I became a coffee addict the day I started graduate school. It was normal for me to be up at the break of dawn and in the library until the wee hours of the morning, so I needed all the help I could get in order to make it through the day. My love for coffee remained with me long after I graduated from my masters program, though, and I found myself tossing back at least two cups a day.
I never thought much about how coffee affected my fitness routine. I knew it wasn't great for my sleep-wake cycle and spiked my anxiety levels. I also knew that it made me feel dehydrated, no matter how much water I drank. So when I gave it up, those were the things at the forefront of my mind. While nixing coffee from my diet certainly helped me address all of these problems, I was surprised to learn that my workouts were the thing that benefited the most from a caffeine-free life.
I'm the type of person who always works out in the morning. When I was a coffee drinker, I used to wait until after my workout to enjoy my beverage (the caffeine made me too anxious to do any kind of exercise). However, after I gave up coffee and my body started to generate its own energy every morning, I realized that my a.m. workouts had been pretty lazy since my body was reliant on caffeine for its energy. So I wasn't getting the most out of my strength training or cardio.
When I was drinking coffee every day, I would get the afternoon crash around 3 p.m., like clockwork. Most of the time, if I had an afternoon workout planned, I ended up canceling it because I was so exhausted and depleted of energy. This happened time and time again, until I was missing a few workouts every week and my fitness level was declining.
A few weeks after giving up coffee, I noticed that my morning workouts were getting stronger, and not having to fight an afternoon crash meant I could actually show up to my workouts. I felt more energetic than ever before. I also got fitter, just from the simple fact that I was working out more often. It's now been a year and a half since I've had a sip of coffee . . . and I don't miss it at all.
Product Credit: Dear Bowie robe