Benefits of Quitting Caffeine and Protection Against Heart Disease
1. More energy:
As you quit caffeine, your body will notice an increase in energy as it detoxifies itself from the stimulating effects of caffeine. Within a few days of quitting, this increased energy should be noticeable and should last for several months or more as your body continues to expel the caffeine through elimination.
2. Better sleep:
One of the most common complaints I hear from clients who quit caffeine is their sleep improved. When you drink caffeine, it actually reduces your quality of sleep and makes you wake up tired even though you may have slept for eight hours or more.
As soon as people eliminate caffeine, they find that their energy begins to increase immediately and they are able to fall asleep and stay asleep naturally, without the aid of medication. Often, as a result, their moods improve dramatically as well.
In addition to improving sleep quality, those who quit caffeine often find they wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day ahead an experience people rarely have after drinking coffee all night.
3. No more jitters:
Caffeine is a stimulant and when you drink it, your nervous system gets activated. This creates an effect in your body that is often likened to the fight or flight response an ancient instinct that was designed for short bursts of energy when one’s life was in immediate danger. It does not work well when sustained over long periods, such as when you drink caffeine all day.
The fight or flight response may give you increased energy for a short time, but it ultimately “stresses” your body and leads to the release of stress hormones that have negative effects on your nervous system, immune system, and cardiovascular system.
4. Fewer mood swings:
Caffeine is a stimulant and when you drink it, your body feels artificially stimulated. This can give you a good mood boost temporarily, but the increased stress on your system and the negative effects of stress hormones lead to an increase in irritability and mood swings. Once caffeine is eliminated from the system, many people report having fewer mood swings and feeling more even-keeled emotionally.
5. More energy & better focus:
Most people who quit caffeine notice an increase in their energy and mental clarity within a few days of quitting. As mentioned above, this happens because the body is no longer putting unnecessary stress on itself to break down the stimulant effects of caffeine.
Even if you continue drinking coffee after quitting, your body will no longer have to deal with the strain caffeine puts on it. You will notice a significant increase in your ability to focus, concentrate, and get work done as a result of this decrease in stress.
6. Less anxiety:
Caffeine is a stimulant that puts added stress on the body and causes irritability and mood swings. When you drink it, your body will feel artificially stimulated. This can give you energy for a short time, but soon enough you will start to crash and feel anxious or nervous as your stress hormones begin to rise in reaction to the effects of the caffeine in your system.
Once you quit drinking caffeine, these stress hormones should stabilize since their stimulation is no longer being artificially introduced. If you continue to drink caffeine after quitting, your body will still have to deal with the negative effects of stress hormones even though they aren’t coming from the caffeine.
When you quit drinking caffeine, not only should you feel less anxious but your anxiety should be much easier to manage because it won’t be compounded by additional stress from stimulants.
7. Less dependence:
When you drink caffeine, your body builds a tolerance to it and soon requires more for the same stimulant effects. This means that if you consume caffeine every day, you will likely find yourself experiencing headaches or fatigue without it because your body has grown dependent on the caffeine to function.
It can be difficult to overcome this dependence, especially if you have been drinking caffeine for a long time. Once the body is no longer being stimulated by caffeine, it can take some time to readjust and regulate itself.
8. Less irritability:
Caffeine causes irritability and mood swings as a result of its stimulating effects on the nervous system and stress-inducing qualities. If you drink caffeine for an extended period of time, you will likely build up a tolerance to it and require larger doses for the same stimulating effects.
After you quit drinking coffee, your body should no longer be using stimulants that cause irritability. This means that if you continue to drink coffee after quitting, your levels of irritability will eventually stabilize.
9. Better health:
Caffeine has a negative effect on many aspects of health. It can cause gastrointestinal upset, heartburn, and acid reflux as a result of its effects on the digestive system.
Over time, caffeine can contribute to insulin resistance and adrenal fatigue as your body makes an effort to counteract the energetic effect it has on the body. When you eliminate caffeine from your diet, this should not only improve digestion but also help reduce your risk for serious health conditions like Type II diabetes and heart disease.
10. Less pain:
Caffeine is an anti-inflammatory agent (though it can lead to inflammation in some because of its acidity). It works by blocking the effects of adenosine, which is a natural pain reliever found within the body.
By drinking coffee or taking caffeine pills, you are preventing your body from using its own anti-inflammatory agent to reduce inflammation and pain in the body. While you can still drink caffeinated beverages after quitting, they won’t have this negative side effect of hindering the body’s natural anti-inflammatory process.
11. Improved exercise performance:
Caffeine can be a useful tool for those interested in improving their athletic performance because it provides the body with added energy and endurance, making physical activity easier. However, caffeine can also have negative effects on exercise by increasing blood pressure and heart rate to dangerous levels.
The increase in stimulants can also have a negative effect on the digestive system, especially when taken before physical activity. Once you stop drinking coffee or taking caffeine pills, you should notice that it is easier to exercise and your overall athletic performance will improve because there won’t be additional stress on the body from too much caffeine.
12. Improved sleep:
Caffeine can interfere with sleep, causing fatigue and affecting the quality of your rest. It is most effective when consumed only in small doses; however, even consuming small amounts of caffeine at key times (i.e., before a mid-afternoon nap) can have negative effects on sleep.
When you stop drinking caffeine, it will be easier to fall asleep at night because your body will no longer be fighting the effects of caffeine. It may take some time to get used to sleeping without caffeine, but it should become easier once you have adjusted.
13. Reduced depression:
Caffeine has been shown to worsen depression symptoms in some individuals by exacerbating anxiety and exhaustion. If you drink coffee or caffeinated beverages frequently, you probably rely on caffeine to get through your day. Without it, you may experience bouts of depression and anxiety because your body is no longer being stimulated by caffeine.
14. Protection against neurodegenerative diseases:
Caffeine has been shown to protect the brain from certain degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. It may also have a protective effect against Parkinson’s disease by reducing the risk of death from this condition.
When you go through caffeine withdrawal, you may experience a worsening in your depression symptoms because your mood will no longer be artificially elevated with caffeine. However, once you stop drinking caffeinated beverages altogether, you may notice that these neurodegenerative diseases progress more slowly.
15. Protection against liver damage:
Caffeine can cause mild elevations in liver enzymes, though this is typically only of concern to those who drink extremely large amounts of coffee or take high doses of caffeine pills on a daily basis. While some people worry that quitting caffeine will increase their risk for liver problems, there is no evidence that ceasing to drink caffeine will increase your risk of liver damage.
If you’ve been dealing with elevated liver enzymes, quitting coffee or taking caffeine pills should eventually lead to normalization in enzyme levels as the body becomes less stressed by the presence of caffeine.
16. Protection against heart disease:
Caffeine is linked with an increase in blood pressure and a rise in homocysteine, an amino acid that has been linked to heart disease. Cardiovascular problems are the number one cause of death worldwide, so protecting yourself from heart disease is one of the most important ways you can live a longer, healthier life.
Some people experience adverse cardiovascular symptoms as a result of caffeine consumption, so it’s important to pay attention to what your body is telling you. When you stop drinking caffeine, these effects will gradually abate and your risk for heart disease should decrease.
17. Improved memory:
Caffeine is a potent stimulant that provides a temporary boost of energy and focuses by increasing the release of dopamine in the brain. Unfortunately, these effects do not last and over time, caffeine will actually impair your memory by interfering with the normal function of glutamate receptors in the brain.
18. Improved performance:
Athletes who consume caffeine before a workout or athletic event see an increase in endurance and significantly improved times. When you stop drinking coffee or taking caffeine pills, you should expect to experience a decrease in your physical performance. This is because caffeine gives you an unfair advantage over those who don’t drink coffee or take caffeine pills by enhancing the effects of dopamine and adrenaline.
19. Reduced risk of death:
Consuming moderate amounts of caffeine (up to about four cups per day) has been linked with reduced rates of death due to cardiovascular disease and some types of cancer.
20. Reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease:
Several studies have shown that regular caffeine intake (around 3-5mg per pound of body weight) may reduce the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease by 60%.