This Is What Happens to Your Body When You Stop Drinking Coffee
Life is fast-paced, demanding and forever ‘on’. But always being on the go sometimes requires help, and that’s where coffee comes in.
Coffee is an addictive drink, a liquid comfort to almost everyone on the planet; but what you may not be aware of is just what it does to your body. It’s common knowledge that in small amounts coffee can be good for you: it’s full of antioxidants, is believed to help us live longer, and it can even regulate your bowels. But when we imbibe large amounts of coffee on a regular basis, those health benefits can become clouded by poor sleep, heightened anxiety, and sugar cravings amongst an array of other symptoms.
Keen to quit, or at least pause your intake? Here's what happens to your body when you stop drinking coffee.
You might feel anxious
Deprived of adrenaline and dopamine, hormones that act as natural stimulants to keep you awake and control your mood, you'll naturally feel more tired and anxious as your body adjusts to the lack of stimulants. Be assured this period of withdrawal will not last long and soon your body will regulate and learn to survive without your morning cup of coffee. You will enjoy more stable moods and lose those unnecessary adrenaline spikes.
You'll sleep more soundly
A study published by the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that caffeine intake even six hours before bedtime can disrupt a persons’ sleep cycle that night. So, that coffee you had at 5 pm may very well be the reason you are awake at 11 pm. Stopping coffee intake (even temporarily) can improve your sleep quality as it allows your body to reset itself back to a ‘normal’ setting and lets your regular sleep hormones, such as melatonin, work naturally to guide you to sleep.
Your head may hurt less
You will possibly have less headaches as some are caused by a high caffeine intake. Of course, there will be the withdrawal symptoms, like a deep craving for sugar and excessive tiredness. But these will pass, and so too will the headaches that regular coffee intake can cause. Eventually, your head will thank you.
Your teeth can look brighter
Your dental hygiene can also improve. Most regular coffee drinkers have a subtle brown colour around their teeth which is thanks to regular coffee consumption. Stopping your coffee intake will not fix the brown hue, but it will help it from getting worse. Also, a high caffeine intake can lead to teeth grinding. Another benefit of stopping the coffee can mean your jaw can have a rest.
Your health could improve
Despite its purported health benefits, we know coffee can do damage to the stomach lining and send your blood pressure sky high. Coffee is a stimulant, and yes, it makes you more awake but with that immediate ‘turn on’ effect comes pressure on your heart and blood vessels. (Coffee is a vasoconstrictor, meaning it is a substance that narrows the blood vessels.) As caffeine raises your blood pressure, it forces your body to work harder to maintain status quo. Eliminating it from your diet means giving your body a bit of a break.
Your hydration levels improve
Caffeine is a diuretic, meaning it causes the kidneys to work harder to cleanse the blood. The organs then react to a caffeine hit by pulling extra water out of the bloodstream (along with caffeine molecules) and send it to the bladder for disposal. Naturally, the body fills up a lot more quickly when you’re drinking fluids, which means more trips to the bathroom and in-turn, possible dehydration. Ending the coffee intake, by either going cold turkey or slowly weaning yourself off it, means your body will be able to hold onto the water it needs to function more easily rather than constantly flushing it out.
If you are concerned about your health, wellbeing or sleep, your first port of call should be your GP, who will advise a correct treatment plan.