Coffee for me is a necessity and a comfort. As strange as it sounds I often go to bed excited for my morning cup. However, lately I find myself loving it just a little bit too much. I’m currently doing a full time masters and I find myself averaging nearly 5 cups of a coffee a day. Primarily because I love the taste, and the Nespresso machine and milk frother my dad kindly gifted to me makes it far too tempting to have one too many a day. On the other hand, I’m using coffee as a stimulant and a crutch to get through the day.
Of all the vices in the world it probably isn’t the worst. Caffeine can actually have a lot of health benefits but like most things it should be enjoyed in moderation. According to Healthline.com, too much caffeine can have damaging effects such as stomach issues, anxiety, and an irregular heartbeat.
I didn’t think I was drinking too much, until I noticed a constant twitch that was in my left eye for the past few weeks, coupled with my constant lack of a good night rest. Only then did I start to seriously question why I was drinking more than 1-2 coffees a day. I also found myself being extremely grumpy before I had taken my first sip of my coffee in the morning, even suffering from headaches if I hadn’t had one. After experiencing side effects first hand from too much coffee I decided to try to cut it out using the following tips and tricks.
Here are some tips to help if you are hooked on caffeine like myself.
1. Water, Water, Water
Just to reiterate water! Staying hydrated is essential for feeling refreshed and energised throughout the day. It also is extremely important to drink plenty of water if you drink too much coffee, as coffee is very dehydrating. Even if you can’t cut out coffee completely, and you need your morning cup, try watering down drinks that contain caffeine.
According to Everydayhealth.com , “Water down drinks that contain caffeine. They will still have the taste you enjoy, but contain a lower amount of caffeine and carry less risk of caffeine withdrawal symptoms”. It’s extremely important to drink water throughout the day instead of having coffee first thing in the morning and have a pint glass of water. According to Wikihow.com, watering down your coffee is “an easy and gradual way to begin cutting down coffee consumption”. Doing this allows you to drink the same number of cups per day, so you won’t be subjected to the stress of a sudden change in habit.
2. Swap it Out
Try swapping out your coffee throughout the day for a tea, you can have a herbal tea like green or peppermint or regular breakfast tea. If you do this you’ll be having less caffeine. Green tea is a great alternative as it has less caffeine but enough to still give you that much needed boost. Green tea also has an array of health benefits, such as reducing inflammation if you’re having stomach issues from too much coffee. If you’re considering switching to tea, just avoid matcha tea as it is higher in caffeine.
3. Go Decaf
Another form of swapping out your coffee, is trying to have decaf coffee whenever you can. Decaf coffee is coffee made from coffee beans where the caffeine quantity is removed before the process of roasting and grinding. Overall, it is a milder drink in taste and smell. Decaf can be a great way to cut down on your caffeine intake, you can start small with swapping out just 1 or 2 coffees per day for decaf.
4. Buy it Less Often
A great way to cut down is to just buy it less. The less you buy coffee beans or espresso pods, the more you’ll have to ration your coffee throughout the week. It’s also a great way to save a little bit of extra money. Try to also avoid buying coffees when you’re out with friends or family, if you’re really craving a hot drink go for a herbal tea.
A great option for cutting down on coffee is finding something else that gives you that stimulant effect. Exercising releases endorphins in your body which trigger a positive feeling. According to Medicalnewstoday.com, studies have shown exercise and caffeine have similar effects on your body. Exercise in general is so important to have in your routine, especially in times of lockdown where you’re stuck inside. Try getting out for a run or a brisk walk. Why not challenge yourself to run in the morning rather than having that espresso.