Caffeine can be a hard habit to kick. That mug of tea is a soothing treat, the cup of coffee an excuse to get out of the office for five minutes and get some fresh air. And the can of Coke? Well, it's a hangover cure from the gods.
Sadly, it's doing your body no favours.
Alison Stockton, health and wellness coach and founder of Vibrant Balanced Health, believes that nourishing your body can help soothe the mind too – and kicking that daily caffeine habit could benefit you in so many more ways than you'd ever imagine.
She shed some light for Cosmopolitan UK on how your body may react without your daily coffee intake...
1. You'll feel less anxious... in the long run
The constant-jittery feeling that comes from caffeine can cause anxiety – but be aware that knocking it on the head completely may make this worse to start with. “Anxiety can occur if the 'I NEED MY COFFEE' habit is not met,” Alison explains.
“You may feel a little anxious, maybe even agitated at first, this is all part of breaking a habit, especially one that can be so stimulating.”
However, as with anything, perseverance will pay off and within a couple of weeks “you may be feeling calmer as your heart will stop racing with high caffeine levels,” Alison says.
2. You might get headaches initially
Cutting caffeine can be difficult at first, and the withdrawal could lead to headaches for some. “They can range from mild to severe pounding headaches, although not everyone will experience this,” Alison says.
“In most cases, you'll only experience a caffeine withdrawal headache if you have been drinking 500mg of caffeine per day - that’s about five cups or more of coffee."
To combat this, Alison explains that it's “necessary to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water throughout the day.”
3. You'll see it in your skin
In a good way!
“Many women feel the benefits of re hydration of their skin when they remove caffeine,” Alison explains. “This is because your liver begins to cleanse and detoxify.
“30 days is a really good amount of time to see the benefits of taking coffee away, as your liver cleanses and naturally detoxes your body.”
Replace your caffeinated drinks with water instead and see the glowy benefits even quicker.
4. You might lose weight
“If you were to have three coffees a day, all of which are lattes, you could be consuming 200 - 380 calories depending on whether you opt for a syrupy-sweet version,” Alison explains. “So you could well save yourself between 600Kcals – 1150Kcals.”
In other words, a quarter to half of your recommended daily calorie intake. And even those who don't opt for milk and sugar will see some effects.
“Even if you're a plain black Americano girl that's still 15 calories per cup,” says Alison. It's a minimal amount of calories, but swap for a banana and you'll reap the nutritional benefits and, instead of an immediate spike of energy from your caffeine, will stay alert for longer thanks to the slow-release carbs.
5. You'll sleep more soundly
It might take some getting used to, but your sleep will benefit endlessly from ditching caffeine.
“Even though you may feel tired as your body begins to adjusts to the lack of stimulants it's been so used to, in the long run you will have a better night’s sleep once you start living a caffeine-free lifestyle... or at least a reduced caffeine lifestyle,” Alison explains.
To benefit from a peaceful night, Alison says, “definitely avoid coffee after midday to ensure a good night's rest. Especially if you were used to drinking coffee in the afternoon or evening.”
“Studies have shown that caffeine intake even six hours before bedtime can disrupt a person’s sleep cycle that night.”
Anything for the perfect eight hours, Alison.
6. You'll smile brighter
“Coffee is highly acidic, which means it can erode your tooth enamel and stains your teeth with every sip. By ditching the coffee or highly reducing it you’ll protect your teeth from a lifetime of erosion, leading to a whiter (and more confident!) smile,” Alison says.
However, remember to eat a balanced diet (and don't just replace caffeine with chocolate - guilty) to ensure you're reaping the benefits.
“Coffee does have antioxidants too and flavonoids, so if you're ditching it be sure to increase your veggies to avoid a dip in your intake of the good elements of caffeine,” Alison says.
7. You'll need to go to the toilet less
According to the NHS, “caffeinated drinks can make the body produce urine more quickly”. The downside of this is that you're shedding water, which results in your body quickly getting dehydrated.
Peeing so regularly as a result can occasionally create problems with urinary incontinence. Replacing your caffeinated drinks with water will help flush your system and give you the glow you spend hundreds of pounds on beauty products for.
Sounds like a no brainer then, really.
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