Millions of Americans drink coffee or some kind of caffeinated beverage every single morning, and there are countless resources that discuss the benefits of coffee consumption. But what about the positive effects you’d see if you quit coffee altogether?
Below, we’ll discuss seven health benefits of quitting coffee, all based on science, so you can decide if ending your relationship with caffeine is the right move for you.
Top 8 Health Benefits of Quitting Coffee
1. It Saves You Money
It’s no secret that resisting the urge to buy coffee every morning — whether you indulge at your local Starbucks or buy whole beans or grounds to make your own at home — can take a toll on your wallet. Most people don’t break down the actual cost, so let’s do that here.
Let’s say you head to Starbucks every morning before work. The average price of a coffee there is $2.75, which ends up costing over $1,000 for morning coffee for the year, and that’s if you only have one cup a day! Dunkin Donuts coffee costs around $2.20 on average which equates to just over $800 a year, again only for one cup a day. Making your coffee at home is cheaper, of course, as you’re not paying for the convenience of having someone else make it for you. Depending on the beans you buy and how many cups a day you drink, you can still expect to pay $250 or more for beans and filters.
No matter how you get your caffeine fix, it’s clear that saving a significant amount of money is one benefit you’d see if you quit.
2. It May Decrease Anxiety
Some people report feeling anxious after drinking coffee, especially if they are new coffee drinkers or have consumed a large amount.
The reason for the anxious feelings is actually your body’s natural response to the effects of the stimulant. This article published in Scientific American explains that caffeine directly causes a boost in two hormones in your body: epinephrine and norepinephrine. These hormones — also commonly called adrenaline and noradrenaline — can lead to a heightened sense of focus and stress, as they’re also responsible for your body’s “fight or flight” response to real danger.
Kicking your coffee habit means these hormones won’t be triggered in your body from caffeine, which can leave you feeling less anxious overall.
3. It Can Lower Your Blood Pressure
Most people recognize the energetic or even anxious feeling they get after drinking coffee, but the spike in blood pressure from caffeine consumption often goes unnoticed.
The Mayo Clinic maintains that caffeine causes blood pressure to spike, and while they note that it only lasts temporarily and that there’s usually a smaller response in regular coffee drinkers, any additional stress on your cardiovascular system could be detrimental over time. They also note that regular coffee drinkers sometimes have a higher average blood pressure than those who don’t consume caffeine, so there can be lasting effects from drinking coffee regularly.
4. It Offers You Better, More Sound Sleep
There have been lots of studies on how critically important sleep is for the human body, and most coffee drinkers wouldn’t argue that caffeine can interfere with their snoozing.
This research article published in the Pediatrics journal explains that caffeine can have a largely disparaging effect on a person’s sleep. The research explains that caffeine and its effects persist in the body often for more than six hours and that the stimulant can interfere with normal sleeping patterns. Most people experience issues if they drink coffee close to bedtime, but even those participants in the experiment who normally stopped drinking coffee before noon reported that their sleep was of better quality once they ditched caffeine altogether.
5. It Could Make You Happier
You may think that more sleep or better sleep would be the reason that quitting coffee could make you happier, but you’d only be partly right! Sleep quality and time have a significant effect on our mood, but there’s more at play here.
Medical Daily’s article on how caffeine affects your mood suggests that mood swings and the “highs and lows” coffee drinkers experience in their mood throughout the day can be directly linked to caffeine. Quitting coffee altogether can help stabilize your hormones — like epinephrine and norepinephrine discussed before — and lead to fewer uncontrollable mood variances throughout the day.
6. It May Reduce Headaches
If you’re someone who gets headaches often, there’s a chance it’s due, at least in part, to your coffee consumption!
WebMD notes that, because caffeine is a stimulant on which you can easily become dependent, withdrawal symptoms can occur quickly in just a day. That means if you only drink coffee in the morning, you may begin to feel withdrawal headaches before you indulge in coffee the following day. Of course, there are many reasons for headaches, but caffeine withdrawal can be a major contributor to frequent headaches, especially if you normally drink heavy doses of caffeine each day.
7. It Gives You Cleaner Teeth
It’s no secret that coffee can leave stains on just about anything, and your teeth are no exception. You may notice brown stains or general yellowing of your teeth the longer you drink coffee, and the strong, acidic liquid could be the culprit.
This article that was published in the Journal of the American Dental Association notes not only that coffee stains teeth, but that regular brushing doesn’t do much in the way of removing coffee stains. Trips to the dentist or at-home bleaching are more effective ways of removing the stains, but the best way is to quit drinking coffee altogether.
8. It Leads to Better Absorption of Vitamins and Nutrients
You may not feel the effect coffee has on your body’s ability to take in and process vitamins and minerals, but caffeine has been proven to reduce the benefits of consuming them.
According to this article from WebMD, significant doses of caffeine can cause your body to pass vitamins and minerals instead of using them. They note that taking a vitamin with coffee can even deem the vitamin more or less useless.
Are There Disadvantages to Quitting Coffee?
Of course, there are! For one, you don’t get to drink the delicious, hot beverage every morning. Most people look forward to their coffee because of their addiction to caffeine, and whether drinking coffee makes you happy because of physiological effects or because it’s a part of your morning ritual, you’ll be without that beloved part of your day.
Although we discussed earlier that quitting coffee can help get rid of frequent headaches, you’ll likely experience headaches while you’re quitting. The headaches are a result of caffeine withdrawal, and ditching your caffeine habit will of course mean you’re no longer taking in caffeine. Prepare for headaches for up to nine days, according to WebMD.
Quitting Coffee: The Bottom Line
The benefits of drinking coffee have been widely documented, but there are benefits you’ll experience when you quit coffee as well. You’re likely to notice things like fewer headaches (long term), better sleep, fewer mood swings, and less frequent feelings of anxiety, not to mention a wallet full of the money you’d normally spend on coffee! You’ll be less likely to notice a drop in blood pressure and better vitamin absorption, but those benefits are still there!
There are drawbacks to quitting coffee as well, such as short-term irritability and headaches, and of course, you’ll no longer be able to take part in the often social and pleasing morning ritual of drinking coffee. Thankfully there are benefits to both quitting and continuing to drink coffee, so you can decide what’s best for you. Good luck!
Featured image credit: soi7studio, Shutterstock
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