Coffee is like a good friend who roots for you, boosts your mood, and gives you the energy to enjoy the day.
But all healthy relationships require healthy boundaries, and that includes your relationship with coffee.— More specifically, your relationship with the stimulating component of coffee: caffeine.
Now, we’re not saying caffeine is bad for you or that you should avoid it altogether. On the contrary, this potent natural compound has been linked to several health benefits that we’ll get into below.
But with most things in life, moderation is important, and the occasional break from caffeine can do wonders for your body and your brain.
And hey, even if you decide that you and caffeine need to spend some time apart, that doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite morning brew. You just need a clean, delicious alternative to take its place. More on that later!
First, let’s start by taking a closer look at the world’s favorite beverage.
The Case For Caffeine
It’s estimated that nearly 80% of the world’s population consumes at least one caffeinated product each day.¹ That makes sense considering it can be found in so many wonderful things like chocolate, teas, desserts, and of course, coffee.
As mentioned above, caffeine can offer several health benefits, including:
- Cognition: Caffeine can boost your focus, reaction time, and alertness following a night of poor sleep.²
- Physical Performance: Using caffeine prior to exercise and training has been shown to improve endurance exercise performance.³
- Longevity: There’s even evidence that suggests caffeine has potential anti-aging effects⁴, especially when combined with the polyphenols found in organic coffee.
As you can see, caffeine can do a lot more than just enliven your morning. No wonder so many of us turn to it for a boost of energy each day.
Caffeinate With Caution
But despite its many benefits, it’s still smart to maintain a healthy, balanced and perhaps distant relationship with caffeine.
The feeling of stimulation that you get from caffeine happens primarily because it binds to your brain's adenosine receptors⁵ which helps block feelings of drowsiness. Combine that with an increase in adrenaline⁶ and dopamine⁷, and you have a brain that’s primed and ready to take on the world.
However, regular caffeine consumption can cause your adenosine receptors to become less receptive to its effects over time.
Less receptive adenosine receptors means you need more caffeine to achieve the desired state. We’ve all experienced the puzzling phenomenon when one precious daily coffee turns into two… and then three... until you’re guzzling quad espressos just to crawl out of bed.
Beyond the issues with tolerance, there are a few other potential downfalls to watch out for if you consume caffeine regularly:
- Overstimulation:⁸ Caffeine has been shown to increase the stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine, which can add unwanted stress to your brain and body.
- Sleep Disruption:⁹ Long-term exposure to high levels of caffeine can begin to affect the overall quality of your sleep. For many people, it’s a wise choice to limit caffeine intake several hours before bedtime. (9)
- Dependency:¹⁰ Frequent intake of caffeine does maintain some risk of dependency or addiction. That’s why quitting cold turkey can lead to some unpleasant experiences like headaches, sleep disruptions, and feelings of fatigue.¹¹
So, what can you do to make sure that you and caffeine remain friends and not foes?
Try A Caffeine Reset
One simple thing you can do to avoid feeling burnt out on caffeine is to occasionally take a little break. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right?
A short 7-day break from caffeine gives your adenosine receptors a chance to reset, which can do wonders for your caffeine tolerance and relationship with it.
But of course, if you’re used to consuming some form of caffeine every day, quitting cold turkey can bring about uncomfortable feelings of withdrawal.So, it may be a good idea to taper down your consumption to help you reset.
A good rule of thumb is to incrementally cut your caffeine consumption in half until you reach the point where you’re not consuming any at all.
Using coffee as an example, here’s how you could cut down from two caffeinated cups per day to zero:
- Day One: 2 cups of caffeinated coffee
- Day Two: 1 cup of caffeinated coffee
- Day Three: ½ cup of regular coffee, ½ cup of decaf
- Day Four: Full decaf coffee or herbal tea
- Day Five: Decaf coffee or herbal tea
- Day Six: Decaf coffee or herbal tea
- Day Seven: Decaf coffee or herbal tea
- Day Eight: Enjoy the brain-boosting superpowers of caffeinated coffee once again… You’ve earned it! (but consider keeping caffeine consumption low so you can help mitigate any negative effects from over-caffeination)
To keep up the habit and continue to ensure you don’t become reliant on caffeine, try doing a caffeine reset every 1-2 months.
Have Your Coffee and Drink it, Too
Now, if you're anything like us, it isn't just the caffeine in coffee that has you hooked— it's the taste, the aroma, and the ritual too. If that’s the case, then try switching to decaffeinated coffee during your reset.
If you occasionally trade out your regular coffee with decaf, you'll hardly miss the ritual and the taste, and you'll still be getting all the antioxidants and polyphenols that regular coffee supplies.
Just make sure you find a decaf that's just as high-quality as your regular coffee (preferably organic, mold-free, and specialty grade).
And we have an awesome decaf recommendation for you that checks all of those boxes and then some.
The Coffee You Love, Without the Buzz
Kion Decaf is the same delicious, organic coffee we always have—minus the caffeine. And just like our regular coffee, it’s carefully roasted to give you the most health benefits and the richest flavor.
Our coffee beans are from the top 3% of coffee beans worldwide. They’re 100% organic, grown on sustainable coffee cooperatives, and tested to ensure they’re free of toxins like mold and pesticides.
We decaffeinate our beans using the Mountain Water Process, a unique process in which green coffee beans are soaked in pure mountain water to remove caffeine molecules without the use of chemical solvents.
(PS: Decaf coffee is never completely caffeine-free. However, where regular coffee contains nearly 100mg of caffeine per cup, there's only about 7mg of caffeine in most decafs. This is equivalent to a small square of dark chocolate, and not enough to become dependent or lead to any negative effects for most people.)
And perhaps the most important part, is that Kion Decaf tastes smooth and rich like regular Kion Coffee. It has notes of sweet apple, marzipan, baking spices, and scrumptious dark chocolate. Yum, right?
So, it’s easy to see why Kion Decaf is a great option if you don’t tolerate caffeine well or just need to take a little break, but still love the taste of smooth, delicious coffee.
Finally, you can drink your precious coffee guilt-free—day or night!
Ki Points on Caffeine
As you can see, the case for caffeine is a bit nuanced.
On one hand, it’s one of nature’s greatest performance enhancers.
But like many pleasures in life, there’s a balance between enjoyment and moderation. The goal is to make sure caffeine remains an uplifting substance that you enjoy but not one on which you depend.
If you’re already experiencing some of the drawbacks mentioned above, taking a short hiatus from caffeine could be a smart move.
So, have no fear. You can still enjoy your morning coffee ritual—sans caffeine—with Kion Decaf.
How Much Exercise is Enough to Be Healthy?
How To Choose