80- 90% of us drink coffee, and it does a very effective job of getting us up and going in a matter of minutes. If you are a coffee drinker, you are already thinking,….there is NO way I am going to give up my morning cup! (extra exclamation marks) Right?
Coffee is something I have loved for years. I have been drinking coffee since high-school, and if you are like me, a cup of coffee is motivation to get up in the morning. I remember in my 20’s adding all the different flavors that coffee mate produced, such as vanilla, and hazelnut. Who knew coffee could taste so darn good! Later I moved on to having thick whipping cream to my coffee, and really indulged in many of extravagant coffee brands sold online. I sure gained weight, but I didn’t care! I looooved my coffee! I tend to take my poison with extra rich cream and just a hint of sugar. Though, as of late, I gave it all up. Here is why……
What I have learned is caffeine can be safe in moderate amounts, but the average cup contains astronomically high levels of caffeine that can affect your health long term.
I was addicted to the feeling of energy and alertness that coffee provided me through the day. I went through stages where severely cut back on the amount I drank, but came to learn, that I had to have at least one cup to function well. Then, as most of you out there do, you begin to have more. One turns into two, and then into 3 and 4.
Over time we often find ourselves needing more of it and at some point, for many people, the negative effects of our morning, mid-morning, afternoon cup of coffee can outweigh the benefits of increased energy.
Why would anyone give up coffee?
Are there some long term draw backs to caffeine that we don’t know about?
Many websites suggest that up to 300 mg of caffeine a day (roughly three cups of coffee) is a healthy level of caffeine consumption. What we don’t realize is that different drinks, also contain different amounts of caffeine levels. Caffeine levels in Starbucks coffees range from 10 mg to 415 mg, pushing even two cups of their coffee over the daily recommended limits.
Center For Science In The Public Interest put together a chart of common drinks, with their associated caffeine levels. Check out some of the brands I found most interesting……
Dunkin’ Donuts Coffee With A Turbo Shot (Large 20 fl.oz) –436 mg of Caffeine
Starbucks Coffee (Venti 20 fl.oz) 415 mg of Caffeine
Dunkin’ Donuts Coffee (Med 14 fl.oz) 178 mg of Caffeine
Panera Coffee (16 fl.oz ) 189 mg of Caffeine
Missing your cup of coffee, half way through the day can make you feel sluggish, and tired. Skipping that regular coffee for a whole day and you might feel the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal. Look out! You may not even be able to function!!
According to About.com, Quitting coffee the “cold turkey” method, is not recommended for caffeine elimination, as quitting caffeine “cold turkey” can tend to worsen caffeine withdrawal symptoms substantially.
- Caffeine withdrawal symptoms often begin around 12 to 14 hours after stopping caffeine intake. They are typically at their worst after 24 to 48 hours, and can last for up to nine days.
- Around 50 percent of people experience caffeine withdrawal symptoms when they cut back on or eliminate caffeine.
- Other studies have shown that around 13 percent of people experience such severe symptoms they are temporarily unable to work. Typically, the more caffeine you consume, the higher your chance of experiencing severe caffeine withdrawal symptoms.
Common Symptoms Of Not Having A Cup 24 Hours After
1. Massive Headaches– A caffeine headache can often start behind the eyes and then moves up the front and back of the head.
2. Tiredness. You simply cannot get yourself going, even with food. You cannot function, let alone walk. You feel absolutely no motivation to do anything.
3.Constipation – Your cup of coffee also made you quite regular. Caffeine stimulates the bowel, so without its daily dose, the colon doesn’t function normally, because it hasn’t had to.
4. Flu-Symptoms- Your head is going to feel stuffy, as with your nose. Your sinuses will feel blocked, and you might feel like vomiting.
Caffeine Informer put together this impressive list above, and here are some of the most interesting comments which people have left, which I pulled off the article’s comment section.
- “Hey Swifty, People have different reactions and sensitivities to caffeine. Some can have 1 cup in the morning and not sleep the proceeding night. Others can have 2 cups before bedtime and sleep like a baby. The same is true with withdrawal symptoms. They can vary in severity.”
- -“I challenged myself for a month long “off tea n coffee” program … the first few days were the most challenging, but I made it through and now am completely off it and have never felt better… the trick is to have lots of alternatives around you … whenever I used to feel the urge for coffee I drank juices or just water …. lemon juice/water melon juice/ apple milk shake/ coconut water work the best”
- -“I was off caffeine for about a month once and I remember my brain working in a way I wasn’t used to. My memory was better, I could focus much better and even my normal speech patterns (syntax) seemed better (to me at least), and I didn’t have the daily 2:00 p.m. crash I had come to loath.”
- -“MAtter of fact, Starbucks is so popular, (and so addictive…) because it contains MUCH more caffeine than most other coffees. A regular cup contains around 200 milligrams and a venti is around 400mgs. That’s why some people are addicted not just to coffee, but to Starbuck’s coffee!”
- “That is the problem with coffee, most people have to drink about the same amount everyday, only drink it occasionally, or not at all to avoid withdrawal symptoms.”
- “After about 30 years of addiction to diet coke,diet pepsi and diet mountain dew I finally quit cold turkey.Ive known about the headaches and nausia associated with caffeine withdrawl but I found out a long time ago that drinking one cup of chamomile tea in the morning and one at night totally cures the caffeine headache and accompanied sickness.It really works!”
- “Drink tons and tons of water to help flush toxins. Also go to gym and sweating out toxins helps with withdrawals. May I also suggest cutting two cups down to one cup and gradually decrease because going cold turkey did not work for me and before I knew it I was relapsing just to make the headaches go away. You will feel really tired but after about a month you are fine”
- “So that’s what that was! I had the very same experience! (The neck pain down the back into the legs.) I took tylenol and it went away. After about 10 days, I woke up in the morning and actually sat up in bed and felt completely alert! I haven’t had that feeling for I don’t know how long. I used to stumble half asleep to the coffee pot.”
- “Once you are down to one per day, quit. That’s the time to become someone who doesn’t drink caffeine. Having one every two or three days keeps you addicted and forever in withdrawal.”
- -“I was having blinding headaches, especially during sex. Went to the doctor who sent me in for an MRI. My brain scans show my blood vessels inflamed and spasming. The next stop was the Neurologist. Once he took my history and realized that I drank a pot of coffee a day, minimally 48 oz, but normally more, he said my headaches was caused by caffeine. Yes people, caffeine altered the blood vessels in my brain! I’ve been slowly weening myself off for the last week, with today being the first day totally caffeine free. IT SUCKS. My head is killing me. I’m lethargic. I’m sick to my stomach. I have insomnia at night, and I sleep all day. I just moved into a new home, so I took a week off of work, but I’ve been too sick to unpack. Caffeine, like red wine and chocolate might have great health benefits, but when you abuse them for a long period of time, then you have to forgo those benefits and stick with abstinence.”
- “I’ve spent 20 years addicted to caffeine (primarily coffee), coming off it now and then, going back on it, repeat pattern. I’m in my 40s now and I think i’m quitting it for good. I say “think” because the siren call of freshly brewed black coffee is strong. Very strong. I’ve quit probably a 12 to 20 times – not quite annually — longest lasting about 3 months. What is increasingly shaping my commitment to quit is 2 things – what my life on coffee has become, and the escalating severeness of the withdrawal symptoms.First – life on coffee — I wish I was that person who could drink 1 or 2 cups forever satisfied, but I’m not. Coffee has diminishing returns for me, such that 1 or 2 cups don’t do it, and I want MORE. Some people function perfectly well with coffee. I love it, but I’m not that person. I’m not that guy drinking 14 cups a day, but I easily down a pot a day, and when things get really bad, down a Coke for the afternoon crash. More worrisome, was that I couldn’t maintain any kind of energy level to permit exercise — I just felt burnt out all the time. If I didn’t exercise first thing in the morning, I’d be too wiped to do it later. And, I’ve found that coffee increasingly messes with my blood sugar in a way that I’m constantly starved for bagels, pretzels, chips — garbage carbs — especially at night, after dinner. I’m athletic enough, even in middle age, that it hasn’t been disastrous for my weight, but it’s going that way. Mentally, I enjoy the kick, I don’t get panicky or jittery, and I’m productive as hell with work, but I’m not in the moment — especially with any semblance of will power for food choices.Off coffee, I have more consistent energy levels — consistently even and consistently higher. My mental clarity is more centred, albeit lacking that heightened sharpness caffeine brings. I don’t think my production is any different workwise. My appetite, however, is not as rampant, and I make way better food choices — much more fresh stuff and lower portions all around.”
- “They probably had parents like mine that turned on the perkolater at 6:00 every morning so the whole house was filled with its glorious aroma.”
- “A few years ago I gave up caffeine. It took months for my body to recover. I took vitamins and omega 3 capsules. After a month I felt better. Masses of energy and dropped 20 pound. Constipation was a problems at first but eat healthy vegetables and wholewheat and brown food. You’ll soon feel the difference. Good luck!”
Illustration of Coffea arabica plant and seeds –
Köhler–s Medizinal-Pflanzen – Wikipedia
Health Benefits Of Coffee
- Health Benefits? Yes, there are some! Small, occasional cups of coffee can be beneficial. If it’s made of organic beans, some studies have shown that it can improve alertness and can prevent long term risks of developing Parkinson’s disease, gallstones, and kidney stones.
- Good-quality ground coffee can be a source of antioxidants like chlorogenic acid that may help with weight loss.
Negative Side Effects Of Coffee
– Coffee Can Speed Things Up Inside Your Body – One of added benefits of coffee, it that it is a mild Laxative. Drinking coffee stimulates the peristalsis, the process in the digestive tract that makes us head for the bathroom. While having an easy regular bowel movement is a benefit to drinking coffee, there are some problems with this we aren’t aware of.
- Coffee also appears to promote the stomach to emptying. The stomach’s contents are quickly passed into the small intestines, often before all the food has been digested. So, the nutrients are not fully absorbed from your food, and in addition, your gastrointestinal tract is irritated.
-Urinary Incontinence -You have to go to the bathroom every 30 minutes. Been there? Over time, your bladder, at just the slight sense of liquid will signal your brain that you have to go. This IS expected when you are drinking caffeine drinks, but should you expect it when you are drinking other liquids like water?
Do you have to get up at least 3 times in the NIGHT to go to the bathroom? How about in the day time?…. how many times do you use the rest room? Do you drink water, or juice, and find yourself back in the bathroom within the hour? This is what I experienced, and one of the reasons why I am quitting now.
So how many times a day should the average person urinate? “The normal range is between four and six times a day, including up to two visits to the loo during the night,” explains Dr Elizabeth Farrell, a gynecologist with the Jean Hailes Foundation for Women’s Health. In other words, once every four hours is considered normal. “Certainly anything under two hours would be too frequent,” she adds.
According to Web MD, ‘Women who consume high levels of caffeine are 70% more likely to have urinary incontinence than women who don’t,” says Jon Gleason, MD, an instructor and fellow at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Medical School’s Division of Women’s Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery.
In Gleason’s study, women who reported taking in 329 milligrams of caffeine a day — about three cups of coffee — or more had a 70% higher likelihood of having the bladder problem. Moderate caffeine intake, defined as about 182 milligrams a day, was not linked to urinary incontinence. But higher intakes — 329.5 milligrams or higher — were.
The IBS Newsletter pointed out that even just one cup of coffee, regular or decaffeinated, “is still practically guaranteed to trigger abdominal spasms, diarrhea, and a very unpleasant sense of urgency” (The IBS Newsletter, 2006).
-Coffee Drinking Tied To Urinary Incontinence In Men – Seen on Medical News Today– the researchers found the men who consumed the most caffeine were more likely to have a leaky bladder than those who consumed the least or none at all. Their analysis shows men who consumed 234 or more mg per day of caffeine were 72% more likely to have moderate to severe UI than men who consumed the least or none at all. Men with a daily caffeine intake of 392 mg per day were more than twice as likely to have leaky bladder problems.
Caffeine and alcohol both increase urine production. This can lead to increased frequency and urgency of urination. Caffeine can also cause bladder spasms. When you have an overactive bladder, you can become accustomed to urinating at the slightest urge. Sometimes, you may go to the toilet even when you don’t have the urge because you want to avoid an accident. After a while, your bladder begins sending “full” messages to your brain even when it’s not full, and you feel compelled to urinate. Can this be turned around? It can be if you quit drinking coffee now.
– Coffee Disrupts The Absorption Of Vitamins and minerals that are essential for your body to function properly. The caffeine doesn’t have any nutritional value either. Coffee affects iron absorption in your stomach. Coffee also affects your kidneys ability to retain calcium, zinc, magnesium and other important minerals.
High coffee consumption (more than three cups per day for years) increases loss of bone mineral density. Caffeine is a mild diuretic, speeding up the urination cycle, but “steals” calcium which is lost through urine. Long term, heavy caffeine use leads to a rapid development of osteoporosis.
People who drink more than two cups of coffee or four cups of tea a day could be increasing their risk of hip fracture in old age, according to a new study.The study, published in the October issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology, is the first to link caffeine consumption with hip fractures that occur in older people whose bones have weakened. Brown University’s Dr. Douglas P. Kiel and his colleagues looked at how much coffee or tea 3170 people reported drinking over 14 years. They then looked to see which ones fractured their hips, a sign that bones had become brittle. They found that heavy caffeine drinkers were 53% more likely to suffer hip fractures.
– Darker Roasts Contain Acrylamide – This is a potentially cancer-causing substance that forms when coffee beans are roasted at high temperatures. The darker the roast, the higher the levels of acrylamide are likely to be. Google it!
– Coffee beans Are One Of The Most Intensive Pesticide Sprayed Crops In The World
– Caffeine Does NOT Create Real Energy– It is an illusion of energy. It activates the “fight or flight” response in your body. Coffee is only a strong stimulant that provides a sudden, temporary jolt to your system. In fact, once you drink that first cup, your body goes into a sense of alarm. It functions in emergency mode, and comes down gradually over the hours. If you were like me, you would have a mid-morning cup of coffee, one after lunch, and then around 3pm. So essentially, your body is always in a heightened state of alarm and emergency. It never experiences that shalom, or peace.
-Forget About Getting Pregnant On Coffee- Trying to become pregnant? Stop drinking caffeinated drinks. Among 104 women, those who drank just one cup of caffeinated coffee a day were half as likely to become pregnant during any given menstrual cycle as those who drank less, according to a 1988 study by Allen Wilcox of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. For example, scientists at John Hopkins University found that among 2500 women who were trying to become pregnant, consuming more than 300 mg of caffeine a day reduced their chances of succeeding in any given month by 17%. Coffee drinking also increases the risk of birth defects.
-Coffee During Pregnancy Raises Miscarriage Risk- The effects of coffee during pregnancy is extensively researched. It has been said that drinking a couple of cups of coffee a day has been considered safe during pregnancy, but new studies say that even the modest amount of caffeine could double a woman’s risk of miscarriage. A team led by Dr. De-Kun Li, a researcher at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, Calif., conducted one of the first studies to take into account morning sickness. They concluded that a daily habit of drinking 200 milligrams of caffeine – the amount typically found in just two cups of coffee – significantly increases the risk of miscarriage.
– Coffee Causes Sterility- Consuming too much caffeine can cause sterility by reducing sperm count levels. It is also believed that it may cause defective sperm. Couples having trouble getting pregnant might want to cut down on their caffeine intake.
-Caffeine Is Addictive -A drop of caffeine injected into the skin of an animal will produce death within a few minutes. An infinitely small amount injected into the brain will cause convulsions.
These are the risks I have highlighted, and there are many more out there that show that coffee also causes depression, and heart risks amongst other things.
While this isn’t the best product out there, it can be a special drink occasionally. There are a number of Maxwell House International Coffee’s that are decaf, but they also combine it with “sugar free” and replace it with aspartame, which is a toxic product. Maxwell House International Vanilla Bean Decaf Latte, doesn’t contain aspartame, or caffeine. Look at the ingredients here.
Buy a Pack of 8 on Amazon for $47 dollars here
Buy a Pack of 4 on Amazon for $17 dollars here
Nescafe Extra Foam Decaf Cappuccino – Buy it on Amazon
French Vanilla Instant Decaf Cappuccino Mix – Buy it on Amazon
Nescafe Cappuccino Unsweetened & Decaffenated 2 box of 10 pks $40 Amazon
I couldn’t find an ingredient list for this product…….
By Mamachill -We went to Italy last year and our then 11 year old son fell in love with the decaf instant cappuccino. Once we came home, I hunted in shops and online for this and was surprised that it wasn’t available, only the caffeinated sibling, unless you ordered directly through European companies where unfortunately the cost of shipping was over twice the cost of the product. But finally Amazon has made it available, and while one might be put off by the bulk (10 boxes!!), I think the cost is totally reasonable and fortunately have a pantry big enough to tuck them away. Only slightly sweetened (our kid likes to put a little more sugar in his), it’s a comforting cup of European Joe to have when you’re in a rush but in need a little moment of civilization.
By L. Keevy I started drinking this on a trip to South Africa. Unfortunately, I cannot locate it in the US, so I am purchasing it from Germany. The seller is wonderful with packages arriving in just over a week and they sneak in extra treats like cookies too! As for the product, I am addicted to the foam that just makes this a pure treat. I have spent countless dollars trying to find a similar product but none of them have the foam, let alone extra foam!
While we all want to live a healthy life, the ritual of having that wonderful cup in the morning and through out the day can be the toughest obstacle to overcome.
Plan ahead before quitting coffee, to substitute a drink that doesn’t contain caffeine.
- Try cutting back gradually. Cutting back by half a cup per day is a good approach, as is drinking a blend of regular and decaf coffee or gradually switching to decaf. If you drink tea, reduce your intake slowly, try teas with lower caffeine levels or opt for decaf teas.
- Quit cold turkey, and start on Friday, if you get Saturday and Sunday off. Be prepared to get a sitter for the kids, and allow yourself to spend the day in bed. Most people say they get headaches, so be prepared for two days of intensive healing. For me, it was one day, for others it can last into 3 days. Have some favorite foods at hand, and perhaps a movie to allow this day to be some what fun…. Quitting all together can allow your body to just MOVE on, after three days. If you can battle through it, you can be free as a bird!
- Try a new coffee alternative called Teeccino. It has been made to taste similar to coffee. It is made of chicory root, barley, dates, figs and dandelion with flavors like Vanilla nut, French roast, Caramel, Hazelnut and many others. The best thing about Teeccino, is the drink is alkaline, NOT acidic like coffee. This drink will be beneficial to your digestive system rather than damaging.
- Move yourself in the direction of quitting, by adding half decaf, or Teeccino. You may experience headaches from the significant drop in caffeine. Though this can be another alternative to quitting all together.
Teeccino Caffeine Free Herbal Coffee -Organic dandelion and chicory roots; caffeine free; organic –Buy it on Amazon for $4.99
Traditional Medicinals Tea – Dandelion Root Organic – Buy a 6 Pack on Amazon for $21
Dandelion Root tea just might be your go to tea after giving up coffee. If you are finding that your bladder has been affected from coffee, and decaf coffee doesn’t give you any added benefit, try out some teas that might be a great substitute for your daily coffees.
Who knew that dandelions, we often know as weeds can taste sooooo good!
I have offered this tea to a couple friends and family, and the reviews are mixed. Some like it, others just don’t. Try a box, before you order a case load on Amazon.
Dandelion Root www.nadlanu.com
Here are some health benefits that you may not know about dandelion root:
-Dandelion Root Treats Breast Tumors – It has been shown to be one of the only things found to help with chronic myelomonocytic Leukemia and it is effective in treating Breast Tumors
– Dandelion Root Detoxifies – This root aids in the detoxification of vital organs. Because of the diuretic abilities of dandelion root, it is beneficial for flushing out the Liver, Kidneys and Gallbladder. İt works great to purify the blood and cleanse the system. This also makes it a good herb for Fighting İnfections. Tea brewed with dandelion root is known as a blood and kidney cleaner. It is also said to be useful to clear obstructions of the spleen, pancreas, and gallbladder.
– Dandelion Root Is A Potent Disease-Fighter- Dandelion root has been used for Arthritis, Osteoarthritis , Gout and Rheumatism. Dandelion tea actively ameliorates disease—it is a potent disease-fighter—and helps the body heal, helps boost immunity and heart disease, and age-related memory loss.
– Dandelion Root Contains A High Concentration Of Iron- Dandelion root is used to treat anemia. Dandelion contains a
– Dandelion Root Treats Diabetes- Dandelion root has been shown to lower blood sugar levels in patients. In Europe, it’s used to treat Type-1 and Type-2 diabetes.
– Dandelion Root Aids In Going To The Bathroom – Dandelion root is also a mild laxative and is used to help with regularity. Dandelion root, when made into a tea, is beneficial for relieving constipation, flatulence and fullness.
– Dandelion Root Treats High Blood Pressure – Dandelion root is a natural Diuretic. When combined with its high potassium content, it is an effective treatment to lower blood pressure. Not many people are aware of the fact that regular consumption of tea made from dandelion root decreases the levels of cholesterol and uric acid in the body.
– Dandelion Tea Helps Reduce High Cholesterol.
– – Dandelion Root Contains Vitamins – Dandelion root contains vitamins A, B-complex, C and D as well as the minerals İron, Zinc and Potassium. This combination of vitamins and minerals also makes dandelion root a High Antioxidant Food. Due to the high amount of vitamin B-complex, dandelion root can help to stabilize mood and Treat Depression.
Dandelion root is also used to treat skin disorders such as Acne, Eczema and Psoriasis.
– Dandelion Root Has Been Beneficial to Menopausal Women
– Dandelion Root Helps With Weight Control, and especially Weight Loss.
Dandelion and Cancer
Medical researchers are enthusiastic about the effects of dandelion on various cancers. Here are a few studies:
The International Journal of Oncology published a 2008 clinical study showing the positive effects of dandelion leaf tea. Dandelion leaf tea decreased breast cancer cells, but dandelion root tea did not. Researchers went on to test prostate cancer cells and found similar results. The scientists concluded that dandelion extract may be considered a “novel” anti-cancer agent.
The Journal of Ethnopharmacology published a study in January 2011 which tested the effects of dandelion root tea on leukemia cells. The study showed that dandelion root tea killed leukemia cells through a process called apoptosis. It is believed that dandelion root tea signals a “kill switch” on leukemia cell receptors. Researchers found it “interesting” that dandelion root tea did not transmit the same “kill switch” signal to healthy cells. These scientists also believed that dandelion should be considered a “novel” non-toxic anti-cancer agent.
The International Journal of Oncology published a 2011 report that a dietary supplement containing dandelion as one ingredient suppresses the growth of prostate cancer cells.
Learn more: naturalnews.com
-There are very few side effects linked to using dandelion root, however, some people may have an allergic reaction to it.. People taking prescription lithium, a diuretic, medication to lower blood pressure or medication to lower blood sugar should not take dandelion root. Women who are Pregnant or Breastfeeding should consult their doctor before taking this herb.
We hope that you can see there are healthy options besides caffeine. Your health is the number one importance. We hope that this can give you options to consider going forward.