The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
There is a small chance that I am a coffee addict. Ever since the start of the pandemic I’ve found myself drinking at least one cup of coffee per day. While I do maintain that my caffeine intake only occurs during the early hours of the day, it’s fair to say that I have grown reliant on caffeine.
I wasn’t always like this. In fact, up until early 2020 the only time I consumed coffee–aside from the occasional Starbucks trip–was when I needed to pull an all-nighter to complete an assignment or study for a test. Caffeine was never something I wanted to rely on from the onset of my day. Why drink coffee when you could just get adequate amounts of sleep?
Well, here I am with a healthy sleep cycle and still drinking a cup of coffee first thing in the morning. After a year and a half of sticking to this routine, I was curious to know if I truly needed the caffeine or if it was simply a habit I could do without. After reading multiple articles discussing the negatives of drinking coffee on an empty stomach, I decided to ditch my morning coffee for hot water for a total of two weeks. Here are the results.
After being so used to smelling and tasting coffee first thing in the morning, drinking hot water felt like a major downgrade. I did notice though, that my stomach did not feel as queasy as it sometimes did after consuming coffee.
I was somewhat getting used to the taste of hot water. I still felt like something was missing from my routine, but I didn’t feel any sort of withdrawal effects despite the sudden lack of caffeine.
I almost began to look forward to starting my day without coffee. There was no more occasional nausea that came with drinking coffee before eating breakfast and as a result, I almost felt even more energized than when I consumed caffeine.
By the second week, I was beginning to forget why I was so addicted to drinking coffee in the first place. Was it because I just wanted to consume something warm to start my day? If that was the case, the hot water appeared to be doing the job just as well. I felt even more refreshed than the first week, and I didn’t even have to worry about my morning drink staining my teeth.
By the end of the second week, I was almost ready to swear off coffee forever. What was initially intended to be a challenge to measure how addicted I was to caffeine ended with me realizing how much better I felt without coffee in my system. I hadn’t realized until I’d stopped drinking it, but starting my day with coffee almost seemed to have the opposite effect from what I’d intended: instead of waking me up, it appeared to result in me feeling even more slow and tired.
I still do drink coffee from time to time but as it turns out, as long as I drink something warm in the morning I’m good to go. These days I find myself switching up my routine by having coffee some days and drinking either herbal tea or plain hot water on other days. By not relying on caffeine and consuming different drinks each morning I’ve been feeling more alert and energetic. This wasn’t the outcome I was expecting to have but I don’t see myself relying on coffee again anytime soon!