Coffee: kick the addiction

One morning, I was taking a Lyft when my driver asked me, “How do you have so much energy this early? Ha…drank some coffee?” and I was like “…no it’s probably because I don’t drink coffee!”

He seemed a little perplexed.

I really think that people should stop drinking coffee every day. I think having it every now and then is fine, but so many people say they rely on it and they need it to function. Now I know people might attack me and say “but scientific studies have shown that coffee improves your brain functioning!” or something like that, but I’m not writing this to get into the science of coffee (or the effects it has on your hormones, mineral absorption, and neurochemicals…). I’m writing this to just talk about the anecdotal evidence that has convinced me that people can have more energy if they stop relying on coffee.

It might sound obvious, of course I will have more energy once I stop relying on coffee, but people still insist on drinking it every day, as if one day they will magically stop needing it.

There was a time when I, too, relied on this caffeinated drink to give me energy every single morning. If I didn’t have it, I could barely stay awake. This is the case for so many people. They feel tired as soon as they wake up, and tired throughout the day in between coffees! Our body’s default is not supposed to be tired. Even if we’re working all day (which I do as well), we should get our energy from our food, the way nature intended.

Besides the drink itself, look at the culture surrounding it! It’s fun to find your favorite coffee shop, or to grind your own beans or use a cool French press. But you know what else is fun? Waking up with vitality and knowing that your body doesn’t need some outside source of energy.

So many of my friends tell me they drink up to three cups of coffee a day, and that they literally have to. I’m sure they haven’t always drank that much. Coffee is like a drug in that you become desensitized to it over time, always needing more until you can’t get enough of it. In my opinion, it’s much healthier and more enjoyable when you see it as an occasional treat (coffee–not drugs). Now that I am no longer addicted to coffee, I will have it on occasion (like once every 2 weeks) in the afternoon, and a single cup will give me more than enough energy I want (not need). 

If you seriously want to quit your addiction, which I highly recommend you do, focus on what you CAN have instead. Try tea. You can start with caffeinated tea (like a maté) if you really need to wean yourself off instead of going cold turkey. Try going to a store like Teavana or David’s Tea and see all the different varieties and flavors of tea you can try. Giving up coffee doesn’t mean giving up your favorite coffee shop- they all have tea options and you’ll start to notice which brands you prefer.

If you don’t like tea and want to just stop drinking coffee or start drinking less of it, you can start by replacing a cup with 1/2 regular 1/2 decaf, until it’s all decaf, until you can wean off of it altogether.

Your body will thank you.

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