Benefits of Quitting Caffeine

As one of the most widely used drugs around the globe, caffeine is a psychoactive drug. Just like other psychoactive drugs, caffeine acts as a stimulant for the central nervous system (CNS). It increases the rate of nervous processes like motor movements and respiration. Caffeine is a part of many food substances like coffee, tea, cola and chocolate, etc.

9 Great Health Benefits of Quitting Caffeine

The benefits of quitting caffeine become evident soon after you restrict your caffeine intake. Here is how saying goodbye to caffeinated foods and beverages can help you.

1.       Shed All Those Extra Pounds

It comes as no surprise that most of the caffeinated beverages, particularly sodas, are loaded with sugar. Blended coffee is no exception either. Being rich in cream and sugar, the average number of calories in a single serving of coffee may be as high as 200 calories. These hidden sugars invariably lead to an increase in the body weight. By cutting down on these caffeinated drinks, you can attain your ideal fitness goals faster than you thought.

2.       Sleep Better, Perform Better

Caffeine puts the nervous system in an overdrive, making it hard to sleep. Research shows that having a cup of coffee even 6 hours before bedtime increases the chances of insomnia. The ultimate result is sluggishness and low energy levels during the day time due to lack of a good night’s sleep.

Forgoing caffeine products might cause tiredness initially but with the passage of time, your sleep improves. As you become less dependent on caffeine to boost your energy, you start feeling more energetic and inevitably, your performance becomes better than before.

3.       Calm Down Your Nerves

Caffeine activates your nervous system in a variety of ways. It triggers the release of adrenaline within your body. This hormone puts your body in a “fight or flight” mode, making you edgy. Being a vasoconstrictor, caffeine reduces the lumen of arteries and elevates the blood pressure. All these factors add up and turn you into a bundle of strained nerves. Curbing your caffeine cravings can help you take control of your body and relax.

4.       Pacify Your Bowels

The adrenaline release prompted by caffeine consumption causes your bowel movements to increase. No wonder, you feel like rushing to the loo after having coffee. Decaffeinating your diet can help you take control of your bowel habits resulting in less frequent trips to the bathroom.

5.       Improve Your Heart Health

One of the most important benefits of quitting caffeine is that it reduces the odds of cardiovascular disorders. By stimulating the nervous system, caffeine enhances the rate as well as the force of heart contraction.

Increase in the blood pressure is another way by which caffeine adversely affects the heart health. As a vasoconstrictor, caffeine reduces the diameter of the blood vessels and causes the blood pressure to shoot. Persistently high blood pressure takes its toll on the heart health besides giving way to a variety of health disorders. Abandoning caffeine is a key preventive measure for reducing the risk of heart problems. 

6.       Make Your Teeth Happier

Being acidic in nature, caffeine causes the enamel covering the teeth to wear off. Sugars lurking within the soda cans and caffeinated energy drinks can also cause the teeth to become eroded. Tooth decay ensues. Besides, regular consumption of tea and coffee makes the teeth stained. Eliminating caffeine from diet can help you overcome all these teeth problems.

7.       Stop Diabetes in Its Tracks

Caffeine loaded drinks are also full of sugars. Long-term consumption of these drinks can reduce the insulin sensitivity, significantly increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes. A study held at the Harvard School of Public Health established that people, who consume 1-2 cans of sugary drinks on a regular basis, face a 26% greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In order to keep diabetes at bay, you need to abstain from coffee.

8.       No More Headaches

Letting go of your coffee addiction can help you get rid of all those odd headaches since caffeine is one of the most common causes of headaches. Caffeine is a major triggering factor for migraine. Another reason for these jittery headaches may be caffeine withdrawal whereby you become so dependent on caffeine to function properly that when your blood caffeine levels decline, it can alter your brain electrical activity as well as the blood flow to the brain, causing pounding headaches. One of the foremost benefits of quitting caffeine is that it takes care of all these headaches.

9.       Take Control of Your Hormones

Caffeine causes the release of cortisol, the stress hormone. Constantly high blood cortisol level has a negative impact on your overall health with poor memory and high insulin resistance. Caffeine also affects the circulating levels of human growth hormone (HGH). Taking caffeine out of your dietary regime can bring your rampant hormones under control since bad diet is the key reason for hormonal imbalance.

How to Avoid Withdrawal Symptoms

Despite all the benefits of quitting caffeine, it requires a lot of will power as the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal are sometimes so overpowering that you can easily give in to your body’s need for a caffeine shot. Fortunately, these symptoms last for only a short period of time. The common symptoms of caffeine withdrawal include headache, irritability, lethargy, low concentration, confusion, dizziness and depressed mood. These symptoms usually kick in within 12 to 24 hours after your last mug of coffee and reach their optimum level between 20 and 51 hours.

Based on your daily consumption of caffeine, the withdrawal symptoms may take anywhere between 2 and 9 days to resolve. Here is what you can do to ease the withdrawal symptoms:

  • Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated.
  • Replace your daily morning coffee ritual with a fresh lemon squeezed into a glass of warm water.
  • Sleep adequately in order to compensate for your low energy levels.
  • Regulate your bowel habits.
  • Supplement your diet with vitamin C.
  • Light aerobic exercises like walking and running can work wonders to boost your energy levels.
  • Eat regular meals instead of coffee as a means of filling your stomach to prevent your blood sugar level from falling dangerously low.
  • Don’t forget to add proteins like nuts, almonds, beans and fish etc. to your diet.
  • Reduce your stress levels by engaging in healthy activities like yoga and meditation.

Quitting caffeine is not easy. It is not altogether impossible either. In order to see the benefits of quitting caffeine kick in, you need to take yourself by the collar in order to bring a positive change in your style.

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