I still have no idea how exactly this bitter, hot and dark substance became so huge part of my life, but I know this – caffeine is an addictive substance. I know it because I tried numerous times to quit drinking coffee and every time I got back to it wanting for more…
It all started when I was in the university and being always a person with extremely low blood pressure I fainted during a normal visit to the hospital on a hot summer day. When I woke up there were at least 5 doctors around me trying to wake me up and one of them ran for a cup of coffee the minute she saw me open my eyes. Then came the shock “What do you mean you don’t drink coffee?! You have to! Look at your blood pressure! Drink that NOW!”
15 years later and here I’m, drinking coffee every day, until I decided to stop.
At first I told myself “I have to, I have low blood pressure, I can die if I don’t drink coffee.” Really?! WTF told you that?
Then I found my excuse, “I just can’t. I need that hot bitter cup, otherwise my bowels won’t move.” Well, this one is true, but not the only option.
At the end came the fight, “Today is my last day of drinking coffee. Tomorrow I will have only tea.” Good luck with that!
This is me for the last 2 years. On and off with coffee. In fact I managed to quit drinking coffee for almost 6 months and then I just started again, have no idea why.
The big question however always bothered me. Do I really need to eliminate coffee or if I drink a moderate amount per day everything will be fine. Because we’ve all heard that caffeine is bad for us, but then again there is caffeine in the green tea as well, and the green tea is good for us, right?
What I learned after doing some research on the subject is that caffeine is not that harmful as some people wants us to think, BUT if we drink no more that 100-200 mg caffeine per day and we are healthy. You can read this Harvard research on the subject, if you need any prove about it.
If however you do have some health issues, you are pregnant or you are experiencing any of the following symptoms: irregular heartbeat, nervousness, insomnia, headaches, migraines, hypoglycemia, under active adrenals, gonad malfunction, frequent urination, high blood pressure, then you should really consider eliminating or lowering your caffeine intake, because you are most certainly experiencing the possible signs of excess caffeine.
The regular caffeine intake is also linked to depletion of all B vitamins, vitamin C and lack of mineral absorption, particularly calcium, magnesium and iron. So, if you drink more then 100 mg caffeine per day, you should start supplementing with those vitamins and minerals as of now.
The best known sources of caffeine you should know about for 1 cup are:
Drip-brewed coffee – 130-180 mg
Instant coffee – 50-130 mg
Espresso coffee – 30-50 mg
Tea, stepped 3 minutes – 36 mg
Green tea, stepped 3 minutes – 30 mg
Cola, regular or diet – 46 mg
Dannon coffee-flavored yogurt – 45 mg
Excedrin, 2 tablets – 130 mg
Anacin, 2 tablets – 64 mg
If you however still want or have to eliminate coffee from your diet, here are some simple steps that can help you:
~ First and most importantly, figure out why you need it and find an alternative. If it is to wake you up – take a shower instead, if it is to calm the stress – exercise, if it is for its laxative effect – try with herb tea, etc
~ Then lower your caffeine consumption to 1 cup of coffee daily. Only one, in the morning. Replace the others with coffee substitute. I drink an organic German one made from rye, barley, chicory and figs. It tastes pretty much as coffee, if I have to be honest and it made the transition a lot more easier.
~ Start adding milk to your morning coffee, soya, nuts, coconut or something you like. It will dilute the taste of the coffee itself and it will be much more easier to replace it later.
~ When you get used to drinking your coffee with milk, replace the coffee with the substitute. It should’t be a problem at that point, but if it is – rotate the real one with the substitute until no real caffeine is needed.
~ In the meantime, start taking 3000-8000 mg vitamin C (to your bowel tolerance), powerful B complex formula and multi mineral one with amino acids to help you with the withdraw symptoms and to repair the damage done by the excess caffeine.