Sometimes caffeine can do more harm than good — even if it’s ingrained in your morning routine. Even if you’re not noticing some of the negative side effects — or you don’t realize you are, anyway — it might be a good idea to give up that daily cup (or six) of liquid energy.
Before we go any further, let’s make sure we’re on the same page about what caffeine actually is. Caffeine is a stimulant, and is described by WebMD in the same manner that any drug is. “Caffeine works by stimulating the central nervous system, heart, muscles, and the centers that control blood pressure,” the site explains.
Even if you didn’t know exactly how caffeine works or which areas of your body it targets, you’ve definitely noticed its effects. If you’re a regular coffee drinker, you don’t start your day without a mug or Starbucks cup in your hand. Or maybe coffee’s not really your thing, but drinking a Big Gulp’s worth of Coke throughout the day is. Whatever your choice, getting your daily dose of caffeine makes you less groggy in the morning, gives you a boost at lunch, and helps your power through that late-afternoon presentation. But as with any drug — legal or not — there’s plenty of other side effects that aren’t nearly so beneficial.
We won’t try convincing you die-hards right away — we know it’s a losing battle. But maybe it’ll convince you to start weaning yourself off that fourth cup of coffee each day. And if you’ve already considered going cold turkey, take a look at why it might not be such a bad idea.