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Why I Quit Drinking Coffee: Tolerance, Dependence, and Withdrawal

Why I Quit Drinking Coffee: Tolerance, Dependence, and Withdrawal

“Whether coffee does the body good really depends on the Body.”- Andrea Nakayama, of Functional Nutrition Alliance.

I did not start drinking coffee regularly until I started my career in Real Estate. Meeting lenders, clients, developers, service providers, co workers, etc. is often over a cup of coffee. Networking over coffee is a go to for many professionals, friends, or even first dates. I still go to meetings, I just don’t drink coffee.

Immediately after a cup of coffee I felt energetic, focused, and excited. But soon after I started to observe adverse symptoms such as feeling jittery, anxious, exhausted, dizziness, and insomnia. After a poor night of sleep I would wake up and immediately go for a coffee to jump start the movement required for the day. I got entangled in a nasty cycle.

Coffee is a drug, and a very addictive drug that directly effects the Brain and the Central Nervous System, thus altering hormones. For some people it may not be an issue, but for me it was. I observed the damaging effects of coffee through the experiences of tolerance, dependance, and withdrawal.

Changes Coffee Causes with Hormones:

  • Inhibits the absorption of Adenosine. Adenosine is responsible for calming the body. So here we go with the insomnia, raised blood pressure, increased heart rate, nervousness, tremors, and jitters.
  • Gives an initial boost of Adrenaline, but then drops causing exhaustion and depression.
  • Increases Cortisol levels, the stress hormone, leading to moodiness, weight gain, and even heart disease.
  • Initially creates an increase in Dopamine causing you to feel good at first, but as it wears off the hormone goes into a deficit which creates risk for physical dependency.

Coffee creates an acidic internal environment which is a breeding ground for parasites and autoimmune diseases. Most coffee ranges from a pH of 4.85-5.10. The brewing process creates nine acids from coffee beans: chlorogenic, quinic, citric, acetic, lactic, malic, phoshoric, linoleic, and palmitic! Yikes! Hello, inflammation, sore joints, fatique, and premature aging.

When we eliminate caffeine we support our body in maximizing calcium absorption, and the absorption of magnesium. Research supports that the body cannot properly absorb calcium from supplementation and we need to get it from our food. Coffee and caffeinated drinks will disrupt the absorption of calcium, magnesium, as well as other vital minerals and vitamins.

Risks also include dehydration, which is ground for many other health risks. It took awhile for me in observation to get the will to quit. My breaking point was observing tremors in my leg. It also took me slowing down in my work responsibilities to give myself the perfect opportunity to quit drinking coffee, to observe, and tend to my withdrawal symptoms.

Withdrawal from caffeine is uncomfortable. I experienced a few days of headaches, exhaustion, and a lower mood in my consciousness. I let myself sleep and rest, kept myself hydrated, and avoided any triggers for stress. It was important for me to get inspired with spiritual texts, calming music, and exercising in Nature.

Now that I am adjusted without coffee, I am observing deep and restful sleep, my skin is more hydrated, my eyes are clear, I am more peaceful, and I am recovered with my work ethic and energy. I have no more inflammation, which is a major cause of most chronic diseases, my headaches are gone, I am no longer experiencing dizzy spells, and my vision is clearer.

I get that for some people coffee is not so destructive, but as a raw vegan (60-100% raw, 100% plant based) I am so in tune with my body that stimulants from coffee just are not in alignment for my optimal health and vitality.

There will always be content to support what ever your preferences are, for example there will be some medical experts encouraging coffee for your health, and there will be some medical experts encouraging you to discern your use of coffee. However, all agree that it is a drug, and that it has effects on your Brain, CNS, and hormones.

I feel so much better without it, so much so I felt inspired to share in a blog. If you too are motivated to quit coffee, be easy on yourself and prepare your schedule, as withdrawal is real.

The best way to love yourself is to be your healthiest version. Self care is loving yourself. Save your coffee money and get yourself a green juice, herbs, and real foods. If you don’t feel good in your body, that is not normal. If you are dealing with a diagnosis, that is not normal. If you are medicated, that is not normal. Take your health back. It is possible to feel good in your body.

It feels good to feel good.


Shannon, Certified FMNC (Functional Medicine Nutritional Counselor)



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