Why I stopped drinking coffee. | Diane Sanfilippo

Why I stopped drinking coffee (and what I drink instead)

Diane Sanfilippo Diane: Direct, Health & Wellness 95 Comments

A LOT of people have been asking why I stopped drinking coffee.

I stopped drinking coffee in January when I started my tour for my newest book, The 21-Day Sugar Detox Daily Guide.

Why?

Well, on an early tour stop, I bought cold brew, poured it, mixed it with my coconut milk in my hotel room, then took one sip and LISTENED TO MY BODY.

And I PUT IT BACK DOWN.

MY BODY SAID NO.

My body felt like it was already vibrating from my chest on out. How could I possibly sip coffee when I already felt so physical wired? I couldn’t. Even if I was a bit *sleepy,* my body had a vibration from the inside that said “NO, DIANE. JUST NO.”

Sh!t.

I hadn’t been listening for about the 6 months prior to that, when I couldn’t workout. My sleep was a struggle. And I was so anxious I was fraying. Anxiety, for me, comes from work I’m doing or trying to do but when there’s a fully unknown outcome, and I’m doing MY BEST, but I still fear it won’t be good enough, or no one will care that I did it, or it’ll just be something I put out into the world and is somehow wildly misunderstood.

I love writing books, but the process brings emotional stress to my life, which I internalize and feel physically.

I don’t (think I) lash out at or even turn to others for counsel in those times. At least not for the most part. I have few friends to talk to about how it feels, though I cherish the ones I do… but my point is, it stays IN. (I’m working on this thanks to those few but mighty friends who SEE AND HEAR AND FEEL ME. You know who you are.)

But in those times, my body FEELS THE STRESS. And it was shutting down. I felt like I had “an adrenal injury.” It was an HPA-axis issue – AKA: STRESS. (Google HPA axis if you want to know more.)

Why I stopped drinking coffee: STRESS.

(If you want to learn more about how all of that works, I highly recommend listening to our podcast episodes about adrenal fatigue! Here's just one episode on adrenal fatigue, but there are many linked via the Podcast Archives by Topic page.)

So, after basically drinking only water and kombucha on tour (yes, it’s tea with some caffeine), I made the switch from coffee to matcha. Funny enough, my first real matcha was at @picnikaustin when @pupsandpaleo ordered one but it came out just a tiny bit differently than she had ordered, and I said I’d drink it! I knew I liked green tea, but I didn’t know if I’d like matcha. CLEARLY I DID!

I recently posted my Matcha Latte Recipe, which I often tweak in small ways depending on my mood or the day.

Why I stopped drinking coffee. | Diane Sanfilippo

 

Do you drink matcha? 🍵

The matcha I've been drinking, as well as the full recipe, can be found under recipes. #matcha #dianedrinksmatcha

Let me know in the comments below – have you stopped drinking coffee or even drinking as much coffee? I've shared why I stopped drinking coffee, now I want to hear from you!

Comments 95

  1. I used to get stomach aches and headaches, so I switched to matcha 🍵. I am obsessed with it and love ❤️ that it’s so good for me!

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  2. I did the same and have never felt better. What a difference eliminating coffee made on my digestion, adrenals, sleep and anxiety/stress.

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  3. I get terrible anxiety, brain fog and my body just feels weird. I too, went to matcha and love it and love your recipe! The cacao butter is life! Thank you!

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  4. Last year 2 weeks before my 40h birthday I suddenly couldn’t tolerate coffee anymore. For me it’s a caffeine issue. I’m fine with decaf and even green tea but haven’t found my go to morning drink yet almost a year later! I think I’m gonna bite the bullet and just buy the tin to make at home. I keep thinking I’ll order it out at a coffee shop but all the ones I have checked list sugar as a main ingredient another no go item for me. I’ll try your recipe soon!! Thanks!!

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  5. What is Matcha and what is a good brand? I’ve been avoiding ever since trying a matcha something (I can’t even remember what) at Starbucks, it was so GROSS! I rarely go there anymore but I keep hearing about it but that experience really left a bad taste! Any tips would be appreciated!

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  6. I quit for the same reasons only last week, but also because I had an allergy test and have a moderate to severe sensitivity to coffee. I think this is the universe telling me that I should have been listening to my body this past year when I was having symptoms of anxiety, stress and being wired all the time. I’m drinking green tea and looking for a coffee alternate, so I’ll give matcha a try. I feel so much better already! 🙂

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  7. I have cut back my coffee consumption A LOT but still have one or two a week. Lately sometimes when I do have those coffees my body starts to vibrate! It’s a new sensation and not one I want. I’ve been drinking a herbal blend called Dandy Blend and have really been enjoying it. Never thought I’d give up coffee but I can now see how it’s totally possible. Thanks for sharing this post.

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  8. I had to stop drinking coffee and within a few days my heart palpitations and anxiety calmed down an insane amount. And once I got my eating back in check (I know dairy is a no go for me) the rest of my body has calmed down. Still some sleep issues but so interesting how much certain foods and drinks can irritate my stress levels even further. Still need to try matcha instead of decaf coffee!

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  9. I drink decaf tea and once in a while decaf coffee…but yes, I notice, too, that the coffee makes me wired, so hardly ever drink it now. I think it’s great that you are letting people know that the caffeine consumption is linked to anxiety and insomnia. Caffeine isn’t good for one’s mental health!

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  10. I have a love-hate relationship with coffee and routinely quit it 2-3 times a year only to go back again. I have even been tested and have a sensitivity to it, yet I can’t stop. I am 4 days without it now. I haven’t found a substitute I love as much, and I love hot beverages in the morning even on summer mornings. I’m going to try this!

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      I have quit it many times, but before I didn’t find a great replacement – the replacement is EVERYTHING for me! Did you try my matcha latte recipe yet? The cacao butter and collagen are really important!

  11. I haven’t had soda or anything else for years but I’ve always been a huge coffee drinker. About 2-3 months ago went completely decaf and, yes, it took a while for the headaches to go away. So besides my decaf coffee I only drink water or various teas (low caffeine). Should I consider removing the decaf for a while to see if I notice any changes?

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      I would try it. The thing about green tea is that it does have caffeine, but a lot of people feel different drinking it for other reasons as well – ya know? It’s not just the caffeine in coffee that may affect us. I am not anti coffee at all, just pro-testing! 🙂 Keep me posted!

  12. I quit coffee too. I have never been successful at weight loss without going coffee free. My brain and. Oft feel so much better! And I have lost weight. I think it increases my appetite too much.

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  13. Hi Diane. I stopped drinking coffee in December due to a digestive problem. I thought it was going to be hard because I love coffee and coffee flavored everything but pain is an excellent motivator. I don’t even do decaf. I drink tea often but they are usually caffeine free and I never tried matcha. I see videos with people having matcha flavored everything but I was never interested in it myself. Maybe I will try it.

  14. I wasn’t a heavy coffee drinker, but I did like an occasional espresso shake back in the day. When I started making a change for personal reasons, I tried Pero first. Not too bad. Down the road, I discovered Teeccino, which is a darn good beverage. They have a nice range of products and flavors. My favorite flavors are vanilla nut and amaretto. Yum! The nicest thing is getting that same sense you would get holding the mug of coffee, without getting a bunch of crap. I’m sure their products aren’t for everyone, but they definitely work for me.

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  15. I stopped drinking coffee recently when I began the AIP diet, I found a recipe for chickory “coffee”, it’s roasted chickory root, dandelion, coconut manna, and coconut oil blended together. I LOVE it, it’s the perfect substitute for me and l make it right in my French press.

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  16. I switched over to your matcha latte recipe after seeing your posts. I have adrenal fatigue and a newborn so I was exhausted from not sleeping but knew I shouldn’t be turning to coffee. I have been loving how I feel drinking the matcha! Thank you so much for putting it out there and sharing all the content you do. I am curious as it gets warmer will you switch to something iced? I wasn’t sure if making that recipe then pouring over ice would work out. I’d love to try it if you come up with a variation for summer!

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      I’m SO glad you’re feeling better with it! I don’t know if I’ll move to iced. I do love iced coffee (or did!), but I think the matcha works well warm for me! I’d probably drink it too fast if it were cold!

  17. I’ve tried to be a caffeine drinker over the years and have learned over and over that my body doesn’t tolerate it whether it be coffee, black tea or matcha. I initially feel great but then crash pretty hard, craving sugar and getting super cranky. And it screws up my sleep. It’s a bummer because I enjoy the “pick me up” that matcha gives me but I have the same response to it as to any other caffeinated beverages – even with added fat! 🙁

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  18. I stopped drinking coffee about 2 months ago. I cut back around this time of year generally. After being really sick (most likely from suffering from really poor sleep), I drank only water and herbal tea, and when I felt better my body didn’t want coffee. I saw your matcha tea recipe and decided to try it and have been doing that for a couple weeks now. Still trying to get my sleep back to normal, but I think I need a little caffeine in the morning to focus at work and this helps. Thanks for sharing your story and the recipe.

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  19. I tried matcha and loved it but unfortunately, it affects me the same as coffee. Less anxiety during the buzz, but it’s like I’m borrowing energy from the rest of the day. If I drink matcha in the morning, I will be completely wiped at 2 pm and have to take a nap. I’ve just learned to live without any kind of energy booster. Instead I drink turmeric, black pepper, and collagen powder with coconut milk to red is inflammation.

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  20. I’ve been off coffee for a few years now. Sometimes I give into temptation and instantly regret it. My first sign that it was a bad idea was tight jaw and neck muscles! And then that night it’s super hard to sleep, even lying awake for hours at 2AM. My alternate drink of choice is Chai Tea (cafe or decaf, but mostly decaf) with Collagen and Nutpods. It’s also good blended with MCT oil. Nutpods also makes pumpkin spice flavor that’s not great in coffee, but is so good with chai!! Still need to try matcha…

  21. Thanks so much for this post! I’ve broken up with coffee multiple times in the past, and then I always would slowly let it seep back into my daily habits. A year ago, after going from drinking zero coffee to drinking 2 a day, I started to feel really crappy – my digestion wasn’t great, I was getting headaches and brain fog, and anxiety as well. I quit drinking it almost exactly a year ago and haven’t looked back! I still like the smell of it, and sometimes it’s hard being coffee-free in a coffee-obsessed world BUT it is SO worth it!! I drink rooibos tea most days and occasionally (maybe once a week) green or black tea.

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  22. I’ve known for a long time that I need to kick the coffee habit, but am having such a difficult time. I’ve weaned myself from 3-4 cups a morning to just 1, but dropping that morning “security blanket” has proven difficult. I have tried your matcha latte recipe several times and it is REALLY good! I hope to make the full switch within the next few weeks. Thank you for being an inspiration to me in so many areas of life.

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  23. Dealing with adrenal fatigue I have realized that coffee is no longer my friend 😢 Have broke up with my love of a hot mug of it and down to only a little bit of cold brew in the mornings. Plan to be fully off of it soon. Although the thought of turning 40 next month and breaking up with coffee is almost too much to bear!!

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      I think it’s good to consider it a “for now” change, ya know? I know I can go back to it later as it’ll always be there. I recently had some decaf and enjoyed it, but I don’t miss it everyday anymore because I feel a lot better. Feeling better took several weeks!

  24. I’m so with you on this!
    I switched to matcha at the start of this year and never felt better and I love the little morning ritual I have with it.
    Drinking coffee affected my sleep which I only found out after I stopped drinking it. It also made my anxiety worse and also made me sweat a lot – gross.
    Now if only Vancouver would catch up and get lots of yummy matcha at cafe’s I’d be stoked :-))

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  25. I love my coffee, so maybe I’ll try drinking this recipe on Tue/Thur for awhile. Converted from full caffeine to half-caff. Yep, having problems with my adrenals. Glad you made the switch with little problem.

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  26. I have a ton of food allergies. Dairy was the only “choice” elimination because it cleared up my acne. I started drinking more coffee and saw a recurrence of awful, cystic acne on my face, back and chest. Quit coffee and I get clear skin again. Now if I have a cup, I pay for it for a week. My body clearly doesn’t like it – so I try to listen, even though I miss it dearly.

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  27. Girl thank you so much for introducing me to the wonder that is cacao butter. I can’t imagine matcha without it!

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  28. I am 51 years young and I didn’t start drinking coffee until a few years ago. Usually I have no more than one cup a day of a very light roast. I enjoy it as a routine, but also as a little boost to get me moving each morning.

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      I love coffee, too, but it wasn’t loving me back. I think it’s a wonderful beverage with some potential downsides for some of us depending on our lives at the time, ya know? Enjoy it while it treats you well 🙂

  29. Hi Diane –
    About 2 months ago I switched from caffeinated coffee to organic decaf and now I drink more black tea and green tea. I recently tried your matcha recipe w/ a different brand of matcha. I liked it but maybe I would love it (since I really like green tea) if I tried the brand you use and the MCT oil powder. My long term goal is to stop coffee altogether. I’ve noticed a significant improvement in sleep and less anxiety especially around my period. Also, I recently learned that Matcha increases fat burning by 30% post exercise when taken prior to exercising and 24% without exercise according to a study quoted by Debra Atkinson @flippingfifty.com. Lastly, my acupuncturist told me that green tea is cooling vs. coffee & black tea that are warming – important to know for those of us experiencing increased warming due to hormonal changes such as hot flashes or night sweats. More reasons to jump on the matcha train!

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  30. I was actually curious about this. So is the actual coffee or is the caffeine that can cause issues with hormones and exacerbate adrenal fatigue? Recently, I switched to an organic swiss water decaf and I can tell a difference. I only drink a small cup a day, but wondering if I should give it up completely.

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  31. Funny, I never drank regular coffee, only decaf….and gave it up 2 years ago and never looked back… For me, it seems as though it wasn’t just the caffeine that was irritating to my digestive system. I am so excited to try your matcha recipe. I loved the morning ritual of coffee, but it just wasn’t worth it. Thanks for being so freaking awesome!!

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  32. I cut back the amount of coffee I drank when I stopped eating dairy and sugar. And since I drank my coffee with cream and sugar multiple cups of coffee didn’t seem that appealing anymore. I am a fast caffeine metabolized so I find I can handle a little black coffee in the morning. I also like your matcha lattes and will make them when I have a more leisurely morning.

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  33. I never did well with coffee burn started drinking it anyway when trying the Keto diet for energy and the other supposed benefits. But it was making me worse over time, I didn’t feel like “me” more like an energetic robot! I can see why people use it to function faster for work and getting stuff done, but really is that what life should be about? It’s a mind altering substance at the end of the day – not food, not natural, not really medicicinal. I’m sure it has benefits but…it’s not for everyone. Maybe it’s best left for those on high carb diets that create sluggishness so they need a boost?

    I’d be interested in trying matcha but I never was a fan of green tea haha, tastes like dirt water to me.

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  34. This is the perfect time for this post for me. Started drinking regular coffee again during a time when my Dad was hospitalized 6 to 8 times over 2 months. It is fake energy and makes stress so much worse. I am now having a hard time stopping..but I am on decaf. My thyroid has also tanked due to over worked adrenals and cortisol (from stress). WHY can’t we just stay where we are when everything is going well. I will try matcha but my heart says coffee, coffee, coffee.

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  35. Did you gradually stop coffee? I hate caffeine headaches. I ordered the matcha, and now have it, but haven’t started drinking it yet. 🤦🏼‍♀️

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  36. I drank coffee as a routine. Just because. I enjoyed the morning routine of it. Especially on weekends when I could just sit and ‘enjoy’ it. Then… I was complaining about having no energy, not caring anymore, not wanting to workout anymore, etc. This person looked at me and immediately said ‘your Pita is out of balance’. What!?!? So I looked into Dosha’s and learned I was a Pita and one of the things in the list that did not agree with me was …coffee!!
    It never really made me feel good. It was just a routine.
    Have yet to find the substitute I love. Matcha is on the list! TY!

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  37. I stopped drinking coffee when I was hoping to get pregnant, but the more I learn about adrenal fatigue (so much from you guys), a condition I’m sure I dealt with for a LONG time, I’ll never want to get started down that vicious cycle again! Now I drink bone broth in the morning and kombucha around noon. 💗

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  38. Just made your matcha latte recipe..YES the Cacao Butter is the key ingredient. SO delicious..and I did not have coffee today! Yippee and thanks.

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  39. I’ve had a nagging feeling for a while [actually, a few years… ugh] that I *should* drink less coffee. In fact, when life is up and hectic, stress is high, and all I want is more sleep, coffee often tastes bad, to me. Which I have noticed over the past few years, but blatantly ignored. Coffee was my ritual, habit, and a (sometimes guilty) pleasure every morning.

    After I quit my corporate job in November, it took a little while, but I started listening to my body, mostly because I could hear it more clearly. In January, I stopped drinking an entire french press of coffee every morning (followed by an afternoon coffee, because the 2pm crash happened daily) and switched to one home-made (much more luxurious) latté. I’m now making an americano with cacao dust which has mushrooms & adaptogens in it – so tasty, and my body is receptive to this drink.

    However, I think it really only likes the cacao dust… And it might be time for me to let go of coffee, as well. I’ve never been a big fan of green tea, and I’m terrified of matcha! (seems so silly to say that!). I might be on the road to lightly sweetened hot cocoa in the mornings… is that a thing?

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  40. I’ve always had the jittery and digestive distress common with caffeine but found it hard to part with! I work night shift sometimes and caffeine seems like a necessity! I tried matcha at coffee shops but they just drown it in sugar, which also affects me negatively! Insert your matcha recipe… I really enjoy it and I haven’t even tried it with cacao butter!! I need to break up with coffee for good, if it didn’t smell so darn good!!

  41. I’m not a caffeinated coffee drinker, but I did give up my kombucha. I’m having issues with adrenal fatigue and very low testosterone. I gave up caffeinated coffee years ago due to digestion issues and the anxiety the caffeine tended to cause me. I am looking forward to adding kombucha back into my diet. I miss it!

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  44. I went without my morning coffee for 9mo due to pregnancy b/c suddenly the smell made me nauseated. Since having baby 4mo ago, I’ve been back on the coffee bandwagon and have been feeling extra jittery after drinking it. I’m contemplating switching to matcha and am looking forward to trying your recipe. Out of curiosity, what do you seem to run out of first in your list of ingredients? And, how quickly does it run out? Or perhaps they all run out simultaneously (I do recall seeing in an IG story you blend portions for a quick scoop and go).
    Thank you so much for your reply.

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  45. I get real bad caffeine withdrawl headaches if I don’t start my day with a coffee. While not the end of the world it can be a pain so I look forward to trying some of the alternatives you suggest in this post. Thanks for some great tips.

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  46. Hi Diane!

    I have recently started listening to your podcast and I love it! I haven’t gotten to any that touch on adrenal fatigue (I’m getting there!) but I would like to make a switch from coffee to matcha if matcha is a safe alternative for adrenal fatigue?

    Also I’m sorry if you’ve already answered this in previous comments I skimmed through and could have missed it!

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  47. I love that you are covering this topic. Since I gave up coffee in November, it seems many I encounter, especially coworkers in a heavy office culture around coffee, think I’m crazy. I used to drink about 16oz of French press coffee daily. But since giving it up, my cystic acne is gone, I’m sleeping better, my mood is significantly stabilized, and I’ve stopped experiencing panic attacks. I just ordered the cacao butter to try your style of matcha and can’t wait. I use Vital Proteins collagen matcha and really love it as it’s easy on busy mornings. Thanks for all the wisdom and information you share.

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      I do think coffee is a very social beverage, so it can be really hard to give it up. I’m actually enjoying a bit of it while on vacation for a couple of days as I find it doesn’t feel the same, interesting right?

      I do think you’d love the Equip Food collagen if you try it – see what you think sometime! The powder is very fine, it’s my favorite – I do blend it with my own high quality/organic ceremonial grade matcha for my drink!

  48. I did the same and have never felt better. What a difference eliminating coffee made in my digestion, adrenals, sleep and anxiety and stress as well.

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  49. I messed up again I drank a grande americano from starbucks and i had a heart issues i was about to go to the emergency room hard time breathing ive been to the emergency room before because of caffeine i guess im super sensitive it now makes me feel bad for the whole day when i drink decaff im ok i was just testing to see if i can tolerate it i had it for 3 days but today i thought i was gonna die it felt like my blood went to my head i was feeling hot and cold i was shivering hard time breathing i told myself id never drink regular coffee again i screwed up this feeling sucks so bad help me god!

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