57. Why & How I Stopped Drinking Coffee

Any time I mention that I no longer drink coffee, I get so many questions on why and how I did this. I decided it was high time I write a post about my journey with quitting coffee!

Why I stopped drinking coffee

Let’s be clear. This is not something I ever wanted to do and I never ever dreamed I’d be a non-coffee drinker!

{So there’s still hope for all you coffee drinkers out there who would like to try giving up caffeine but can’t imagine a world without your coffee!}

I started working with a nutritionist in August 2016 in hopes of clearing up my eczema and acne, and one of the first things he told me was that I had to stop drinking coffee.

I immediately replied to him and said, “Hold up. I’ll do anything else that you say, but I can not give up my coffee.”

He told me to just give it a try, trust him, and see what happens. So I did (reluctantly).

Crystal Paine holding Give Me Jesus coffee mug

Giving up coffee wasn’t easy

If you’ve ever wondered how to stop drinking coffee, I’m here to tell you that it was not easy.

Prior to that I had been drinking two BIG cups of coffee every single day for a really long time — and even three cups on the really rough days. And let me tell you, it was really, really hard to think of giving it up.

I ended up deciding to stop drinking coffee cold turkey, and I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that method. I started drinking a gallon of water every day, and I was also doing a cleanse at the time — eating only greens and then slowly adding foods back in.

The first 8 days were awful. I had a horrible headache and I craved coffee like crazy. I missed it SO much.

Mostly, though, I missed the routine of my morning coffee. I had a ritual of getting up and pouring my cup of coffee, and I didn’t know what to do without that morning ritual. I really loved savoring my morning over a cup of coffee, and it was something that was really cathartic for me.

Because I couldn’t drink coffee, I had a horrible headache and was extremely lethargic. All I wanted to do was sleep nonstop! I was sleeping about 10 hours every night in the beginning. (And this is a lot more than normal for me. I typically only need about 7 hours for a really good night’s rest.)

But you know what was happening? My body was finally trying to get caught up on all the sleep I had missed! My body had become SO dependent on coffee for so many years.

I didn’t even realize this until I stopped drinking coffee, but I had been masking my exhaustion and lack of energy with caffeine.

Crystal Paine holding Get After It coffee mug

How giving up coffee was life-changing for me

I never imagined I’d learn how to stop drinking coffee, and it did take a few months for me to stop craving coffee.

(And honestly, every once in a while — even after two years — I still crave it! But it’s not worth the headache I immediately get even if I just have a few drops of caffeine!)

Over time, it got easier and easier, and I slowly started noticing significant health changes from not drinking coffee. And I learned I can actually survive without drinking coffee — something I never thought would be possible for me!

Giving up coffee was a radical choice for me, but the radical results and changes were totally worth it:

  • I finally felt rested. For the first time in months, I felt caught up on sleep. Because I was getting enough sleep every night, I wasn’t getting tired in the middle of the day!
  • I felt happier. I had SO much more energy and was way less irritable. All around, I was just in a much better mood every day.
  • It helped my anxiety. I didn’t realize giving up caffeine would help my anxiety, but this was a life-changing result I wasn’t expecting. I’ve now realized I am extremely sensitive to caffeine, and I can immediately feel the effects even if I have a tiny bit. Not drinking coffee has helped me feel calmer on a daily basis.
  • It improved my overall health. This — combined with drinking more water and eating better — really helped improve my overall physical health.

Also, it’s been really empowering for me to realize that I’m not dependent on coffee anymore and I have the energy to get through my days without it!

Crystal Paine drinking tea

What I drink instead

Since the morning ritual was what I missed most about coffee, I had to replace those habits so that I could still enjoy waking up and savoring a hot beverage first thing in the morning.

Because I’m highly sensitive to caffeine, I don’t drink caffeinated teas. So I’ve replaced my cup of coffee with a huge cup of strong herbal tea. I typically use two bags of tea so that it’s super strong, I add lots of cream (just like I did when I drank coffee), and I add honey to sweeten it.

This strong cup of herbal tea with lots of cream and honey has become a great alternative for me without sacrificing my morning ritual.

If you’re looking for some tea ideas, you can check out my favorite Decaf Chai Latte recipe or this list of my favorite decaf teas to drink.

Listen to the Podcast on This Topic

For more about how and why I stopped drinking coffee, listen to this week’s episode of The Crystal Paine Show.

In This Episode: 

[00:41] This is going to be a hot button episode – learn all about why I stopped drinking coffee!

[01:44] Jesse and I chat about the Spartan Race the family ran.

[05:54] Mint Majesty Tea is saving my life these last few weeks!

[07:09] Check out The Only Plane in the Sky. I finished it this week and it was captivating.

[10:10] So… why did I stop drinking coffee? 

[12:49] What did it feel like to even think of giving up coffee? 

[13:39] It was hard… awful… miserable… yep, all those things!

[16:56] But I stuck with it — and I’m so grateful that I did! 

[18:22] Jesse too has been focusing on drinking more water and it’s changed how his body reacts to caffeine.

[19:23] I had no idea how much caffeine was affecting my sleep and my overall health.

[23:11] Do I miss or crave coffee still? 

[26:02] If you’re feeling tired or sluggish, here are some others options for a pick-me-up.

[27:03] Learn more about my favorite coffee replacements!

Links and Resources:

How to Listen to The Crystal Paine Show

The podcast is available on iTunesAndroidStitcher, and Spotify. You can listen online through the direct player we’ll include in the show notes of each episode. OR, a much easier way to listen is by subscribing to the podcast through a free podcast app on your phone. (Find instructions for how to subscribe to a podcast here.)

Ready to dive in and listen? Hit the player above or search for “The Crystal Paine Show” on your favorite podcast app.

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