7 Benefits of Lower Caffeine Intake
1. Reduced anxiety
Caffeine brings with it a jolt of energy, which is what most caffeine drinkers use it for. However, this jolt of energy can emulate symptoms of anxiety (jittery nervous feelings, heart palpitations, feelings of panic or anxiety), stimulating the body’s fight or flight response.
People who are already prone to suffering from stress and anxiety often find that caffeine can make their symptoms a lot worse. The less caffeine you take in, the less your fight or flight response is triggered, along with the anxiety that comes with it.
2. Better quality of sleep
Studies have shown that daily coffee intake can affect your sleep cycle, causing restless sleep and daytime drowsiness.
Caffeine gives you that burst of energy that boosts alertness. So, it makes sense that cutting down on caffeine 6 hours before bedtime – or cutting it out completely – leads to better sleep quality and length, as well as shortening the time it takes to drop off to sleep.
3. Slower skin aging
Caffeine interferes with collagen formation by reducing collagen synthesis – essentially slowing down the rate at which your body makes collagen. Collagen has a direct effect on the skin in terms of tightness and elasticity, so once your levels drop, the skin begins to sag and show wrinkles.
Collagen is made more slowly as you age anyway, so reducing (or getting rid of) your caffeine intake can help stop the aging process from speeding up.
4. Less dependence
Similarly to how drugs work, caffeine alters the chemistry of the brain if you consume it regularly over periods of time. This leads to you becoming dependent on it, thus needing more and more to keep you alert and feel the effects.
5. Improved absorption of nutrients
Consuming large amounts of caffeine hinders your body’s ability to absorb vitamins and minerals as it should. This is thought to be due to the tannins in caffeine, which lead to inhibiting the absorption of vitamins such as calcium, iron and B vitamins.
If it’s possible for you, consuming no caffeine at all can help to ensure you are absorbing all nutrients possible from your diet.
6. Whiter teeth
Coffee, fizzy drinks and tea are three of the most common ways in which we intake caffeine. Due to the high levels of tannins and acidity in these drinks, they can discolour and stain your teeth by causing buildup, discoloured enamel and decay.
The caffeine in these beverages also tends to dry out your mouth. As saliva is an important defense against bacteria, if we have less of it due to our mouths being dry, we are at a higher risk of tooth decay.
7. Lower blood pressure
Avoiding caffeine entirely can be good for your blood pressure. Our blood pressure has been shown to spike when we drink caffeine due to the stimulatory effect it has on our nervous system. Some researchers also think caffeine may keep your arteries from staying as wide as they should for healthy blood pressure.
If you cut out caffeine, you are avoiding this spike in blood pressure and any potential complications that may go along with it.
8. Less withdrawal headaches
Caffeine withdrawal is a real thing, and one of the most common symptoms is headaches. You may notice this happen if you miss your morning coffee that you’re so used to. This is just one symptoms of caffeine withdrawal, others may include;
- Brain fog
- Difficulty concentrating
- Low mood
Even if you do not experience withdrawal straight away, a 2004 study found that caffeine intake is a big risk factor for developing chronic daily headaches.
TIPS FOR LOWERING YOUR CAFFEINE INTAKE
Don’t go cold turkey - A step-by-step approach is the way to go. For example, start by replacing just half of your morning cup of coffee with decaf. Next, try switching out any caffeinated foods and drinks over time with caffeine-free options to help ease withdrawal symptoms
Hydrate & rest – Drinking lots of water and getting plenty when giving up or cutting back on caffeine can help you avoid many of the withdrawal symptoms mentioned above
Exercise - Regular exercise gives you the serotonin boost your body needs so you can skip the chemical crutch of caffeine. It will also lift your mood and help you sleep better, helping you through your withdrawal phase with ease