Here’s a news flash: Caffeine is one of the most widely used drugs in the world. If you’re like many who adore it via a delicious cup of coffee, I’m here to share with you some reasons why you may want to kick your coffee habit…or at least cut back on your caffeine intake. I know it’s a sensitive topic because so many of us drink coffee as routine and we’ve done so for years. Yet only through eliminating coffee was I able to see the effect it had on my mood, energy, weight management, sleep and skin. Sometimes it’s hard to connect the dots between food and mood until you commit to an elimination and replacement nutrition plan. The good news is that the benefits of quitting caffeine become evident soon after you restrict your intake. Here are a few ways in which saying goodbye to caffeinated foods and beverages can help you… Balance Your Hormones A bad diet is a key reason for hormonal imbalance. Caffeine causes the release of cortisol, the stress hormone. Taking caffeine out of your dietary regime can help lower blood cortisol levels, increase the circulation of HGH and prevent insulin resistance. Balancing your hormones improves your overall health. No More Headaches Caffeine is one of the most common causes of headaches. Sometimes it’s hard to connect the dots around what causes you to have a headache, anxiety or an increase in your heart rate and blood pressure. In my experience over the past 15 plus years as a wellness coach has shown me that most people don’t drink enough water. Since coffee is a diuretic, it isn’t so much the removal of caffeine but the increase in water that helps reduce and in some cases eliminate headaches, lower blood pressure, heart rate and feelings of anxiety. Drinking more water will also help with weight loss and improving the health of your skin! Weight Loss If you load your coffee with cream and sugar or regularly order blended coffee drinks, the average number of calories per cup ranges between 250 and 650 calories (depending on what you’re loading into your drink)! These hidden sugars lead to an increase in body weight and a drop in blood sugar levels, which in turn will typically zap you of energy and increase cravings for a second cup. By cutting down on these caffeinated sugar bombs, you can attain your ideal fitness goals faster than you thought. Clearer Skin If you think caffeine might be affecting your skin adversely, you’re probably right! Caffeine increases your body’s stress levels and triggers the fight or flight response to the adrenal glands to pump out stress hormones. Increased levels of cortisol can cause acne and breakouts. Replacing dehydrating coffee with pure water and fresh lemon will help hydrate the skin and purify the liver to clear your complexion from the inside out. Staying hydrated is one of the best things you can do for your skin. Simply replace your morning coffee with a bottle of water and when you sit down to start working at your desk, reach for water instead of a second cup of coffee and you will notice an improvement in the texture of your skin within the first couple weeks. Quitting caffeine is not easy, but it is possible. My next Blog will cover how to avoid irritability and depression that can come with withdrawal so you can persevere and see the benefits of quitting caffeine kick in.