I've survived 2 months without coffee! Nope, it wasn't a bet that's finally over with, and nope, I don't plan to drink coffee daily anymore. Wait, wait, wait... with no cash prize, what ever could possess me to stop sipping on the gas that got me through my crazy days?! Well, after Momma B, (that's my mom!), wrote her article "The Best Diet For... Everything", I started thinking that maybe my usual dragging feeling in the morning was not just that I'm not a morning person. I've never enjoyed waking up, and I thought I needed an extra kick to get going. After reading the article though, I thought: maybe my body isn't rejecting early mornings after all; maybe it's expressing a desire for energy. And as much as we hate it, energy for the human body is calories, not caffeine. So I decided to fuel my body with nutrient dense calories when I felt tired instead of turning to the caffeine in coffee. (Clementines have been my go to because they're not overboard on calories, they contain lots of energizing nutrients, and the citrus gives me a natural jolt!) 2 months later, how do I feel? I'm happy, I'm functioning, and honestly, I can confidently say that I'm happier and functioning more efficiently.
Caution! Brash words are about to follow: coffee is a quick fix. Yeah, I said it. Believe me, I would have told myself off 3 months ago. "Screw your science argument you cold-hearted nerd!" You're reading the words of someone who enjoys hot, black coffee, so honestly, if I didn't believe it made a drastic difference in how I feel, I wouldn't recommend swearing off this daily delight. But I do feel different. In a great way. I don't believe it's so much because I gave up coffee - although I'm sure my body appreciates not dealing with that acidity on the daily. I believe the main reason I feel better is because I focus on nourishing my body with nutrients instead of stimulating it with caffeine.
Coffee does not give you "energy". Energy in = calories consumed; energy out = calories burned. Caffeine is nowhere in that equation of physiology. Know what is in that equation though? Nutrients. The amount of nutrients, (vitamins and minerals), a food contains, in ratio to the number of calories it contains, determines how "healthy" it is. The more nutrient dense a food is, the better it aids your organs and your body in its everyday function. When you feel like you could stand to function better, take a good look at the nutrients you're putting into your body. And no, I'm not talking about vitamins and supplements here*.
Where I'm going with this is: when you don't feel 100%, it's because your body doesn't have 100% of the nutrients it needs. Caffeine isn't a nutrient, it's a stimulant. Therefore, it does not play a critical or even necessary role in your body's ability to function, (no matter how much you try to argue that it might). It's a cold, (pun intended), harsh truth. I'm not trying to convert you - coffee runs through the veins of us New Englanders. And usually we're too stubborn to do things differently... but we also love to be the best. So basically what I'm saying is "What would Brady do?" I believe he'd do what helps his body perform the best it can. A body stimulated by caffeine doesn't always perform better, but a body that's completely nourished will always feel great, perform its best, and recover more quickly. That's the Brady we want and that's the body we should want. So buy some clementines, slice up pineapple, keep packs of berries or bottles of green juice around, and turn to nutrients when you need something to lift you out of an energy slump. With all that good ish in your body, you can't help but feel fantastic. Give it 1 week. Feel the difference - and admit the difference, you stubborn soul! - and you'll know what the best decision is for your body too.
*Want to know why I'm not talking about supplements? Here's why: Supplements are called exactly what they are: a supplementation to your diet. If your diet is a crappy one, your daily multivitamin isn't fixing it, it's searching for any tid-bit of goodness you've consumed to supplement. If your diet is generally healthy and filled with nutrient dense foods, your daily multivitamin will offer some extra support in helping you absorb what your body needs to function at its highest potential. I could go on about supplements more, but I'll save it for another day.