Ever since I joined the corporate world; working without coffee is almost impossible. I started drinking caffeine to help ease my long hours in the office and this became a daily habit. I needed 3 cups of coffee to embrace my busy days, one in the morning, another in the afternoon and lastly early evening coffee. And before I knew it, coffee became a part of my life. Let me preface this by saying that I love coffee. It’s not just the flavor that I adore (not to mention the insane brewing smell of fresh ground beans) but also the ritual. I am such an all day-brew buff that my kitchen and office atmosphere is practically COFFEE!!
Breaking up with coffee and caffeine is not a joke. I clearly had a caffeine addiction. Let me reiterate this: Caffeine withdrawal is real, so very real. I had to do this based on two solid reasons: 1) Because of health reasons and 2) For a healthier lifestyle in the long run in life. I’m drinking a cup of tea right now as I journal this article – And I can surely tell you that ‘Tea is better than coffee‘ – Now don’t hate me! I’m saying it because I feel, as a person who has been on both sides of the caffeine tracks, that I have the authority to defend tea and share my experience.
Like I mentioned earlier, I decided to lower my caffeine intake because of my PCOS . Over a period of years, I came to understand there are many contradicting views regarding coffee/caffeine + PCOS. While many experts listed coffee as a food to avoid, few PCOS support website states the otherwise. Much of the confusion centers around the effects of coffee on insulin sensitivity. As you may know, PCOS sufferers are more likely to develop insulin resistance, which increases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Caffeine appears to have short-term negative effects on insulin sensitivity. After drinking a cup of caffeinated coffee, our body is temporarily less sensitive to the effects of insulin. That’s good news for PCOS sufferers! Hoo-ray.
However, my main concern is the effect of coffee on estrogen levels in my body (PCOS is also characterized by hormone imbalance). Studies have shown that coffee affects estrogen levels but the effect is different depending on your race. In young Asian women (like me), coffee slightly increases estrogen levels. In young white women, estrogen levels were lower in coffee drinkers and coffee had no significant effect on estrogen in black women. To my knowledge, it is best to understand our body needs and if coffee works fine for you than go ahead but if it disturbs your health system than you should do something about it.
The next reason I reduced caffeine is for a healthier lifestyle. Like so many foods and nutrients, too much coffee can cause problems, especially in sleeping patterns. For long I always suffered having a good night rest, I always felt fatigued. Even though I am asleep in my bed often times my mind is awake and is conscious of my surroundings. When my alarms rings in the morning, the first thing I do to get rid of the fatigue is…yes! You guessed it right – I drink COFFEE. Now, drinking coffee isn’t bad but I am relating this again to my PCOS issue. For most PCOS sufferers, when we don’t get enough rest at night it stirs the hormonal imbalance in our body. I wanted to avoid all of this for a healthier lifestyle.
But, if you still insist on having your caffeine, drink your second cup of coffee by afternoon, and don’t save it for when you get home from work. Caffeine interferes with a peaceful night’s sleep, so you want to ensure you are done with it by 3 PM. On average, it takes the body up to 8 hours to process the caffeine, so you want to create that buffer before bedtime.
Caffeine in coffee is a highly addictive substance. If you’re drinking more than 3 cups of coffee per day, and can’t seem to think straight without them, I would consider taming that coffee addiction. And trust me, I been there. Personally, I am limiting myself to one cup in a week. And when I’m extra stressed out, I omit coffee completely from my routine. I haven’t committed to giving up coffee completely but I managed to reduce them. Each day is an effort I make to gradually release myself from this addiction.
Caffeine withdrawal is real.
Caffeine in coffee is a highly addictive substance. If you’re drinking more than 3 cups of coffee per day, and can’t seem to think straight without them, I would consider taming that coffee addiction. And trust me, I been there. Personally, I am limiting myself to one cup in a week. And when I’m extra stressed out, I omit coffee completely from my routine and do cardio-workout. I haven’t committed to giving up coffee completely but I managed to reduce them. Each day is an effort I make to gradually release myself from this addiction.
Now with tea, everything seems odd but the nicer odd. I started with English Breakfast and Earl Grey tea – Which are Black Tea and so far I am liking the taste of it. Also, they are easier to make than coffee!
It’s amazing. I am also sleeping like a baby (I used to wake up several times a night before) and jumping out of bed in the morning feeling fresh, not sluggish. It’s now been almost five months since I attempted to stop coffee, I’m still going strong. For me, it’s for my healthier living reasons so if you are a caffeine person don’t take this article personally!