What Is No Joe January? Why You Should Consider Giving Up Coffee in January

People are giving up coffee for a host of reasons this month. Here's what you need to know.

You may have heard of Dry January, the annual tradition of forgoing alcoholic drinks and going sober for the first month of the year. You also may know about Whole30, the elimination diet where you give avoid grains, legumes, dairy, alcohol, added and artificial sugar and foods with common additives that many also try each year during January. But this year, a growing number of people are starting to give up coffee for 30 days, in a trend becoming known as No Joe January.

While there are plenty of studies showing that coffee has many health benefits, too much coffee can be dangerous. Those who give up their daily coffee report less stress, better sleep, lower blood pressure, better digestion, fewer bathroom breaks and an overall calmer, less anxious state of being. It’s a way of resetting and rethinking a healthier relationship with coffee.

“I got to a place where rather than enjoying it from a balanced place of sustained energy, I had a desperate, reliant relationship to the chemical,” said Amanda Chantal Bacon, founder of Moon Juice, an adaptogenic beauty and wellness company that sells alternatives to coffee. “By the end of the month without caffeine, I felt way more peaceful, positive, patient and open-hearted. I was more affectionate towards my husband, work was just as efficient, but with less edge, and I felt the return to a hormonal balance that had been disrupted by the daily caffeine.”

What Are the Health Benefits of Giving Up Coffee?

A lot of benefits can happen to your body when you quit coffee. According to WebMD, eschewing caffeine can help lower anxiety and blood pressure. Coffee can make you anxious and trigger your “fight or flight” response, causing jitters, nervousness, heart palpitations and even feelings of panic. Researchers think it might also keep your arteries from staying as wide as they should for healthy blood pressure. Equally problematic are withdrawal symptoms like headaches that occur when those who are heavy coffee drinkers don’t get their morning joe.

According to Healthline, giving up coffee can help your sleep. Studies have shown that daily coffee intake can alter sleep cycles and cause restless sleep and daytime drowsiness. This is especially true if you consume caffeine less than six hours before bedtime. If you don’t drink coffee, some studies suggest that your body may absorb nutrients like calcium, iron and B vitamins better than those who do.

Finally, giving up coffee can help your appearance, with whiter teeth and better skin. Caffeine slows down the production of collagen, which gives skin its tightness and elasticity

What Are Some Coffee Alternatives to Try?

These days, there are so many great alternatives to coffee that have less or no caffeine. Switching from coffee to tea is the obvious choice, especially green tea. In studies, green tea is linked to preventing just about every ailment—from cancer to puffy eyes. Though it has caffeine, it has significantly less than coffee and black tea.

Beyond tea, there’s yerba mate, a South American favorite made from evergreen tree leaves and brewed cacao (not to be confused with cocoa). Matcha, the Japanese powdered tea, is becoming popular for its healthy mix of antioxidants, vitamins and fiber. Mushroom coffee relies on the fungi’s powerful health benefits to sharpen your focus, reduce brain fog and keep your energy levels sustained throughout the day—all without the post-coffee crash.

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