How To Quit Coffee? (A Complete Road Map)

Quitting coffee seems simple but it isn’t. It has its own downtime and you may experience caffeine withdrawal. But you can quit coffee if you like.

With more than half of the world drinking coffee every day, sometimes you might feel the urge to quit it completely. Though coffee on its own isn’t bad.

In fact, it has tons of antioxidants and nutrients that help your body in many ways. But sometimes, your health condition doesn’t allow you to have your caffeine fix.

In some cases, you might feel that you’re drinking more than you are supposed too so want to cut down on it. Whatever your reason may be, it can be hard.

So, in this article, we’ll discuss everything about how to quit coffee and what you might experience.

How Long Does It Take To Detox From Coffee?

a person holding a cup of coffee in their hands

Coffee detoxing is very easy. It takes about 20 to 50 hours to completely get coffee out from your system. And while detox is happening, you might get headaches, anxiety, and irritability.

As we all know by now, our dependency on coffee is very viable. Most of us are busy working or studying and just need that extra bit of push throughout our days, to get our work done.

We have so much on our plate, that it’s nearly impossible to go about our day without sipping on a delicious cup of coffee.

The kick of energy and the effective alertness is just vivacious and not addictive according to National Institute on Drug Abuse. But maybe you are planning to go on a coffee detox due to diet restrictions, medical conditions, or anything.

In order to hop on the detox journey from coffee, we first need to understand how it is processed in our bodies.

As soon as you sip a cup of coffee, at the fifteen-minute mark, your body starts digesting it. Coffee makes its way into your bloodstream. Then it makes your brain release dopamine which makes your mood elevated.

A person feels more alert and awake if their dopamine signals are enhanced, as dopamine controls movements, motivation, and emotions.

Then when you hit the six hours mark, the coffee starts leaving your body. Not completely though. You will feel the urge to use the restroom more often in these hours. But even then, half of it would still be in your system.

At about twelve hours, its effects start to wear off and it starts getting flushed out completely. It may take up to 20 hours to get that cup of coffee completely out of your system.

So, in conclusion, it takes anywhere between 20 to 50 hours for coffee to be completely flushed out from your system.

Is Quitting Coffee Good For You?

Coffee is good for your body in moderate to low quantities. But quitting coffee based on your caffeine tolerance and health condition can be good for you as well.

Coffee has many benefits when taken in moderation. It has been studied to prevent or lower the risk of many diseases like Parkinson’s and dementia. If a drink like this has so many benefits, then why should you quit it?

a multi-colored coffee cups turned upside down on a coffee machine

Despite the many claimed benefits of coffee, it also has its downsides. This is why, for some, quitting coffee sounds like a good idea.

The FDA recommends not having more than 400 mg of caffeine per day. Which is about three to four 8 oz cups. So if your daily consumption of coffee is more than that, quitting coffee can help with the damages done. Some of these benefits include:

Less Wrinkles and Less Frequent Urination

Coffee is a diuretic. This means that it draws out water from your body more than normal. You might have noticed you need to use the bathroom often after a couple of hours of coffee.

Plus, too much coffee can interfere with the formation of collagen. And collagen is needed by our hair, skin, and nails as a building block. Therefore, quitting coffee, in this case, can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

Lesser Bowel Movements

The caffeine from the coffee causes a laxative effect Which means that it churns your stomach and can cause diarrhea. This can be very unpleasant especially if you’re in a meeting or sitting outdoors. Quitting coffee can reduce laxative effects so won’t have an irritable stomach every day from coffee anymore.

Lowers Heart Rate

Coffee is a natural stimulant. And high levels of coffee content can be problematic for the heart. Therefore, as soon as it enters your bloodstream, it elevates your heartbeat and blood pressure.

This may lead to many heart-related issues. But quitting coffee can help balance out your heart rate and lower down blood pressure.

Balanced Estrogen Levels In Women

High caffeine intake is known to disrupt hormonal balance in women. Studies show that women who consume more than 200 mg of caffeine in a day have elevated levels of estrogen.

An increased estrogen level is directly linked with breast cancer, endometriosis, and ovarian cancer. Keep in mind, caffeine is not directly related to these aforementioned health conditions, but a high quantity of caffeine increases estrogen which leads to such conditions in women.

Whiter & Brighter Teeth

Coffee can stain your teeth. Though tea and wine do too in case you’re wondering. The tannin in coffee can build up and cause your tooth enamel to be stained. Thus, making your teeth turn yellow.

So, quitting coffee altogether can stop this ongoing process. You can read more about how coffee affects our teeth in my more detailed post.

Absorption Of Nutrients

Another effect that tannin has on our body is that it interferes which the absorption of many nutrients like calcium and iron.

Moderate consumption of coffee doesn’t harm you, but a high intake of coffee can cause this to happen. Therefore, you deciding to leave coffee can help your body to absorb nutrients much quicker.

Undisturbed Sleep

Caffeine from the coffee is known to wake you up instantly. And people who intake large quantities of caffeine have trouble sleeping. Research shows that coffee can alter your sleeping pattern.

Thus, makes you drowsier in the daytime and increases your coffee intake. Quitting coffee in this scenario will help your fall asleep much quicker and easier.

Here is a terrific video where you can see what quitting coffee does to your body.

awesome video

What Happens If You Suddenly Stop Drinking Coffee?

You can stop drinking coffee immediately but you will have caffeine withdrawal symptoms. Plus, it will take time for your body to adjust without running on coffee.

There is no such thing as caffeine addiction. You can, however, become dependent on it. Really dependent on it. You can feel more awake after drinking caffeine because it causes your brain to release dopamine, a chemical that affects motivations and emotions.

Nonetheless, caffeine is not as stimulating to the brain as substances like ecstasy or meth.

But if you halt your coffee intake immediately, your body can go haywire. Because of the daily consumption or a more frequent intake, your body has adjusted to it.

And stopping it completely at once makes your body confused. This state of confusion where your body is craving caffeine but can’t detect it is called caffeine withdrawal. Keep in mind that these symptoms can vary. They can be mild or severe depending on the reliability you had made for coffee.

But some common caffeine withdrawal symptoms are:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Tiredness
  • Depression
  • Dizziness
  • Fever
  • Body Pain
  • Vomiting

The best practice to make you stop coffee is that you need to cut back on it slowly. Completely omitting it can be very daunting. Plus, try switching on decaffeinated coffee.

Let’s suppose you drink 3 cups of coffee in a day. So, start by drinking two cups of regular coffee. Then slowly opt for one cup decaf and one cup regular. This will not make you face caffeine withdrawal symptoms that often. Also, don’t forget to drink plenty of water. This will help your body be hydrated at all times.

What Can I Drink Instead Of Coffee?

There are many alternatives to coffee some of which are moderately caffeinated and some caffeine-free. They’re matcha tea, chicory coffee, black tea, rooibos tea, golden milk, and kombucha.

Many people choose to drink coffee in the morning, and others don’t for a variety of reasons. High levels of caffeine may result in jitters, anxiety, and headaches for some people. Other people may suffer digestive difficulties and headaches from coffee.

Several people dislike the bitter taste or simply get bored with their morning cup of coffee.

So whatever your reason may be, for finding good alternatives to coffee, I’ve listed them below for you to check out.

a cup of green tea with mint leaves

Matcha Tea

Matcha powder is a whole leaf of the camellia plant that has been steamed and ground into fine powder. It has much more antioxidants than coffee and helps in reducing body fat. But keep in mind that it contains caffeine.

Chicory Coffee

Unlike coffee beans, chicory coffee is made with chicory roots that are roasted and brewed just like regular coffee. Plus, it’s a low caffeinated version that tastes just like coffee. It also is a great source of inulin which helps in making your digestion better.  

Black Tea

Black tea is also made from camelia plant leaves. But it is then fermented that changes its chemical composition. But like matcha tea, black tea also has many benefits. It improves your alertness and lowers the risk of any heart-related issues. Also, it has moderate amounts of caffeine too.

Rooibos Tea

Rooibos tea is a South African form of tea which is also called red tea because of its vibrant red color. It does have tannin but has a lot more antioxidants than regular coffee. It helps in preventing cancer too. Plus, it has a nice fruity and sweet flavor. Lastly, it’s caffeine-free.

Golden Milk

This is a caffeine-free alternative to coffee. This contains many ingredients and can also serve as an alternative to hot chocolate. It has ginger, vanilla, cardamom, turmeric, honey, and black pepper. All of these have anti-inflammatory properties and contain tons of antioxidants.  

Kombucha

You must have heard this name among famous Instagram bloggers. It is fermented black tea using bacteria, sugar, and yeast. This fermentation process makes it much healthier than normal black tea. It contains probiotics and antioxidants. also, it helps in reducing cholesterol and improves the immune system.

I’ve also made a chart for you to highlight the caffeine content of each alternative.

Alternative Drinks To Coffee Quantity Caffeine Content
Matcha Tea8 oz64 mg
Chicory Coffee8 oz38 mg
Black Tea8 oz45.4 mg
Rooibos Tea8 ozno caffeine
Golden Milk8 ozno caffeine
Kombucha8 oz15 to 20 mg

My Thoughts

There is no denying that half of us rely on coffee for our daily caffeine fix. The alertness and instant energy can make us much more dependent on coffee than we ever realize.

Therefore, regular drinkers of coffee do develop a tolerance for it. But some might need to quit coffee on an urgent basis.

Reasons may vary from person to person. But quitting coffee completely all at once isn’t the right way to go. Remember the phrase ‘slow and steady wins the race’.

To aid in this whole process, you can start opting for an alternative to coffee. And hopefully, your coffee detox will be successful.

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Matt Marshall

As I learn more and more about coffee and coffee products I want to share all my learnings with you here on this website. I hope you find my articles useful and entertaining to read.

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