Sam Negrin

July 19, 2015

Should You Break Your Coffee Habit?

by Sam Negrin / GOOD FOOD / Health 101 / Home / 0 Comments

Disclaimer: I drink coffee every morning, I love it. This is not about why you should ditch coffee/caffeine entirely, just how you can cut down.

If there are so many benefits to coffee, why do we insist on continuing to talk about how we need to “stop drinking coffee” all the time? In my mind, there are 3 reasons:

  1. Dependence: Many of us are dependent on that first cup of coffee every morning. If we don’t get it, we insist we are distracted, sleepy and probably post one of those “But First, Coffee” memes on our Instagram accounts.
  2. Calories: Coffee + Sugar + Milk + Vanilla… You get the idea. Yes, if you “fancy-up” your coffee or are notorious for your complicated Starbucks Frappuccino order, you’re adding on way too many calories. A simple cup of joe with vanilla almond milk, soy creamer or even a tiny splash of half & half should be all you need.
  3. Dehydration: Never, I repeat: NEVER, drink your coffee before you have had a big ol’ glass of water. Coffee is a diuretic and laxative, it will dehydrate you and neither of those symptoms are comfortable.

Now let’s get back to this post title: Should You Break Your Coffee Habit? As I mentioned, I’m a coffee drinker. I like coffee. But I have come to a point where I can easily go about my day feeling energized without it. Ask yourself a few questions: Can you go about your day without coffee? Do you need more than two cups per day in order to be productive? Do you have high levels of anxiety? Do you have acid reflux or heart burn?

Depending on your answers, you might want to re-think your coffee habit.

There are many benefits of coffee. Studies that have shown it can reduce the risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, type 2 diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease. It has an incredibly high amount of antioxidants, can make you a better athlete, generally enhance your mood, the list goes on. On the contrary, it can be the root of anxiety, sleep deprivation and high acid levels in the blood–which isn’t optimal for those prone to acid reflux or heart burn. The bottom line is, too much of anything, even all of the kale at Whole Foods, isn’t good for you. I can’t stress enough how life should be about balance.


Swap your afternoon java for caffeinated tea, kombucha, yerba mate, lemon water or a shot of wheatgrass.

Watch your energy levels. Watch your ability to focus. Take note of the color of your pee (yep, I went there–that will help you figure out if you’re dehydrated or not).

I will never tell you to give up coffee. I am merely suggesting alternatives to help keep you productive and happy throughout your day, without relying on it.

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