Coffee and other caffeinated beverages have taken the world by storm. You can't leave your house without seeing commercials for energy drinks, billboard ads for coffee conglomerates, and people holding steaming lattes and Americanos. A recent study estimated that 90% of Americans consume some form of caffeine every day. Still, the world's attachment to the substance has some people questioning the benefits of going caffeine-free for a time or even quitting the substance permanently. While coffee and other caffeinated beverages may have their perks in the short term, there are definite advantages to avoiding them, even just temporarily.
Caffeine stimulates the nervous system and temporarily causes sharp spikes in blood pressure, which contributes to that alert feeling many get after drinking coffee. However, these spikes and jolts can be detrimental, especially to those with existing heart conditions. Going caffeine-free, even for a limited time, can lower blood pressure and the risk of cardiovascular problems in the long-term.
Caffeine can seriously affect your sleeping habits. As a stimulant, it increases adrenaline production and blocks hormones that make you feel tired and sleepy. This isn't such as bad thing when you're trying to perk up in the morning, but high amounts of caffeine, especially later in the day, can affect you for hours afterward and seriously harm your sleeping patterns. Caffeine may also throw off your internal clock, meaning your body won't feel like sleeping when it naturally should, based on daylight and your circadian rhythm. Quitting caffeine lets your body reset its internal clock and keeps you from producing too much adrenaline at the wrong times.
If you often sip a cup of coffee right after meals, you might want to think again. Caffeine can hinder proper digestion, causing the stomach to produce too much acid; it also acts as a laxative. Furthermore, caffeine produces cortisol when it stimulates the nervous system. This fight-or-flight response hormone reduces blood flow to the intestines because its job is to focus the body on energy production. Cutting out caffeine will improve digestion and bowel movements and limit water retention.
Caffeine inhibits the production of collagen, a chief component of skin health responsible for providing structure and keeping wrinkles at bay. As we age, our bodies produce less and less collagen, and according to a Gallup survey, 74% of adults 55 and older drink coffee daily, compounding these natural effects. When you reduce caffeine, your body is better able to produce proper amounts collagen, lifting your skin and helping to rid your hands and face of fine lines.
While some thrive off caffeinated-induced jitters, those with a predisposition to anxiety and depression may find caffeinated beverages make their conditions worse. Research shows caffeine exacerbates psychiatric conditions and, not surprisingly, sleep disorders. People with eating disorders may also become dependent on coffee. Those with existing disorders will likely experience fewer symptoms if they go caffeine-free, including reduced mood swings and feelings of anxiety and nervousness.
If you're looking for the perfect smile, quitting caffeine might be the best option. Many drinks that contain caffeine also have dark pigments that stain teeth by discoloring the enamel. Furthermore, most beverages other than water can cause bad breath and the growth of bacteria in the mouth, so going caffeine-free has multiple benefits for oral and dental health.
In addition to adversely affecting digestion, caffeine can also alter the body's ability to absorb nutrients. The tannins found in coffee and other beverages can reduce the retention and absorption of vital minerals such as calcium, iron, and certain vitamins. Reducing your intake of caffeine can improve the essential bodily process of nutrient retention and application.
Hormones fluctuate throughout life. For women, these changes are most evident during teenage years and again during menopause. Caffeine can exacerbate and alter hormonal changes, leading to increased production of estrogen. Studies link excessive estrogen to the development of ovarian and breast cysts, especially in women of menopausal and post-menopausal age. Quitting caffeine is one small way to reduce your risk of disease.
Coffee can give you a great energy boost, but some people experience brain fog and difficulty focusing once the effects kick in. After the alertness wears off, many find themselves feeling sleepy and distracted. Research also links increases in chronic headaches to regular caffeine intake. Once the minor withdrawal of cutting out caffeine passes, you might feel more alert all day, rather than falling victim to unreliable energy peaks and dips.
This might seem counterintuitive, but it's true. Caffeine can boost adrenaline, but the lulls afterward could be worse than what your body experiences without the additive. Cut out caffeine and the related improvements in sleeping habits will be even more beneficial than excessively stimulated adrenal glands. Removing unnatural stimulation can result in natural energy, especially when you replace your liquid consumption with water and other more beneficial fluids.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.