Health Lesson: What Happens When You Quit Caffeine?

If you look forward to your cup of coffee each morning, what good-enough reason could make you want to quit? True, coffee has a wealth of health benefits - it is a godsend for anyone needing an energy boost, and studies have also suggested that coffee could help protect us from dementia and Alzheimer's. Sipping on three cups a day will give you plenty of beneficial antioxidants too. But there are instances when you should give quitting caffeine more than just a second thought, particularly if you find that coffee is compromising your ability to sleep, you are anxious, or have become addicted to your daily cup.


I for one enjoy my daily cup (or cups) of coffee, but I was curious to discover what will happen to my body when I quit. So from the amazing health benefits, to the temporary symptoms of withdrawal you can expect, here are 10 benefits that may just motivate you to have tea instead of coffee.

The Benefits of Quitting Coffee

This is what will happen to your body in:

1 Day

1. Reduced effects of heartburn, reflux or indigestion often caused by caffeine.

2. Your bowels will return back to normal as caffeine is what generally causes diarrhea. Furthermore, being a diuretic, caffeine increases urination frequency, consequently dehydrating the body. By quitting caffeine for just one day, you will notice a decrease in the number of trips you make to the bathroom.

1 Week

3. It only takes 1 week for the initial addictive signs to diminish - see more in Typical Withdrawal Symptoms below.

4. Your energy levels will become stable. You won't need to rely on false hits of energy from caffeine.

5. Consequently, you'll become less restless, irritable and anxious -caffeine stimulates the adrenal glands, therefore increasing your anxiety levels. Furthermore, caffeine alters your mood. In fact, most coffee drinkers agree they're grumpy prior to having a cup in the morning. Others report feeling lethargic once the coffee has worn off in the afternoon.

6. Your jeans may start to fit a little looser - a noticeable sign if you have your coffee with milk. Nevertheless, many experts have stated that caffeinated beverages generally add empty calories to our diet that we don't need. Sugary beverages are a huge component of the obesity epidemic plaguing the western world. In fact, a study found that when caffeine is in a sugary beverage, it causes people to consume more of it, unlike those without caffeine. Furthermore, it may surprise you to note that having just one less Starbucks Vanilla Latte per day saves you 250 calories per day, 1,750 calories per week or 91,250 calories per year.


1 Month

7. Your body will get an improved boost in vitamin and mineral absorption - primarily due to the reduced instances of diarrhea, and less frequent trips to the bathroom, which may cause you to excrete calcium, potassium and magnesium.  

8. With improved electrolyte levels, your heart and muscle function will improve. Caffeine stimulates the heart muscle, causing it to beat more forcefully. While this isn't necessarily a cause for concern for most people, it may be for anyone with underlying heart conditions. Furthermore, caffeine can raise your blood pressure by a few points. So lowering it can keep your heart from working as hard.

9. Your sleep quality will greatly improve. Caffeine can significantly reduce the amount and quality of sleep.

1 Year

10. Your liver, kidney and heart function will improve. The liver's primary role is to detoxify. When you have less caffeine it doesn't have to work as hard, enabling it to function better. Cutting out caffeine also puts less stress on the kidneys and reduces heart palpitations.


11. Financially, you'll see a big change: You may have not realized how expensive caffeine is - the cost of which can add up to thousands of dollars a year. Here's a rough guide on how much you're spending on caffeinated drinks:

A Grande Starbucks Latte: $3.65 a day | $26 a week | $1,332 a year

Monster Energy Drink: $3 a day | $21 a week | $1,095 a year

Home brewed coffee: $.71 a day | $5 per week | $259 a year

K-cups: $.65 a day | $4.55 a week | $237 a year

5 hour energy: $3 a day | $21 a week | $1,095 a year


Kicking the Habit: Typical Withdrawal Symptoms

If you're used to getting your caffeine buzz at regular intervals, when trying to kick the habit start chugging plenty of water and herbal teas to distract you. For the most part, the first couple of days are the hardest. Here's what to expect:

Headaches: Headaches attributed to caffeine usually start behind the eyes and move to the front of the head. They can range from mild to severe. Such headaches are only experienced if you have been drinking 500mg of caffeine per day (roughly about 5 cups of coffee). Also keep an eye out for caffeine from sources other than coffee, like tea or soda. Meanwhile, this guide will help you get through a headache without medication.


Anxiety: Caffeine has been known to cause anxiety among some people. However, it is also possible when withdrawing from the drug - some have even reported panic attacks. Furthermore, according to a study, 13% of people develop 'significant impairment' during caffeine withdrawal. The study showed that such individuals were unable to leave the house, work or function normally. On a less serious note, you may experience irritability. Nevertheless, kicking the caffeine habit is well worth it. Try these effective ways to cope with stress and anxiety.

Flu-like symptoms: From a stuffy nose, to blocked sinuses, flu-like symptoms have all been reported by people withdrawing from caffeine. But, in the process of letting your coffee go, try relieve your cold and flu symptoms with these natural oils  

Source 1, Source 2, Source 3, Source 4

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