For over 100 years, a dose of caffeine during the workday has been a part of American culture. The “coffee break” is almost as universal as work itself, and we all have at least one coworker who is never more than arm’s length away from their mug. Many wear their coffee habit as a badge of honor. There are few substances that have as strong a hold on us, which is why this next question will drive at least half of our readers bonkers: would we be better off without it? Don’t whip out your pitchforks and torches just yet. There are a few solid reasons you might want to consider at least cutting back on your coffee intake.
How much could you save by quitting coffee?
If you’re like many coffee lovers, the odds are that you don’t have the self-control to make all your coffee at home. Maybe you’re short on time, or maybe you’re craving a specialty coffee from the café near your work. As an average, a plain, brewed coffee will cost you $2.38 per cup. If you’re springing for a specialty cup, you’re looking at more like $3.45 each. Can you see where this is going? It doesn’t seem like much when you’re paying with pocket change, but it makes a difference at the end of the year. One to two cups of coffee per work day could set you back between $200 and $1000 per year.
Health and Productivity
Coffee is one of those substances that science refuses to make up its mind about. One day we’re hearing about its dangers, while the next day someone is claiming it can heal cancer and bring our childhood pets back from the dead. We’re not scientists, here, so we’ll take a reasonable stance: if coffee makes you feel better and work harder, great! Have a cup. Just be sure to refill the machine if you take the last bit. But there are still some ways to make your caffeine habit easier on your body.
Consider your timing.
Caffeine keeps us awake. That’s pretty much the whole point. So even if you’re feeling a craving, you might want to hold back, or at least switch to decaf, if it’s getting late. Losing sleep because of a caffeine high will leave you miserable and sleepy in the morning, and we already know how you’ll self-medicate to recover.
Ditch the creamers and sweeteners.
The coffee itself doesn’t have many calories, which makes it a pretty healthy snack when compared to others. But if you add creamers and sweeteners until it’s as sweet as soda, that’s exactly how healthy it will be. The weight gain and tiredness that come with all that fat and sugar will make you tired, cloudy-headed, and less productive. Can’t imagine drinking black coffee? Try switching to a nicer brand; you’ll be surprised how smooth it can be.
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