Welcome to part 2 of our series that includes our 10 top tips for getting off of coffee. Last week we looked at how coffee contributes to not just an accumulation of fat around the midsection but also mood swings, difficulty concentrating, low energy, neck/shoulder/back pain, a weakened immune system (as evidenced by frequent colds and minor illnesses), difficulty recovering from injuries and finally poor sexual performance in males. If you haven’t read part 1 yet then check it out here and read that now.
I’d like to attribute most of this article to Paul Chek’s excellent work on this subject and whilst we don’t believe in plagiarising or regurgitating stale content he summed things up so beautifully I see little reason to change it much from his original vlog. We have, however, categorised these top tips under Levitise’s principal elements of health happiness and longevity and added our own unique take on things. Enjoy …
(1) Nail down your sleep cycle. As we basically live on the equator in Singapore we should be sleeping at least 8 hours a night and between the hours of 10pm and 6pm. That gives us ample time to recharge and repair our endocrine system, gall bladder, liver, lungs and large intestines whilst we sleep. However coffee can have a half-life of up to 6 hours. So that means if you have a large cup of starbucks at 9am you consume 300mg of caffeine. At 3pm you have 150mg of caffeine in the system and at 9pm you still have 75mg of caffeine in your system. Even if you go to bed on time and fall asleep the quality of your sleep will be impaired as your adrenal glands are still being stimulated by the caffeine. If you have a cup of coffee later in the day or in the afternoon your sleep cycle will be even more messed up and you’ll definitely wake up not feeling refreshed and craving for another cup of coffee. So our first tip is get to bed on time.
(2) And our next tip is never drink coffee after 3pm.
(3) When you first give up coffee your body will have to reset itself to start feeling a “normal” cycle again without the adenosine receptor blocking effects of caffeine. This takes from 7 to 10 days. So we highly recommend naps in the meantime. The best time to take naps are at 11am and 3pm. Tricky if you’re working but do your best: find a quiet room, pop out and sit in a café with noise cancelling headphones on, even sit on the toilet! 20 mins max. Tip three is take 20 min naps.
(4) A big part of coffee drinking is the ritualistic habit of making it in the morning, buying it from your favourite third wave coffee outlet downtown before work or just meeting friends for a coffee. This social aspect can be quite reinforcing so replacing your coffee with something else is that also gives you an energy boost without frying your adrenals would be advisable such as yerba matte, chai rooibos, chaga or just a good organic infusion. Tip four is to replace your coffee with a non-caffeinated alternative.
(5) Giving up coffee can be a little depressing as you now have to fuel your dopamine levels naturally. Your brain needs to retrain itself to do this. This is a classic symptom of withdrawal that you see from any psychoactive drug. Berries, such as blueberries and raspberries, have a natural stimulating affect on the body and the adrenals in particular and this can often give you a mild boost. So tip five is eat berries at the same time that you would have had that coffee.
(6) Take a handful of dark roast organic coffee beans and stick them in your pocket. When you feel like you want a coffee pop 3 beans in your mouth and slowly chew, suck and massage them around your mouth. Do not swallow for as long as possible. This will give your body a hormetic effect (small dose) that fools it into thinking it's had a cup of coffee and will produce similar feelings of alertness. If you feel like you need a cup of coffee later on then take another 3 beans and repeat the process. So tip six is chew coffee beans.
(7) Do aerobic exercise at the time when you’re “climbing the walls” and your brain is screaming at you to grab a cup of coffee. This can often boost your glucocorticoid levels to the point where you no longer feel like you want a coffee. Tip seven is do 20 mins of aerobic exercise when you feel like crashing.
(8) Our Levitise principal “Environment” is about keeping a clean external and internal bodily environment. In order to minimise the toxicity of caffeine to your internal environment switch from drip coffee or French press coffee to espresso. The longer the coffee is exposed to the water the more caffeine in it hence espresso has the least amount of caffeine in it. Top it up with water (americano, long black) if you want more volume. Tip eight is switch to espresso.
(9) Having a cold shower as soon as you wake up is excellent for boosting your parasympathetic nervous system, sending your blood rushing to your organs and providing a very enlivening affect. This can really help shake off the grogginess you feel without that caffeinated beverage. So tip nine is cold showers.
(10) If you’re not breathing right then you are much more likely to be addicted to caffeinated beverages due to energy deficiencies. Particularly if you’re a chest or mouth breather. If you’re not a naturally deep belly breather then having a breathing assessment done could be very beneficial accompanied with tools to correct faulty breathing patterns. Tip ten is breathe properly.
Bonus tip: Nutrition
And lastly a great replacement for coffee is a couple of squares of good dark quality organic chocolate. Try and find something that’s at least 85% dark chocolate. Chocolate is great for topping up those depleted dopamine stores whilst you’re in the post coffee withdrawal phase. So our last bonus tip for you is eat dark organic chocolate.
Often people that love coffee, and have other addictions, also have fungal and parasite infections. If you’ve tried all the above tips and you’re still struggling to quit caffeine its worth getting checked out by an experienced health coach or functional medical doctor who can run gut dysbiosis panels and stool tests that detect fungal, parasite and bacterial overgrowths.
To your, health, happiness and longevity,
The Levitise Team
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