Tuesday, August 12, 2014

3 Things I've Learned from Giving Up Coffee

Mmmm the warm and inviting scent of coffee in the morning. Man do I miss it. But know what I don't miss? The terrible stomach aches and cramps I was getting after drinking coffee.

I started drinking coffee my freshman year of college when first semester I was in an 8am MWF Business Calculus class. Dorm life is not suitable for early mornings so I learned to love my morning coffee 3x a week from my trusty one cup Keurig. Later I progressed to loving espresso drinks and treated myself to vanilla lattes after hard tests of before long study session. 

For some reason, earlier this year espresso started to mess with my stomach. At first I thought it was because I didn't have enough food in my stomach, but it happened more frequently so I quit my beloved lattes. In the spring, coffee started to have the same effect. For some reason, my trip to Europe was no problem. I drank Cafe au Lait everyday and didn't have any issue, but as soon as I returned and began drinking regular coffee, I had terrible stomach aches that left me feeling weak and sick. After a month at my new job, I decided to quit coffee and see what would happen.

1. I learned to prioritize my sleep much more.
I wasn't drinking a ton of coffee, but I was frequently using it for those tired mornings or those waning afternoons when I wanted a nap. Now (with the help of my Fitbit) I keep track of how much I sleep. I realized I need between 7-8 hours every night to not feel like the walking dead in the morning. I also make sure to go to bed earlier the nights before my morning workouts when my alarm is set for 5:30am.

2. It's so much more worth it to feel better.
This sounds obvious, but when you're in a routine a few aches and pains here and there may seem like no big deal. If you are having any unexplained aches and pains, talk to your doctor about what you can fix to get a better quality of life. 

3. Tea is awesome!
Ok, I already knew this and was a frequent tea drinker before I gave up coffee, but now it's an obsession. Once I get to the office in the morning I start with a black tea ( like this peach ginger one) and if I want something other than water or just want to warm up from the icebox that is my office, I will make a cup of ginger or passion tea. Tea is tasty and good for you. Drink the Koolaid on this one. 

Giving up coffee isn't for the feint of heart. If I wasn't having such issues I wouldn't be cutting it cold turkey, but it is possible. 

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