Why I Quit Drinking Coffee in Mexico

It was not my intent to quit drinking coffee in Mexico. I love the stuff, and I love the aroma of a freshly brewed pot of coffee, the smell teasing my nose as I wait for that first cup. When I am ready to sit down at my computer early in the morning, there is nothing as satisfying as taking that first sip. Tea just does not have that same appeal for me. So why did I quit drinking coffee?

A Sick Husband

When we first arrived here in Mexico, I believe my husband might have been coming down with something like a cold. Within our first two weeks of being here, he woke up one morning with a fever, chills, aches, sneezing, difficulty breathing, and a cough that wouldn’t quit. It sounds like the common cold or flu, doesn’t it?

Except it persisted, and nothing seemed to work. He lost his appetite and ate mostly yogurt to keep up his strength. I was beginning to think he might have pneumonia and was getting worried, so I convinced him to go to a clinic.

Finally, a visit to a doctor here in Mexico revealed he had some kind of chest virus. He was put on a breathing mask once a day for three days, three needles once a day for three days, and various pills. It took almost three weeks for him to start feeling somewhat normal again. 

No More Drinking Coffee

But a funny thing happened; he lost his appetite for coffee (beer too, but only for a little while, haha), but the taste for coffee never returned.

So, like the good wife, I told him that I would quit drinking coffee, but only after I finished what we had—I couldn’t waste it, right? Boy, did I baby that coffee? I cut down the amount to about half of what I used to take and made it just a tiny bit weaker. I stretched that remaining coffee as far as I could! I decided to quit drinking coffee, I needed all the help I could get.

Then the dreaded day came; I had run out. It was time for me to quit drinking coffee!!

What to do Next

Lemon, warm water, quit drinking coffee

I am a big believer in lemon juice and warm water to kick-start my day. I always had that first, before I had my first coffee, along with my morning stretch. Lemon in warm water has so many benefits:

  • Rich source of Vitamin C
  • Weight loss
  • An antibacterial agent
  • It helps prevent colds
  • Good for skin problems such as rashes
  • Cleaning the liver
  • Prevents Gingivitis
  • Provides electrolytes to the body
  • It helps with digestion
  • Relieving joint and muscle pain
  • Eases sore throats

Possible side effects:

  • Because it is citric acid, it may erode tooth enamel (try rinsing the mouth out after drinking)
  • Citric acid may cause heartburn
  • Frequent bathroom trips (but the same happens when drinking just plain water)

So, I thought, that is one routine I can keep, and it is something to drink. Well, here in Mexico, you run into certain challenges.

When I first arrived, I was able to find a few lemons. Then a friend told me her friend had a lemon tree and she would get me some, which were great and lasted me about 10 days. But after that, I was unable to find lemons—you would see signs in the store, Limones, everywhere—but I would get them home, and (a) they would either be sweet lemons (not the same!) or (b) limes. I called my friend and said, “Can you get me more lemons?” and she replied, “Sorry, the season is over; no more lemons!”

What?! Now, I couldn’t even have my lemon drink in the morning! I started to rethink my resolve to quit drinking coffee.

DrinkingWater Instead of Coffee

Well, what about water? I like water as much as I do coffee, and we constantly hear how good water is for us. Some of the benefits associated with drinking water are:

  • Helping to lose weight
  • Revitalizes our skin
  • It helps carry oxygen to the body
  • Reduces joint pain
  • It helps to clean our mouth, thus reducing tooth decay
  • It helps with our brainpower
  • Keeps the body hydrated
  • It relieves heartburn and constipation by keeping the bowels functioning
  • It is necessary to flush body waste
  • Prevents kidney damage

That’s a whole lot of reasons to drink water. However, as much as I like water, I have always had a difficult time drinking it straight, first thing in the morning.

Note: Here in Mexico, unless you have the patience to boil all your drinking water, it is necessary to purchase bottled water.  With all the fuss about plastic bottles, I was wondering which was the worse of the two evils – drinking bottled water or trying to quit drinking coffee.

Possible side effects:

  • According to Wikipedia, water intoxication (water poisoning, hyperhydration, or water toxemia) can occur when the normal balance of electrolytes in the body is pushed outside safe limits by drinking excessive amounts of water. This can cause a potentially fatal disturbance in brain function. You know the saying, “Too much of a good thing…”

Who knew??

Next on the List

What do you think is the most consumed non-alcoholic drink in the world? If you said soda or coffee, you would be wrong.

According to National Geographic (2014), tea is the most consumed drink in the world!

Well, there wasn’t anywhere else to go. I tried cocoa twice, but nope! Don’t get me wrong, I like hot cocoa, but not first thing in the morning in 80+ degree temperatures.

Green Tea, cup, quit drinking coffee

I do like green tea and thought maybe I could try that. So, three long weeks later, I am struggling with the water first thing in the morning and then having a hot cup of tea mid-morning. Green tea has been touted as the tea to drink, so I am willing to give it a try. Some possible benefits include:

  • Positive impact on several types of cancer
  • Protecting against cardiovascular disease
  • Lowering bad cholesterol
  • Aiding in weight loss
  • As a treatment for psoriasis and dandruff
  • Improving brain functions, in particular, our memory
  • Reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s

Note: While many studies and research have been conducted to support these claims, many more are still needed.

Possible side effects:

  • Insomnia, anxiety or upset stomach if you are caffeine intolerant
  • Increased blood pressure if taken with other stimulants
  • If taking blood thinners, could reduce the clotting of blood platelets

My Saviour, Sort of

Besides my lemon water and tea, I try to make a smoothie every day. The combination of all three is satisfying and carries me through to almost lunchtime. That has been the one thing that is helping me to quit drinking cofee. I can still have that smoothie and throw in as much stuff as I like. Plus, I know it is good for me.

So Does Coffee Deserve a Bad Rap?

I am sure, like me, you have heard the pros and cons of drinking coffee. Let’s see what some of the possible benefits are:

  • Increase our energy level
  • Protection against type 2 diabetes
  • Lower incidence and control of tremors in Parkinson’s disease
  • Risk of liver cancer by about 40% (according to an Italian researcher)
  • Lowers the risk of alcoholic cirrhosis
  • Protection against heart failure
  • May prevent premature death
  • Lowers the risk of MS (multiple sclerosis)
  • Protection against colorectal (colon) cancer
  • Source of antioxidants

Possible side effects:

  • Can cause anxiety symptoms
  • Symptoms of depression
  • Reduce chances of women wishing to be pregnant
  • Elevations in cholesterol levels (high consumption of unfiltered coffee)
  • Risk of heart disease (2 or more cups a day if you have slow metabolization)

It seems to me that the pros outweigh the cons!

Note: Again, lots of studies have been done, and many more are ongoing.

As this video shows, coffee is drunk all around the world in one form or another! Really, how bad can it be?

Final Thoughts

Sorry people, I still miss my coffee! I can’t believe I haven’t broken down yet. We were even in a nice café yesterday; I drooled, but I didn’t have any. I am not sure how long this will last, and I am trying to determine if there have been any benefits or if this is just an ‘experiment’ that needs to be stopped!

Now I understand why most smokers have a hard time quitting (for some, it’s not quitting; it’s missing the taste and the enjoyment).

I can honestly say I haven’t noticed any major physical improvements since I quit drinking coffee—sleep patterns seem to be the same, I don’t drink more tea than normal, my appetite hasn’t changed, and my teeth aren’t any whiter—perhaps I just need to give myself more time. Maybe I am saving a little money (we never drank coffee out a lot—just what we consumed at home).

The one thing I do notice is that when I drank coffee, it sustained me while working until I forced myself to make my breakfast smoothie. Now, I consciously realize I don’t have coffee in front of me and go make myself a smoothie or a bowl of oatmeal. This is probably a good thing!

Note: Hubby has not once said, “Gee, I miss coffee!” What? How can he not miss coffee? Here’s the kicker: He is drinking much more water, riding his bike further every day, and seems happier (coincidence?) You tell me!

Maybe I will give it a little longer. After all, three weeks isn’t that long, right? Perhaps I will continue my quest to find something satisfying that will replace my morning coffee or keep searching for those elusive lemons. Wish me luck!

Disclaimer: This article does not constitute a legal or medical endorsement. It is up to you to seek medical attention or advice from a medical practitioner if you have any concerns.

Are you a coffee drinker? Have you ever tried to quit drinking coffee? How did it make you feel? If you enjoyed this article, please check out our website for more.

UPDATE: I am back to drinking coffee and have no regrets!

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I love to travel and my biggest regret is that I waited so long to do it, thinking I just couldn’t afford it. I have had some crazy fun, met some amazing people, and had some scary moments such as getting locked in a shower at a campsite. For our trip to Mexico, we were able to save money by house sitting, which was something completely new to us. If this is something that interests you, then check out TrustedHousesitters or HouseSitMexico (be sure and use Code thetr6210d47b7cc90). We hope you visit often.

8 thoughts on “Why I Quit Drinking Coffee in Mexico”

  1. Hey Mary Ann,

    Hope your husband is ok now, but WOW what a story you tell.

    I love the way you blend your personal story with a lesson in the different possible options.

    I am a coffee lover and i love ground coffee at home in Manila.

    Having just spent the last 7 months in Thailand without a grinder I really missed my coffee.

    The 1st thing I did before unpacking when I got home was make myself a nice fresh coffee. I sat on my suitcase and drank it.

    So I totally understand you wanting to enjoy every last grain!

    Thank you for sharing the pros and cons of each drink…

    I have never really been a tea-drinker, but if I have to i will!

    Great post!


    • Hi Tim. Thanks for stopping by.

      I understand you wanting that cup of coffee when you got home from Thailand. It is funny to think of you sitting on the suitcase having your first sip!

      I would say tea is definitely not my first choice of a morning drink. Who knows, maybe I will end up going back or maybe I will just be stubborn and see how long I can last! Of course this is not the ideal reason to stop drinking coffee :).

  2. What a nice read 🙂 I don’t understand though why you quit drinking coffee in the first place.

    If my wife decided to not drink coffee any more what has this to do with me? She drinks her coffee black, I like sugar and milk 🙂

    Anyways, why did you stop drinking coffee, do you think it is better or do you want to try a new lifestyle with the healthy ginger lemon water, which I love too by the way?

    I keep drinking my two cups per day, I’d miss it too much with my cigarette and these I can’t quitt so far either 🙂

    • Hi Stefan.

      I guess I was thinking that out of respect for him, if he wanted to give up coffee I should support him. It would be like  you wanting to give up smoking and your wife smoked in front of you all the time. I would think you would find that difficult.

      As for trying a new lifestyle, no I don’t think so. But if I do find there are benefits from not drinking, then that would be perfect.

      I admire your discipline. If I could stop at just 2 cups a day, that would be terrific. Even cutting down to half a pot a day, I was probably still drinking 4 cups.

  3. I feel your pain, I really do!

    Can’t imagine my life without coffee in it…

    Kudos to you for being so strong-willed and able to give it up!

    I’m wondering – what do do when the urge for coffee appears again?

    I mean, the lemon water and tea are great, but they are not quite the same thing, are they?

    Bookmarking your page as we speak, so I’ll be checking for your answer and advice.

    Thanks a lot for this article!

    • Hi Boby.

      I am not sure what I will do if the craving comes – I agree lemon water and tea are ‘nice’ but they are not the same. It is getting easier as I don’t think about coffee first thing in the morning now. But if someone offered me a freshly brewed cup, I am not sure I could say no!

      I was thinking today that this might be a great opportunity to do one of those 3 – 7 day cleanse. A lot of them recommend no coffee!

  4. I can’t imagine life without coffee. Black, hot, and strong in my favorite mug the first thing in the morning when it’s quiet and no one is up. I remember my dad making an evening cup of coffee for himself and my mom. They would enjoy their coffee with a pastry. 

    I learned not to drink the water in Mexico, I was visiting Mazatlan enjoying my stay while drinking only bottled beverages. Until the last night there, I had a beverage with ice in it. That was a big mistake on my part.

    • H Glen.

      I won’t lie; it is difficult. I don’t think about coffee as much so I suppose that is a good thing.

      About the water here – I have heard that you shouldn’t trust the ice cubes just for that reason and yet, now that I think about it, I have had ice on several occasions. I have not been sick but maybe this is something I should remember and stay away from. Thanks for bringing that up.


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