What Happens to Your Body When You Stop Drinking Coffee for a Month, Doctors Say
You just have to make it through the withdrawal period.
If you're hooked on a daily cup of coffee (or three), your body may now be reliant on the caffeine boost it brings. Yet experts say there are benefits to cutting down on your daily coffee intake—or even cutting it out entirely.
What stops many people from taking the plunge into a coffee-free morning is the rather unpleasant initial period of withdrawal. "If you stop drinking coffee abruptly, you may feel withdrawal symptoms in a few days to a week or two," explains Shirley Collins, MD, a doctor and contributing author at Academia Labs, LLC. These symptoms can include headache, fatigue, irritability, muscle pain, flu-like symptoms, and more. However, Collins notes that after a month, your body will likely have acclimated to the lack of caffeine, and a new set of (mostly) positive effects may begin to emerge.
Wondering what comes after the withdrawal period ends and the more permanent changes begin? Read on to learn what happens to your body when you stop drinking coffee for a month to decide whether it's right for you.
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You may begin to sleep better.
The first major change you might notice after cutting out coffee for a month is that your sleep improves. This is often especially true for individuals who are used to drinking multiple cups of coffee each day, or who drink coffee into the afternoon or evening.
"Caffeine is a stimulant that can disrupt sleep patterns and lead to insomnia," Nadia K. Ghumman, MD, a doctor and author at Wholesomealive.com, tells Best Life. "When someone stops drinking coffee, they may experience improvements in their sleep quality and duration, leading to better rest and reduced feelings of fatigue," she explains.
Collins agrees that quitting coffee is likely to improve your sleep patterns. "Once caffeine is out of your system, you will be able to sleep better. Since caffeine is no longer blocking the sleep-promoting receptors, you can now easily fall asleep faster and will have longer sustained sleep," she says.
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You may experience mood changes.
Quitting coffee can also result in notable mood changes, the two doctors say. "When you get addicted to coffee, you are more alert but your mind can also go into overdrive," says Collins, noting that this can lead to overthinking and anxiety. "When you successfully wean from coffee, you have less anxiety," she explains.
Ghumman says people who suffer from frequent stress may notice a "more relaxed and calm mood" within a month's time. "Coffee can affect the level of hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline in the body, leading to changes in mood and energy levels," she tells Best Life.
Your dental health may improve.
Cutting out coffee may also improve your dental health and hygiene, notes Collins, adding that it can greatly improve the look of your teeth. "Coffee's color can stain your teeth, so stopping coffee, together with other dental hygiene, can make your teeth look whiter."
Experts say coffee can also cause a buildup of plaque and erode your tooth enamel over time—especially if you take your coffee with milk or sugar. By no longer drinking coffee, you may be less likely to develop cavities and other dental issues.
You may become more hydrated.
If you stop drinking coffee—and especially if you replace it with water—you'll quickly become more hydrated. This is great news, especially in light of recent research which suggests that drinking water can help ward off certain chronic health conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and more.
"Coffee is a diuretic, meaning it can dehydrate the body. When someone stops drinking coffee, they may feel more hydrated and experience fewer symptoms of dehydration, such as dry mouth and fatigue," says Ghumman.
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Your digestion may improve.
The jury is still out over whether coffee aids or inhibits proper digestion. However, for people with sensitive digestive tracts, cutting out coffee may improve unpleasant digestive symptoms, says Ghumman.
"Coffee can cause acid reflux and irritate the digestive system, leading to digestive discomfort. When someone stops drinking coffee, they may experience improved digestion, leading to reduced symptoms of indigestion such as bloating and heartburn," she says.
You may struggle with focus and concentration.
There are many ways in which no longer drinking coffee is likely to improve your physical and mental health. However, Ghumman notes that not all of the changes you may encounter are equally positive.
In particular, she points out that some people who quit coffee struggle to focus their attention. "Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, leading to improved focus and concentration. When someone stops drinking coffee, they may experience a decrease in focus and concentration, making it more difficult to concentrate on tasks," she says.