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 comment:

  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.