6 Health Benefits of Giving Up Caffeine
by Sila Gatti on Mar 04, 2023
Studies show that about 90% of adults consume caffeine. Whether it’s a latte to get your day started, a diet coke for that team meeting, or the energy drink or pre-work to keep you moving at the gym, your daily caffeine consumption most of the time is not monitored.
Caffeine is a naturally occurring psychoactive substance with a bitter taste. It belongs to a group of compounds known as methylxanthines and this can be synthesized from its naturally occurring states in fruits such as coffee beans, tea leaves, guarana berries, etc. which are then added to food, tablets, drinks, and supplements for different purposes.
A thousand articles could be written on the advantages of caffeine but the advantages of cutting back or completely giving it up remain prevalent.
Some of the advantages and health benefits of going caffeine-free include:
1. Increased nutrient assimilation: For some water-soluble vitamins such as vitamins D and C, as well as nutrients like calcium and Iron, the diuretic property of caffeine can slow down its absorption in the body. For a person without caffeine in the system, the absorption rate of these nutrients will be at the optimal level.
2. Reduces the likelihood of heartburn: The elimination of caffeine (coffee) which is highly acidic can help alleviate the repetition of heartburn.
3. Prolonged sleep/rest time: Caffeine is a known adenosine receptor antagonist. This simply means that it acts by blocking adenosine from binding to its receptors in the brain thereby keeping the brain awake. For an insomniac, discontinuation of caffeine is best advised as it would also reduce the level of cortisol and adrenaline which regulate stress and involuntary actions respectively.
4. Increases immunity level: Caffeine is known to increase the level of cortisol in the body as well as stress does. A stressed person’s immune system has less ability to fight off antigens thereby making the body susceptible to opportunistic infections and diseases.
5. Stabilizes estrogen: Drinking caffeine can increase the estrogen level in women and even cause a dominance of the hormone which as result can cause certain breast cancers, heavy periods, and premenstrual syndrome. Studies showed that women who drank coffee were at higher risk of hitting menopause faster than the ones who simply stayed off it.
6. Firmer skin (reduced appearance of sagging): The body’s ability to keep producing collagen (a protein responsible for providing structure to the skin) is what determines the absence or appearance of wrinkles on the skin. As you advance in age, the production of collagen drops significantly which affects skin elasticity. Moreover, some factors speed up this decline such as exposure to UV light, tobacco, and of course caffeine as the latter interferes with the production of collagen. Cutting off caffeine can help support collagen production whilst keeping the skin firmer.
Before downing another cup of coffee, you should seriously consider if the constant agitation, jittering, fatigue, loss of focus, etc is worth that cup.