Friday, November 09, 2007

Caffeine Free Me

I quit caffeine 10 days ago.

I've been addicted to caffeine for quite some time. College was the main culprit in cultivating my dependence on it. It got really bad for a while when I switched to espresso. I was up to about 10 shots of espresso a day when I realized it was getting a little ridiculous and needed to switch back to regular coffee. Along with that switch came some debilitating headaches.

Starbucks got a lot of my money for a few years until I realized how silly it was to constantly spend that much on something that was gone in thirty minutes.

Diet Coke was added to my caffeine repertoire after college when I noticed that calories didn't melt off like they used to.

Recently, my habit included one or two cups of coffee in the morning, and rarely some diet coke or another cup of coffee sometime before noon (any caffeine after noon, and I'd be up all night). I didn't drink a lot of it, but often enough that I was really addicted. I realized that looking forward to that morning cup of coffee to jump start the day, while falling asleep the night before, is not a good thing.

I began tapering down about a week before the final switchover date. Instant coffee is the type most commonly used here so I was able to alter the ratio easily. The exhaustion has been the most difficult withdrawal symptom. Every evening I would get so incredibly tired. It was way worse than any jet lag I've ever had, but probably not quite as bad as the tired you get when you're really sick with the flu or something. I'm still getting tired, but as bad as the first week.

I also realized it was more than just a physical addiction for me, it's been a challenge mentally as well. I honestly felt sad making my first few decaf coffees, or when I would choose Caffeine Free Diet Coke rather than just Diet Coke. I'm a little ashamed to admit that, but there it is.

This is the best instant coffee on the market. Thankfully, they make a pretty good decaf version. Unfortunately, I bought the huge caffeinated version right before I decided to quit. I've also found another hot drink that I really like to replace the caffeinated ones with: Twinings Fruit Tea. Yum.

Here's to a healthier me.

1 comment:

Amy said...

Ok for the record, instant coffee is disgusting. That's the most common thing here too... we rebelled and bought a coffee maker. We have to get our filters specially in the electronics section of wal-mart (ooooh!).

Josh tried the no caffine thing for a while, but now he's hooked again. :) Have you thought about getting addicted to tea instead? You've got English tea over there!!