’ll be referring them to this post

  23. April 10, 2018 / 4:42 am

    I’ve been hearing how giving up coffee can be a good thing for us – health wise – I pretty much only have one cup in the am and then it’s water and caffeine free tea the rest of the day. Buttttt you might have my convinced!

  24. April 10, 2018 / 3:00 pm

    omg friend good for you- ive been trying to at least cut back a little bit but i def just have one cup and am ok 🙂

  25. April 10, 2018 / 4:59 pm

    I’m really trying to work on this. Great post!!

  26. April 10, 2018 / 6:42 pm

    Congrats on being able to cut it out completely! That in and of itself is so huge—and the health benefits are a huge bonus. I’ve significantly reduced my coffee intake over the past few years (I used to drink A TON in college, even past midnight), and now only drink two a day. Most days, I’ll make myself a matcha latte in the morning (my colleagues know me as the girl making the weird green drink every day) and then a cup of coffee after lunch. I’m trying to cut out that early afternoon coffee too… we’ll see what happens! Happy to hear you’ve had such a great experience, though.

  27. April 10, 2018 / 7:06 pm

    A lot of people don’t realize how much acid is in coffee, so if you have stomach issues like IBS or gastritis, it can definitely have a negative affect. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  28. April 10, 2018 / 7:42 pm

    I love coffee so much, I don’t ever want to let it go… haha

  29. glossedangeles
    April 10, 2018 / 10:06 pm

    wow great post! I always feel guilty for drinking so much coffee so this was inspiring!

  30. April 10, 2018 / 10:34 pm

    Oh my goodness I have the same problem and am trying to dramatically cut down. The past few weeks i have not been doing well with that goal but before that I was down to 1 a day! Then I started getting more into our house hunting process and felt i NEEDED coffee lol…but i have the stomach thing too- super sensitive to caffeine with it and i know it does not help. Good for you for kicking it and inspiring others, like me! 🙂

  31. April 11, 2018 / 12:56 pm

    You are way stronger than me! I tried to cut coffee one time and didnt make it. I think mine is more of I like the taste of coffee vs wanting it for energy.

  32. April 12, 2018 / 1:11 am

    Wow!! I’m impressed you actually stuck through! I love coffee too and every so often I’m tempted to see what would happen if I gave it up too!

  33. April 12, 2018 / 4:11 am

    I have contemplated cutting out coffee for sooo long. I have a sensitive stomach too. It seems so hard. I have tried replacing my cup of joe with tea but haven’t found one I like.

  34. April 16, 2018 / 5:44 am

    This makes me want to stop drinking coffee, but I can’t even picture it! Sometimes I don’t even need coffee, it’s more of a comfort drink.

  35. April 24, 2018 / 2:02 pm

    I’ve gone back and forth on this myself. I always feel better when I give it up, but I just love it so much I always end up going back! It doesn’t help that there’s an endless free supply of coffee in my office 🙂 I actually stuck a few green tea bags in my purse this morning in the hopes that I could substitute it for my afternoon coffee.

  36. May 16, 2018 / 1:55 pm

    Wow you’re really good, I should try that too! I’ve reduced my daily amount and I try to drink more tea and water, but it’s hard!

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