My mood, my sleep patterns, my energy level- all of it changed for the better or worse! Let’s find out!
I am a girl in my 20s, I am freelancer having a decently good social life, so finding the energy to go to work and then return to friends in the evening for some fun has not been an easy thing to do. Add in a committed gym routine, and a love of being a bibliophile, it seems nearly impossible to stay awake through it all without caffeine!
Let me make it clear, I love coffee! I usually have three to four cups of cappuccino every day. This usually consisted of one before I leave my house, second one when I am in office, third maybe when I need a pick-me-up in the later part of the afternoon and the fourth one maybe once I am about to retire to my bed and have my reading session. My home is near to a coffee shop, so you could say I wasn’t exactly set up for success.
I’ve always so wanted to break my caffeine habits, but I fearfully dreaded the process of withdrawing from it because I’ve read so much about the withdrawal symptoms. Apart from coffee, I don’t drink any other form of caffeine, so I knew this was going to be the epitome of “going cold turkey.”
So finally, I tried to give my caffeine addiction some break, and see how did that break take place…
I went on my cousin’s destination wedding and it is where I realized I was not going to get my taste buds thecoffee of my preference, hence; I decided to not have it for 5 days (till thetime I was at that destination)
I so knew I would miss the holy ritual of serving myself with my holy potion, the pleasant smell of those roasted coffee beans, the familiar taste and the fact that I could function several hours straight during the first half of the day without feeling supper less because I would have my body stuffed with the right amount of caffeine that I need to function.
So, here’s what happened when Itried to go without my liquid love it for almost a whole week.
When I arrived at the destination, I took a cup of coffee to help my tired body which has traveled for 10 hours straight. As soon as I had a sip I knew I have to let go of this addiction for the time I was here. It was beautiful morning hours and I already felt out of sorts without my usual morning coffee. Admits all the wedding festivities I felt my temperature feels sub-zero; all I wanted was a hot mug of coffee to hold on to and sip leisurely. I felt the shiver, it was not a super fun time, I was unhappy but to be honest I had no serious mental, emotional or physical side effects — although I did feel a bit lethargic but, that’s fine.
I ate some fruits to compensate for my lack of joe, I tried eating an apple and drinking a tall glass of water and orange juice. And to my surprise the fruit worked. The entire day, I did not feel excessively tired or did experience headaches or any other caffeine withdrawal symptom. Maybe, I wasn’t as addicted as I thought I was.
Largeman-Roth, a very renowned health expert says, people who drink more than 400 mg of caffeine a day are more likely to experience withdrawal symptoms like headaches and irritability.
I thank my stars, that I didn’t drink that much caffeine, so I was fine.
I was wrong, now the symptoms started to kick in. So this day was officially uncomfortable. Bowel movements unsatisfying, painful headache! I think that’s actually a small price to payfor better sleep and better eating patterns.
The day started with me feeling better, alert and focused to get all glammed up for the function. I assume all the liquids apart from coffee that I am having are keeping my appetite in check.
I thought like, “wow, people really exaggerate caffeine withdrawal.” Then the universe punished me for my cockiness.
But no sooner did I realize that the day was… a struggle.
Around midday, I got a rending headache that accompanied me throughout the day. I did manage to get past allthe wedding festivities and then went to bed around 10.30 p.m., and then atmidnight, a bout of insomnia kicked in.
It took me a lot of time to pull myself out of bed, and I still ended up falling back asleep on the couch after breakfast. But later I felt something I hadn’t felt this week… good. For the very first time quitting coffee seemed a right thing to me. More goodness. Now I was able to see the effects of all that hydration on skin, eyes, lips. Feeling very leaned-out from all the fluids. Headaches and fogginess gone! My little brain started working quickly.
Finally, I came back to Delhi and had my first coffee after my cold turkey session. While having my sips, I figured out that I’m still a fan of the digestive help coffee gives me, but really I think I conditioned my body to depend on it. My body tried to balance itself out a few days after I stopped consuming the drink.
These 5 days without any caffeine intake taught me more about myself –
I like a consistent morning routine, and I like it to include a cup or two of coffee. But more importantly, my lack of caffeine showed me how dependent I’d become on the stuff for energy. I’m hoping my new habits will make my nightly sleep routine more solid, which so far, it has been.
I think I should stop drinking coffee, at least on a daily basis. Perhaps I should indulge in coffee the sameway I do desserts — every once in a while. It does taste and feel like a treat, after all.
This approach feels right for me. But to each their own, of course.
We’re all wired differently.