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Introduction

I absolutely love coffee. But after years and year of a regular habit, I’ve made a conscious decision reduce my consumption, as difficult as it may be.

Ironically, I used to hate coffee, and I’m sure that’s the way it started out for many of us.

A job opportunity as a Barista many years back forced me to lie to myself and the interviewer, insisting that I had a passion for coffee and a ‘good long black’.

From that moment forward my coffee consumption became a regular habit. Now, the jokes is truly on me.

A Fresh Perspective

Fast forward to today, an experiment with the Carnivore diet has radically changed my perspective on what is actually necessary for optimal human health and performance.

And unfortunately the spotlight is now on coffee.

Before coffee, I functioned completely fine. Now I feel like I need three cups before I can even string a remotely cohesive sentence together.

Do the supposed benefits of coffee outweigh the negative effects?

Could I possibly start my day without coffee (shock horror)?

I’m curious to find out.

The Coffee That Gives Us Wings, May Also Stress Us Out

Whilst coffee might be great for waking us up and keeping you awake, by doing so it increases cortisol production and in turn can wreak havoc on our Adrenal Glands.

This creates a condition commonly known as Adrenal Fatigue.

You know when you drink that 4th coffee of the day that seems to have no effect?

That’s most likely adrenal fatigue. The condition the exacerbates itself with other symptoms including sleeping problems, brain fog, irritability, lack of focus and memory issues.

The reported positive effects from those who have given up coffee have been significant, including a reduction in anxiety, an improved ability to focus and more stable energy, ironically.

The Ultimate Routine For A Caffeine Free Morning

By deciding to reduce my coffee consumption I realised I needed to radically restructure my morning routine.

I needed to replace my current habit (coffee) with a new one that would energise and get me motivated for the day, without the need for caffeine.

The following is my new routine I have been following for sometime now, with good success.

You might find it useful too.

Wim Hof Method (15 minutes)

I have been a fan and practitioner of the Wim Hof Method for a few years now, but only recently have I made it a priority (as in the first thing I do upon waking).

The Wim Hof Method is one non negotiable thing I do each and every day to boost energy, control my autonomic nervous system and bring calm and clarity to my morning.

My current practice involves a breathing technique made popular by Wim after his record breaking cold exposure experiments.

I complete 40 rounds of the breathing practice which consists of a deep inhale, breathing from the diaphragm into the chest, followed by a ‘letting go’, expelling air from the lungs, but not forcefully.

After forty rounds, I expel all air from my lungs and hold my breath my for a period of anywhere from two to three minutes in length.

It’s during this time, I feel a calm energy in my body and mind. An almost meditative state.

When I can no longer hold my breath, I deeply inhale and hold the air in my lungs for a further fifteen seconds.

Once I have completed the full cycle, I repeat it another three to four times.

If you are interested in learning more about the Wim Hof Method, you can check out his website here, or download the app here.

I personally use the app which I feel deeply improves my practice.

GOWOD Stretch Routine (8 minutes)

Once I have completed three to four rounds of Wim Hof breathing, I perform a quick stretching routine as guided in the smart phone app, GOWOD.

With this routine, I am relieving any stiffness from eight hours of sleeping, improving circulation and therefore increasing oxygen and blood flow to my body.

I am a fan of the GOWOD app as it provides a personalised daily plan based on your weakest areas of mobility. Every thirty days an assessment is performed and changes are made to the routine, based on the results.

Since being on the program I have seen great improvement in my shoulder and hamstring flexibility, my lifts at the gym have improved, as has my overall posture.

You can check out the GOWOD app here.

Cold Shower (4 minutes)

Cold showers wake me up better than coffee. Fact.

I remember when I was living in London my cold showers were just above freezing and incredibly awakening. With the assistance of the Wim Hof breathing method to bring control of my autonomic nervous system, my cold showers went from being shockingly painful to pleasant and incredibly invigorating.

Before I knew it, cold showers became the norm and a highlight of my day.

Now here in Australia, the cold water is a bit more balmy and a little more difficult to get the shockingly cold water I craved in London, but it still has the desired effect of waking me up in preparation for the day ahead.

If you are giving up coffee and struggling to get the energy you need early in the day, start taking cold showers. Trust me, your mornings will thank you.

Conclusion

As James Clear states in his book, Atomic Habits:

“You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.”

It’s the system you put in place that will render changing a habit to be a success or a failure.

We can have the best intentions to quit a habit like coffee, but if we don’t replace the activity with something else in an effort to achieve the same outcome, there’s a high chance we will slip back into our old habits.

If we can replace the habit of drinking coffee with something that makes us feel just as good, we’ll have a much higher chance of success.


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