Two of my biggest vices in life are sugar and caffeine. Without them, I would probably be an alcoholic because really, what else is there?
Thus, because I like putting myself through unimaginable pain, I decided to cut out caffeine and sugar from my diet. This is probably going to be a terrible idea, but it will make a good article.
Long story short, since starting university a year ago, my diet and lifestyle is awful. I used to eat three healthy square meals a day and exercise regularly, now I live my life on coffee, biscuits and sweets and just the mere thought of walking to a gym makes me break out in a sweat.
It’s really started to affect my skin too, which is what bothers me the most. I’m more prone to break outs than I was the entirety of my teenage years and my teeth are no longer the pearly white they once were, tainted by coffee and tea stains.
|The coffee life chose me|
I can’t imagine a time when I didn’t drink tea or coffee, so much so that I plan my entire day around cups of caffeinated beverages. My intake started to become worrying when I got jittery if I missed my morning cup of tea, and began to substitute food for coffee in a desperate bid to shed the pounds (because wooo no calories!)
When coffee becomes your best friend, you need to revaluate your life choices.
There’s loads of health benefits to cutting down on sugar and caffeine, apparently. I convince myself that most of them are probably made up to oppress the coffee drinking class, but some of them have to be legit because, you know, science.
SOME (MAYBE NOT ENTIRELY) LEGIT HEALTH BENEFITS OF CUTTING OUT CAFFEINE:
1. LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE
Caffeine can raise your blood pressure according to SCIENCE, so drinking less of it would lower it, obvs.
2. BETTER SLEEP (…OR SLEEP BETTER?)
Caffeine can reduce the amount and quality of sleep- that’s why workaholics and restless nutters like me drink it to stay awake whilst I listen to your boring conversation. Drinking caffeine too late in the day can interfere with sleep patterns. People who had no caffeine after 12 noon reported a better quality of sleep after quitting caffeine, says some study someone smart did.
3. BETTER MOOD
Caffeine alters the mood (duh, that’s why pessimists drink the stuff.) This helpful graph explains the mood swings of a caffeine addict.
4. DECREASED ANXIETY
You know what makes me anxious? Having no damn coffee, that’s what. Apparently, coffee is a no no for people with existing anxiety issues (exhibit A). I don’t know why, it has something to do with how caffeine stimulates the adrenal glands.
5. FEWER HEADACHES
Caffeine is a major trigger for headaches. So are people telling you about the health benefits of cutting out caffeine.
6. HEALTHIER TEETH
One of life’s many dilemmas- coffee or white teeth? (Why not both? Damn you, universe.) Coffee and tea stain teeth to the point of no return, eroding tooth enamel and causing decay.
7. WEIGHT LOSS
I take my tea and coffee with a dash of milk, no sugar, so I thought this wouldn’t apply to me. Then I thought about my love affair with Starbucks (the best relationship I’ve ever had.) Quitting just one Starbucks Vanilla Latte saves 250 calories per day, 1,750 calories a week, or 91,250 calories a year. RIP Vanilla Latte.
8. HEALTHIER DIET
Bottled coffees, teas, energy drinks and fizzy drinks often contain an assortment of preservatives designed to give them a longer shelf life. Thought sugar free would keep you safe? Sugar free fizzy stuff contains artificial sweeteners which can also negatively affect your health in ways that we will never know because they are so terrible. IS NOTHING SACRED?!
9. CAFFEINE WILL WORK AGAIN (…IF STAR WARS DID COFFEE)
Like a phoenix rising from the coffee granules. Consuming caffeine daily quickly causes the human body to build up a tolerance. The same dose of caffeine then causes a person to achieve a sense of normalcy rather than the euphoric “I can change the world,” feelings it once did.
Quitting resets your body’s caffeine tolerance, allowing it to work super well when you need it to.
|Storm (Troopers) in a teacup|
LESS RISK OF CARDIAC ARREST
Well, that escalated. Caffeine stimulates the heart muscle, causing it to beat with more forceful contractions. In the words of Demi Lovato, give your heart a break.
REDUCED TYPE TWO DIABETES RISK
While black coffee actually has been shown to reduce the risk of diabetes, drinking sugary coffee and caffeinated beverages actually increases your risk of diabetes. According to a Harvard University study, people who consume sugary drinks regularly have a 26% greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Stupid Harvard, ruining everyone’s fun.
Source: Caffeine Informer
Cutting out sugar is more or less the same health story, (newsflash, it ends with “happily ever after.”) Benefits include weight loss, clearer skin and increased energy. Blogger Grace Koelma feels “amazing” after giving up sugar for good. I don’t believe her for a second, but if you’re willing to be convinced, check out her blog here.
|No one is that happy without sugar|
So, for the next few weeks, I’m going to bore you profusely with the ups and downs of my “just say no” project (or suicide mission, whatever works.)
I imagine I’m going to be extremely agitated all of the time and start throwing things at people (it’s going to be hell on earth for the both of us, but just be thankful that you don’t have to live with me.)
Check back soon!
As always, thanks for reading x