Friday, January 31, 2014

Why I Gave Up Caffeine

30 days ago I stopped consuming caffeine (other than decaf coffee and decaf tea which do contain a very small amount of caffeine). I decided to quit caffeine as a one month experiment. I wanted to see how I would feel. After 1-2 weeks without caffeine, it became very apparent to me that I genuinely felt better.

I have been addicted to caffeine for 11 years. I started drinking it out of necessity when I worked nights, however, I kept drinking it after I abandoned my nocturnal lifestyle. My first love was GOOD coffee, then energy drinks, then GOOD coffee again. I didn't want to quit, but at the same time my energy level wasn't optimal. Caffeine's effect on me started to become barely noticeable and it eventually became something I HAD to consume or my body would rebel. So despite my own reluctance I gave it up. I consoled myself with thoughts like "it's only temporary" and "I can have it again on February 1st". Yet after I started feeling better, I wasn't sure I wanted caffeine in my life anymore?!?!  I couldn't believe I was feeling that way!

These are the changes I noticed since giving up caffeine:

1. I wake up with more energy.
This is an improvement since previously the only thing motivating to get up at 5:45 AM was my coffee pot.

2. Less anxiety.
My racing thoughts have slowed. I feel more calm. Overall I just feel less anxious, less wound up, and less hurried.

3. No afternoon and/or evening energy crash.
Previously, by 3 pm I needed a coffee fix because all I really wanted to do was go home and take a nap. Now my energy is very even. I feel very awake and alert throughout the day and into the night. And when I am tired, I go to bed or take a nap instead of masking the tiredness with caffeine.

4. Better able to express myself.
When I was caffeinated, my racing thoughts would make me want to say ten things at once. I had a hard time making my point and choosing which of the ten thoughts I should say. Now my mind is more relaxed and I can focus more clearly, therefore, better expressing myself.

5. There is nothing I "have to have" when I wake up.
I think it's nice not to HAVE to have something within  two hours 15 minutes of waking. A few days ago I only drank water with breakfast. Whoa.

Tomorrow is the day when I will be "allowed" to drink coffee again. Did I think about it? Yes. Am I thinking about it? Yes. But I already have my decaf in the coffeemaker so I think I will hold off. Do I think I will never have caffeine again? No. Yet, I'd like to save it for special circumstances.

Have you ever given up caffeine or something else you thought you couldn't live without?


  1. I have seen a lot of people giving up on caffeine,but did not got to know their experience after doing that.Thanks for sharing your experience.

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