Do I Really Need To Give Up Coffee? Nope. Here’s Why.

20
4 min read

Why give up coffee?

But first, coffee…

There’s something to be said about the sanctity of the morning ritual of getting a cup of coffee. Whether it’s fumbling with the coffee machine through bleary eyes, or heading to your local café on the way to work, for many it becomes an almost subconscious part of our daily routine.

Personally, I feel like coffee has saved me on many occasions, and if I was ever to write an unnecessary memoir the title would be ‘I owe it all to coffee’. Without it, I’m pretty sure I would have slept in, made multiple gaffs in early morning meetings, and suffered from decreased productivity. I think Jerry Seinfeld nailed it when he said;

We want to do a lot of stuff, we’re not in great shape. We didn’t get a good night’s sleep. We’re a little depressed. Coffee solves all those problems in one delightful little cup.’

So, it goes without saying that every time news headlines feature the word ‘coffee’, I pay attention. Over the past few years there have been claims that it is detrimental to your health, then beneficial, and back and forth the pendulum swings. So, is this all fake news? Do I really need to give up my cup of coffee?

Give up coffee
Why give up coffee? Photo: gewelboutique.com

Coffee culture

Coffee has been around for a long time. I have it on solid Wikipedia grounds that coffee originated in the tenth century, from coffee forests on Ethiopian plateaus. It was also here that one of the most important discoveries impacting our adult lives was made: that coffee gives you energy. These days there are clear differences in how coffee is consumed across the globe. From an ‘Espresso Romano’ in Italy to a Sweet Iced Coffee served in Vietnam, each place has its own take on how best to enjoy a caffeine hit.

Having lived in Melbourne for several years, I have been lucky enough to take full advantage of the coffee culture there. A veritable breeding ground for coffee snobs, order a ‘magic’ or a ‘ristretto’ and the hipster barista will know exactly what you are talking about. With new fusions such as Turmeric and Matcha lattes, and coffee served in ice-cream cones, it has also unwittingly become the social media star of the beverage world.

Clearly, it’s a global love affair that isn’t going away. In fact, statistics show that thanks to millennials coffee consumption is on the increase.

So, does caffeine harm or help the body? Here’s a look at some of the reasons for and against.

The positive effects of giving up coffee

Is quitting coffee something you have considered? Here are some reasons why reducing or cutting out coffee from your diet is a good idea:

Protect your teeth

Consuming large quantities of caffeine can erode tooth enamel and cause staining. If coffee is consumed shortly after a tooth extraction it heightens the risk of a painful condition called ‘dry socket’.

Reduce risks in pregnancy

Research has shown that caffeine can also alter the body’s hormone levels and have a negative impact on pregnancy. Some of my pregnant friends have substituted coffee for a cup of cacao, which is touted to be a delicious energy enhancing drink.

Lower Anxiety

Excess caffeine has been shown to heighten anxiety, and can trigger panic attacks. If you are suffering from anxiety, consider limiting the amount of caffeine you consume.

Ditch an addiction

Regular consumption of coffee can alter the brain’s chemical makeup, and caffeine withdrawal symptoms include headaches, nausea and mental fogginess, which explains why it’s hard to give up coffee.

The health benefits of coffee

However, there are also many great reasons to keep collecting those coffee stamp cards.

Live longer

Recently, a number of studies have shown that coffee drinkers have a lowered risk of dying from diseases such as heart disease and certain cancers, and that coffee drinkers tend to live longer than those who go without.

Age Well

Some of the chemicals in coffee have neuroprotective properties that can help reduce the inflammation seen to play a role in Alzheimers and Dementia.

Coffee has antioxidants & nutrients

A little known fact is that coffee is also high in antioxidants, and contains a number of essential nutrients such as Magnesium and Potassium.

Boost your workout

Want to smash those fitness goals? Drink coffee! It can help your muscles through increasing your exercise performance, and boosting your metabolism. Gym junkies have been known to use coffee as great pre-workout fuel.

What’s the verdict?

Factors such as the type of coffee you drink, your tolerance, and individual physiology will all impact how much coffee is safe for you to consume.

Caffeine, like most things, is better in moderation, and between two to four cups (around 200mg of coffee) is recommended for most people. Don’t forget that caffeine intake also comes from soft drinks, tea and desserts, so consider what else you are consuming when deciding on whether you should take another sneaky coffee break at work.

If you’re worried that your caffeine habit is too extreme, here’s a little tip: consider alternating between caf and decaf cups of coffee throughout the day.

And if all else fails, just remember to go with your gut feeling (pun intended). Personally, I pity the fool that tries to talk to me before I’ve had my morning cup, which means my coffee addiction is also a form of community service. I’m going to happily continue getting my two piccolos a day.

Faiza x

How do you like your coffee, and how many do you drink a day? Could you give up coffee?

Why I can’t give up coffee.

20 Comments
  1. Kristin says

    I usually have a cup in the morning, a cup after lunch to pick me up from the after-lunch i-want-to-take-a-nap-right-now blahs, and a cup of half-caf or decaf after dinner, and I have no plans to give it up anytime soon! I’ve stopped drinking coffee before with no ill effects, but I love the little pick-me-up it gives me during my low energy times of day, and sometimes it’s great just for a break in the day!

    1. Iris Lillian says

      Hey Kristin, I’m totally with you there – wandering to the kitchen or a cafe to grab a coffee is a fantastic excuse for a break. You’re so lucky that you don’t get any withdrawal symptoms! I usually develop a killer headache if I miss my morning hit 😉

  2. Alethea says

    It will be a cold day in hell before I give up my coffee. Lol! Thanks for sharing!!

    1. Iris Lillian says

      Haha! Indeed, Alethea. What’s your brew of choice? Mine is an Americano with a splash of milk.

      1. Alethea says

        Americano yes. I could also do one pump of vanilla.

        1. Iris Lillian says

          Ah! Is that a sweetener?

      2. Alethea says

        @irislillian:disqus Americano is good for me as well—but black. If I really, really need an extra boost, I’ll add one pump of vanilla (or “liquid sugar” as some call it).

        -Alethea

        1. Iris Lillian says

          Do you have a particular roast that you prefer?

  3. Debra says

    I like my coffee long and black. I only have one (or maybe two) per day and I savour every single drop. I tried to give it up once but life just wasn’t worth living. I love coffee. I love the smell of coffee. I love coffee in things – like cake. It ranks second to chocolate though.

    1. Iris Lillian says

      Haha, “life wasn’t worth living” – I’m with you on that one. Waking up to the aroma of fresh coffee is a perfect start to the day.

  4. Jennifer Weedon says

    Thank goodness! Coffee is mom fuel.

    1. Iris Lillian says

      Hey Jennifer, haha! What would you do without it?!

  5. Start a Blog for Profit says

    You’ve definitely made me feel better about my daily coffee habit. There is something so special about having the morning routine where I brew my coffee. Thanks for sharing this!

    1. Iris Lillian says

      I totally agree! I’m not sure what I’d do without my morning coffee ritual 🙂

  6. Anthony Muscio says

    I love my coffee, and are unlikely to give it up soon, but it is important to acknowledge that withdraw can even occur in the same day and make you grumpy, so if every evening you are grumpy and take it out on others you should cut back of have a break from coffee. Science suggests it feels so good at waking us up, not because it wakes us up, but because is restores our functionality to what we would have if we were not in a withdrawal process. However, even considering the above I enjoy it a lot and benefit from extended creativity. I will however monitor my usage and alter my coffee drinking if it is having negative consequences.

    1. Iris Lillian says

      Hey Anthony, yes that’s very sensible advice. Thanks 🙂

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