Saturday, June 13, 2015

Why I Quit Coffee

It's day three of no caffeine. My debilitating headache has downgraded to a low dull pain. I feel slightly less tired, cranky and scattered than yesterday (but hubby may not agree with that statement). I haven't killed anyone yet. I think it only gets better from here.

I posted the above on my Facebook wall the other day. When I told people that I was cutting out caffeine, I got two questions:

1. Are you pregnant/planning to get pregnant? 

No. God No. 

2. Why the (expletive removed) would you want to do that?

I am was a pretty heavy coffee drinker. I drink it black, but I can easily drink a whole pot myself. It wasn't always that way. I know the benefits of a caffeine-free life, but over the years I slowly slid back to a full-time coffee drinker. The occasional coffee turned into one a day, then two a day, then a whole pot. I realized I wasn't getting the benefits of caffeine any more and just needed it to maintain a normal level of energy in the morning. I'm not sure how I got here, but the absence of caffeine makes one big difference in my day.

Giving up caffeine makes it easier for me to wake up early in the morning to work out. I know what you are thinking, bear with me. 

I am a great sleeper. I mean, expert-level sleeper. I can sleep anywhere at any time. I go to bed at night and to my insomniac husband's dismay, I'm asleep within five minutes of my head hitting the pillow. If I wake up during the night, I fall back asleep almost instantly. I easily get a full eight or nine hours of sleep every night but I still wake up every morning feeling exhausted with a strong tendency to hit the snooze button. It has been a real struggle to get up for those morning workouts that I claim to love so much. But how can I love them if I can barely pull myself out of bed to do them any more?

But Why?

I figured out (or someone smarter than me told me) that the exhausted, hit by a bus feeling in the morning, was nothing more than caffeine withdraw. Once I had my caffeine, I felt normal again, but most of the time the bad feelings were so strong my decision making skills were dulled. I couldn't see that far into the morning. I felt so tired, I didn't feel like I could get up, even to make that pot of coffee first. So I just went back to bed.

Sure, I could keep drinking my coffee and just switch to evening workouts, but I really love working out in the morning. I love the time to myself in the morning, I love how it sets the tone for the day and I rarely ever miss a 5:30am workout because of scheduling conflicts. I want to workout in the morning and I want to wake up feeling well enough to do it.

Quitting caffeine breaks the cycle and frees me from needing it to function normally. When I drank caffeine everyday, it caused my body to build up a tolerance to it. The same amount of coffee (you know, a whole pot) only caused me to feel normal rather than give me the energy boosting feeling it once did.

I know from experience, that once I break the cycle, that I can wake up after a full night's sleep and feel awake, alert and ready to start my day...and workout. So for now, I have switched to decaf. I'll let you know how it goes once this headache goes away.

I'm crazy, right? Tell me in the comments. 

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  1. I'm pretty much in the same boat as you right now as afar as the "need" for caffeine goes. I will be very interested in how it works out for you!

    1. It has been 6 days since I quit and I still had a slight headache this morning. I am going to set the alarm for 5:30 am tomorrow and see how it goes! Good luck to you!

  2. I swear it is so so counter intuitive but here? LOTS OF WATER IN THE MORNING? NO JAVA? and I feel better.
    now I just need to STICK TO THAT.

    1. this is my first Monday morning without coffee and I feel pretty OK! :)

  3. Luckily, I have never acquired a coffee problem.....LOVE the smell, just cannot swallow the stuff. Now, chai latte'....that's another story LOL I think I actually drink that for the taste, but there's probably a caffeine jolt (side-effect?) that I'm not acknowledging #denial Good luck as you continue with your fight :-)

  4. I am like you in that I can put my head down anywhere and just sleep and I am a caffeine junkie! But I love the taste of coffee so much, I don't know what I would sub for that. Good luck to you.. you are over the worst I am sure!

  5. Yes, you are crazy :-) I LOVE coffee. However, I have never been able to get up to exercise before work so it might be something I could try. Or even cutting down to one cup a day.

  6. I have quit coffee many times and once the "headache" phase is gone, I am actually pretty great without it. I don't however drink it black, I do add sugar free almond milk. :)

  7. I LOVE coffee! I drink it black as well and feel like I easily COULD drink a pot but I only make a couple cups every morning. HOWEVER. That being said I have been playing with the idea of giving coffee up. I've done it before but I just don't like not drinking it. I've even only had it on the weekends but it always trickles to the entire week. This may be just the inspiration I need to stop though I did JUST buy the big can of coffee the store offers...haha!


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