Just yesterday I could not get the thought that I ‘needed’ to stop and buy a cup of coffee out of my head, even though my belly was full, and I had just finished a cup.
It is not easy to think clearly about coffee. The mere sight of the word may trigger an emotional response for you.
Here’s a short list of reasons I have thought that I “needed a cup of coffee” …
… It’s 6:30 AM …
… I’ll be driving for more than 30 minutes …
… I’m passing nearby a place that serves excellent coffee …
… I haven’t had a cup of coffee yet today …
… I like the feeling that being in the cafe gives me …
… There’s a pot brewed, so, ‘why not’ have a little more?
When you put these thoughts into writing, you can see that while some are funny, none of them really make sense. However, they are real and powerful, and you have to deal with them.
There’s nothing ‘right or wrong’ with this. Culturally, coffee runs through our days, evenings, t-shirts, conversations, and businesses. It is woven into our thoughts and feelings.
Examining the reasons you desire things such as coffee can be a little unsettling at first, but it’s nothing to feel bad about. This is the beginning of the process of self-discovery, and of walking your true path towards health.
The better you get at noticing what is actually happening when your desires for coffee arise, and at listening to what your body says about how it affects you, the more clearly you will know how much coffee is right for you.
No one else can tell you that. You have to find out for yourself.
Yes, I could make a ‘coffee limit’ recommendation here based on everything that I’ve studied and discussed with people. But if you walk away from this article with just the ‘coffee rule that Matt said’ then, you’ve missed something.
You are not the average of thousands of people who participated in dozens of studies with different methods. You are not any of the clients I’ve worked with. You are … you. Your liver, stress levels, hormones, diet, job, family, and metabolic type are yours.
If you really want to find what the right amount of coffee is for you, you will need two things:
- To be honest with yourself.
- To test & retest.
Practice asking yourself questions such as: “Why do I really want this cup of coffee right now?” and, “Did that one give me the jitters?” or “On a scale of 1-10, how much do I want this next cup?”
Take note of any negative side effects, particularly elevated heart rate, cloudy thinking, or emotions that arise before or after each cup. You may want to write these down for a week and look for patterns.
Experiment. If you’ve been drinking 5 cups per day for a long time, that’s a difficult habit (possibly addiction) to change. You may not want to reduce your coffee intake at all at first. Instead, you could add in a glass of water after each cup and see where that goes.
If you truly listen to your body and soul, you might be surprised at how clearly they can answer the questions that your mind has trouble with.
Oh, and for the record, by practicing these techniques, I’ve been able to effortlessly move from a place where I was drinking 5, sometimes even 10 cups of coffee per day, to a place where one cup is more than enough. Currently I take my one cup organic, with butter and mushroom powder.