As the calendar turns over many people make a new year resolution to drink less coffee. While they love the beverage and the pick-me-up it produces, they’ve recognized that drinking too much coffee has left them feeling jittery, anxious, unable to sleep, dehydrated or with more serious ailments such as ulcers, higher blood pressure and racing heartbeats.
There are some health benefits to caffeine in moderation, so coffee-lovers don’t have to cut the brew out completely. It may be enough to reduce coffee intake or switch to another type of caffeinated beverage to avoid the harmful effects from overindulgence.
How to reduce coffee intake
When changing any long-held behavior, it’s best to go gradually. This increases the likelihood that the new behavior will stick, and with coffee, it reduces the possibility of painful withdrawal headaches. Here are a few tips for lowering daily coffee consumption:
- Limit Consumption: Of course, the best way to drink less coffee is to drink less coffee. To start, try having one less cup a day, or try making coffee weaker than usual. Cutting your double espresso shot cappuccino to a single shot cortado can still deliver stimulant and taste benefits while cutting down on the amount of caffeine consumed.
- Push Back Drinking Time: Research suggests that first thing in the morning is not the best time to drink coffee and pushing back the first cup can help reduce the dependence on caffeine. Most bodies produce peak amounts of cortisol – the hormone that helps people feel alert – between 8 AM and 9 AM. Drinking coffee at this time may increase the already heightened levels of cortisol and lead to more harmful health effects and higher caffeine tolerance. Drinking coffee at 10 AM, or non-peak cortisol production periods, allows bodies to feel the full effect of natural cortisol production and later the full effect of caffeine stimulation.
- Get a Tasty Alternative: To drink less coffee, find an alternative source of caffeine, such as pu’er tea. Ripe pu’er has the body and smoothness of coffee without caffeine crash. Pu’er tea caffeine has different effects than the stimulant in coffee. Tea contains an amino acid called L-theanine which can balance out the caffeine spike and may be the reason why drinking tea at night doesn’t affect the ability to sleep as much as coffee does.
Try Pu’er as a Coffee Substitute
It’s good to have goals but remember that not all caffeine is bad. Try replacing some coffee with pu’er tea for a steadier alertness and equally smooth taste. Pu’er may even become a new favorite hot beverage.
Learn more about additional health benefits of pu’er here.