Coffee has been a hit in the Western world since the early 1600’s; the first beans arrived on the European market and began to replace the morning glass of beer with the morning cup of Joe. Coffee has become such a part of life that some of our biggest industries are based on the drink (think about the last time you saw a Starbucks). It’s everywhere, from your kitchen cupboard to your favorite social icon’s Instagram. People have loved the stuff for centuries.
And I was one of them. I loved every moment that I spent drinking coffee. When I was in high school, I would drink up to six cups or more a day. I attributed some of this to the taste because I wasn’t known to turn down a fancy latte on a lunch break, but I know a lot of it came from the burst of energy that it gave me afterward.
You see, when I was in high school, I had even longer days then I do now. I would wake up between 5-5:30 am everyday, go to school from 7 am-3:30 pm, and then have practice sometimes even until 7 at night. And then I would have to come home and do homework, eat, shower, and all the other things that a person has to do on a daily basis. And in between all that, I had to drive 45 minutes to an hour to and from school everyday. It was quite a schedule. I think that throughout high school, I would get about 4-6 hours of sleep a night on the weekdays if I was lucky, but because I have a slight case of anxiety-induced insomnia, most of the time I would get less than that.
I was living the kind of time-committed life I imagine big shot CEO’s have to, and all I was doing was going to high school. So as you can imagine, I became a little bit more than dependent on caffeine. Hence: my love for coffee.
I did also like the taste of it at times and the different flavorings, and good black coffee is a marvelous thing to behold, but I ultimately used it as a way to get through my hectic and busy days. This continued well into college, where everyday a majority of the people I know will go out and get Starbucks or Dutch Bros. just to get them through the day. And I was no different. It’s the crutch that we all use to finish what we have to get done on a minimal amount of sleep.
Using coffee this way is no different from everyone else who drinks it for the most part. I’ll admit that there are those coffee connoisseurs out there who swish it around in their mouth and spit it back out like wine tasters, but I doubt that most people who drink the beverage are prone to do that. I even know people who drink coffee despite hating the taste just for the caffeine intake that will perk them up. It’s the same kind of idea as energy drinks: most people hate how they taste but drink them anyway because they want to be “energized”.
I think that this overwhelming need to find some kind of stimulation to get through the day is a cultural problem that I could go in depth with; but what’s important here is that’s why we drink it. At least that’s my experience with it.
But what I started to think about after I began to make all the wonderful health changes that I’ve been making so far in the last year or so is this: coffee actually makes me feel like a heap of crap.
There, I said it, the thing no one wants to admit.
But it does. I drink it, I’m energized for maybe an hour at most, and then I just feel worse than I did before. I don’t know how sensitive I am to caffeine, but I as I started to eat better and exercise more and sleep more, I realized that the slight boost that I was getting from coffee wasn’t really justifying how cruddy it made me feel later on. And if I had more than two cups a day, I would start to feel sick and fuzzy in the brain and I would crash hard unless I drank more. And since I was drinking it all throughout the day, my body seemed to always be on a caffeine high that would keep me up at night and made my anxiety worse, or I would always feel constantly fatigued.
Once I started to think about all of that, I no longer really felt as if the one hour of extra energy was worth all the other negative symptoms that came along with it. I had given up energy drinks a while ago (for many reasons, along with the fact that it erodes your intestines more than Coke ever could. Plus… the chemicals), but I had still clung onto coffee like a little brown life boat. I just didn’t want to give it up because it was COFFEE for Pete’s-sake, and you see it everywhere that a successful woman is woman with a cup of coffee in one hand while answering emails in the other. Coffee is just such a part of life and I had loved it for so long, how could I possibly give it up? How could anyone?
But… Then I did.
I cut that baby out cold-turkey, no turning back. If you think that coffee isn’t like a drug, then you would be wrong. So, so wrong. My body was not a happy camper with me for about a week after I stopped drinking it. I got caffeine headaches, I felt lethargic, I missed the coffee aroma that I had attached to a good morning routine. It wasn’t fun at all. But after that first week, those things started to fade away. I no longer craved it, and I felt more energized than I ever did when I was starting my morning out with a cup or two.
Instead of getting rid of my morning indulgences entirely I just replaced the cup of coffee with a hot cup of green tea with apple cider vinegar and echinacea drops (this mixture helps to hydrate and detoxify the body while also perking up the immune system for the day). If I get anything from coffee shops, like Starbucks, I get green tea matcha lattes which have a slight caffeine intake but have more stabilized energy so I don’t get those crashes that I used to when I inhaled coffee six times a day.
I’m not saying that everyone has to give up coffee, but I think that if you’re really trying to reach a point in life where you are elevated at your highest vibration, I don’t think that a hardcore caffeine buzz is really going to do anything for you anymore. I think that once you start prioritizing all aspects of health, even the little things like drinking too much coffee don’t seem that great to you, and so it’s easier for a person to stop doing it in order to feel their best.
I know that this was a bit of a random topic but I do think that even the smallest changes that you make on your way to be your best self are important to talk about and document. Let me know how you feel about coffee and how the little things in your day impact your life down in the comments below!
Over and Out,