National Coffee Day was celebrated at the end of September, and many a connoisseur of the pervasive beverage marked the occasion by taking another sip. Or pouring another cup. For many who drink several servings of the caffeine-laded substance daily, another sip simply isn’t enough. This is part of what has motivated some former caffeine lovers to give the habit a second thought.
Entrepreneur Dave Kerpen wrote in Inc. about his experience as a coffee lover and the downside of his dependence on the bean. Even though his professional and personal life were both strong, coffee took its toll.
“I had gained a lot of weight. I was irritable and anxious. I felt simply out of balance–the coffee felt great, but each time the caffeine wore off, I felt depressed and tired and struggled until I got my next fix.”
After Kerpen gave up the habit with medical help. He lost 50 pounds and gained energy, proving, at least in his case, that his long working days were still possible without coffee.
Kerpen isn’t alone. Last year in The Telegraph, Olly Mann described a similar scenario of coffee addiction and recovery. After experiencing heart palpitations, Mann gave up coffee completely and went through five days of serious withdrawal from his decade-long habit.
“Here was the revelation: I’d spent my adult life believing I was an ‘evening person’; one who could only function via endless topups of warm stimulus. Yet now, I realised, my previous inability to get out of bed without coffee was itself a symptom of coffee addiction.”
Neither Kerpen nor Mann claims to be a health expert, but both offer medical reasons to give up coffee. Mann quotes a statistic that, in the U.S., death rates for those under the age of 55 rise by more than half for all causes if they drink in excess of four cups of coffee daily. He also describes his own experience of being unable to awaken during his period of withdrawal until his body adjusted.
Kerpen offers up more specific justifications for not partaking in a regular coffee indulgence. He claims coffee stimulates stress hormones, causes depression and an inability to focus. He also cites fatigue, insomnia, dehydration and claims coffee can cause insulin sensitivity, making it difficult for the body to regulate blood sugar. All of these symptoms Kerpen attributes specifically to caffeine, perhaps giving those who choose a decaffeinated blend of coffee something to be happy about.
One thing Kerpen discovered that may be particularly important to him as an entrepreneur and others like him who watch their pocketbooks; coffee is expensive. Kerpen estimates that since giving up his habit, he is saving $2,500 every year.
[Coffee Image: Jamala Foods/Google]