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Death Before Decaf! Or not.

I stopped drinking caffeine in December of last year.

I know, a coffee company owner that doesn’t drink caffeine?! How does that even work?

Caffeine has many side effects and some people are more sensitive to them than others. Personally, I noticed that my daily cup of joy was not so joyful anymore. My anxiety was through the roof, I would get terrible headaches if I didn’t have any coffee, and I would get tired almost every afternoon and want to take a nap. It got to the point where it was affecting my everyday life and relationships. So, I went cold turkey and completely cut it out. Well, mostly. I still drink decaf coffee which has very small amounts of caffeine, but I find it difficult to start my day without my routine of making coffee, so I compromised!

There are many side effects of caffeine, some good, some not so good. Keep reading to learn more!

Caffeine can stay in the body for up to 12 hours

It takes about 45 minutes for caffeine to be absorbed in the body and can stay for 12 hours! That’s why some folks that drink an afternoon cup can have trouble falling asleep at night. Most of the caffeine is processed and eliminated within 4 hours, but the rest can linger for another 4-8 hours.

A few things can alter this general rule:

  • Smokers: Most caffeine is processed within 3 hours

  • Women on birth control: Women who take birth control may have caffeine in their body for up to 4 hours longer than women not on birth control

  • Pregnancy: Caffeine consumed by a pregnant women may not be processed and eliminate for up to 10 hours during the final month of pregnancy

Caffeine withdrawal is real

Very real. In fact, caffeine withdrawal is a recognized medical diagnosis. The side effects of withdrawal may begin 12-24 hours after stopping caffeine intake. This can include headache, fatigue, depressed/anxious mood, trouble concentrating, and irritability. People who regularly drink coffee, most likely wake up with signs of withdrawal without even knowing it. They most likely think they’re just tired and groggy from just waking up and not having their coffee yet.

If you’re trying to cut out caffeine from your diet, it may take anywhere from 2-9 days. There are a few things you can do to minimize these unpleasant side effects:

  • Cut back on caffeine slowly

  • Reduce caffeine in beverages, try half caf!

  • Stay hydrated

  • Get enough sleep

  • Use natural sources of energy like exercise, nutrient dense foods, meditation & yoga, playing with your pets

Caffeine can be good for you

To be more specific, coffee can be good for you! Other than helping you perk up in the mornings (and maybe afternoons 😉), coffee may have some positive effects on your body. It has been shown that most of these effects can also be achieved by drinking decaf coffee!

  • Prevent deadly illnesses like coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and kidney disease. It may also prevent Alheimer’s disease!

  • You’re less likely to develop heart failure

  • You’re more likely to have liver enzyme levels within a health range

  • Coffee can boost your metabolic rate from 3-11%

  • Helps you get some essential nutrients like riboflavin, pantothenic acid, manganese, potassium, magnesium, and niacin

  • Big source of antioxidants

  • Can help fight depression

So really, each person has to decide for themselves if caffeine is beneficial for them or not. It was a source of energy, excitement, and a way to bond with friends for me for so long. But I realized it was no longer serving my in that way. I may try to reintroduce caffeine to my diet down to road, but for now, decaf it is!

Let us know what you think of this post in the comments section! What else to you want to learn about?

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