Going cold turkey on something I’ve loved in the past has never been an easy feat. Yet, despite my many failed attempts at eliminating certain parts of my diet before, I recently decided to give up a central part of it during turkey’s warmest season: coffee.
On the 16th of December ’15, and in the midst of exam stress and turbulent eye twitching, I decided to drop from my average 4 cups of delicious, milky brew (a day), down to a count of zero. In its place: water and green tea.
Why did I do this?
Even though coffee is a delicious, energy-boosting and addictive beverage, I began noticing problems.
- I felt as though the more I drank coffee, the more I became reliant on it. For instance, if I had 3 cups a day in college, it was mostly to keep me awake during lectures/study sessions, but I’d only begin feeling more tired a few days into that routine again and the only way to maintain concentration was to up the quantity.
- Eating meals became less enjoyable: even though I was eating mostly wholefoods with high fibre concentrations last year, I felt as though my coffee consumption made digesting them a difficult task.
- Skin problems: the more I drank coffee, the more my skin worsened. My usually mild acne around my chin area suddenly because more noticeable and began spreading to my cheeks and towards my ears; blemishes would appear also. This could have also been down to my increase in dairy milk consumption along with the coffee, but I wouldn’t have been able to stomach coffee without milk (I’ve since realised that if I’m ever to try coffee again it will be with a nut milk).
- I became irritable, anxious and frustrated. One thing I’m pinpointing these issues to are the large caffeine content within the coffee. I know that my eye twitches are a combination of tiredness and caffeine (found this out from my GP), but the caffeine is certainly what plays a bigger role in them for me. I was walking around college like a proper caffeine addict, literally getting frustrated if I couldn’t get my hands on a cup ASAP. This is quite a scary thing – thinking that you rely on something to feel normal and even sane is something I didn’t want anymore. So I decided to get off it and swap it for green tea.
Why green tea?
I decided on using pure green tea in its place, not because I’d done a ton of research on it (which by the way can get very confusing and contradictory online), and not because it was recommended to me. Instead, I chose it from personal experience as something that made me feel great during exam times a few year previously (unfortunately it’s not as addictive as coffee which is probably why I didn’t maintain that good phase).
It’s been a month since I made the switch, how have I gotten on?
I’m not going to fabricate a fairytale ending for the sake of a blog post, I am 100% absolutely and positively delighted with how things have gone so far.
The first benefit I noticed from switching to green tea was how refreshing it was. After having a cup, with a meal, on the go or at my study desk, I just felt so clean and fresh. Green tea is a bit of an acquired taste, but after you get into it, the aftertaste is gorgeous (my hygienist has told me however that it’s a good idea to rinse a little water around your mouth after a cup to prevent teeth staining). Unlike how it was with coffee, I no longer felt as though I had bad breath which is something that I can’t deal with well.
Although it takes skin a helluva long time to noticeably improve, I’m very confident that this switch has made a change for me. I can notice particularly that the spots around my chin are decreasing and fading and the other, newer additions are following suit. My skin also feels so much less inflamed and hydrated. I swear to that.
I don’t feel so dependent on caffeine anymore. Supposedly green tea contains 1/3rd the caffeine content that coffee does, which is a massive step down in my caffeine consumption in itself, but I don’t feel controlled by green tea as I did with coffee. I just grab a cup whenever I get the chance; it’s not like before where I couldn’t study unless I had my coffee fix before as opposed to after a lecture or study session.
Lastly, I’m less difficult to live with. I feel more relaxed, positive and satisfied. The current diet that I’m on is making me so happy that I hope I’ll never fall off the wagon again. Green tea is that bit extra on the side to look forward to, and with how it’s helped me this past month, I’m sure to be looking forward to it for a long long time to come.
I came across a nice post on www.greatist.com which deals more with the logistics of coffee vs. green tea. I hope you note too that I’m not trying to make all of you go cold turkey on coffee; it’s not necessarily bad as you’ll see below, it was just a lifestyle change which happened to help me, and I hope you can take even the slightest bit of help from this post. 🙂
- Green tea is packed with powerful antioxidants called catechins which have been shown to potentially inhibit the growth of some cancers.
- Research also suggests long-term consumption of green tea might help prevent obesity, type 2 diabetes, and coronary disease.
- Approximately 1/3 the caffeine of coffee.
- Green tea has been linked to stress relief and clearer thinking.
- Drinking java has even been linked to protecting against age-related mental decline.
- Antioxidants consumed when downing a Cup o’ Joe might also help reduce the risk of type II diabetes.
Studies do, however, deem both beverages 100 percent safe, as long as they’re consumed in moderation….
Side effects from over consumption of either of them include insomnia and upset stomach, so those with sleep or anxiety disorders and digestive problems might consider steering clear.
Among coffee’s potential cons are decreased iron and calcium absorption and possible blood pressure spikes among infrequent drinkers.
If you’re buying cans of either, make sure you check out the nutritional facts first and whether they’re low in sugar.
As always, thanks a billion for reading this today guys. If you like what buoyed seen today, you may check out my Facebook page or drop your email into the subs box below to keep up to date. 💪🏼
Happy healthy eating,