Here we are. 2021. We made it. And as is tradition at the beginning of a new year, many folks are using the opportunity to make some changes to their lives. Some may be a hiatus from less healthy habits and others may be taking those first steps towards long term personal improvements.
You may be tempted to give up coffee; it’s a thing people do.
I find this restriction personally offensive, having willfully spent countless hours scouring journals to bring you all the latest scientific research indicating the health benefits of coffee consumption. And yet you want to quit, even temporarily? Shame on you. Still, you are trying to better yourself for 2021, which is admirable. With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of all the reasonable (used very loosely here) motivations for wanting to give up coffee—based on a list recently published on CNET—as well as a few alternatives to help you get there. Because being better doesn’t mean life has to get worse.
Quitting for the jitters? Just give up caffeine!
Caffeine sensitivity is a very real thing, resulting in the shakes, bubble guts, and all manner of forms of chronic indisposition. If you're one of the millions of people around the world impacted by caffeine sensitivity, the answer is simple: decaf! Decaffeinated coffee is good! Decaf gives me life. The idea that decaf is substandard coffee is a vestige of a time long past. There is really, really good decaf out there right now, crafted by some of the best roasters in the world (some focused only on decaf!) with the same level of care they give to their caffeinated microlots. Or you could purchase Decafino packets and decaffeinate your coffee post-brew. You want to give up caffeine in 2021? Good on you, but don't throw out the coffee with the caff water.
Quitting due to sleep issues? Practice radical self care!
Drinking coffee too close to bedtime can certainly impact sleep, but it's far from the only vexation on slumber in this modern world. Healthline has a ton of better options for getting a quality 8, including increasing bright light exposure during the day (go outside!), decreasing blue light exposure at night (get off your phone!), and giving up alcohol (a nice dry January might be just what you need). Doesn't a phoneless cup of coffee basking in the morning sun after a restful night sleep sound truly magnificent? That's a resolution I can get on board with.
Quitting due to anxiety? Pursue your bliss!
Let's face it, we live in an anxious world; it is an unavoidable fact of modern day life. And while some studies have found a link between anxiety and caffeine consumption (another vote for decaf), giving up something as wonderful as coffee seems like a bit of a masochistic first step. Why not instead give meditation a try? According to the Mayo Clinic, mantra meditation, yoga, tai chi, and other forms of mindfulness exercises help with not just anxiety, but depression, heart disease, high blood pressure, and chronic pain.
Quitting due to digestion? Swallow these suggestions!
If you find that too much coffee gives you acid reflux, Healthline is again here to rescue you from giving up your favorite and very best beverage. They suggest eating real food, making sure you are getting enough fiber, staying hydrated (coffee is 98% water you know), exercising more, and adding more healthy fats to your diet. Have a nice piece of avocado toast or maybe a healthy dollop of cashew butter on some bread. They both go great with coffee. We also know several people who have greatly alleviated coffee-related refluxitudinal issues by switching to iced coffee exclusively, even in the cold of winter. Whatever works!
It's 2021, time to turn over that new leaf. Quit smoking, quit drinking, exercise more, meditate, go outside, put the phone down. All great options for the new you. Or stay exactly as you are. That's fine too. In 2021 we will all allow ourselves some grace. Drinking coffee is that grace.
Editor's note: The statements in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The Sprudge is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, and should be read for entertainment purposes only.