Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A week without caffeine ...

I'm not even sure what compelled me to do this other than I felt like I was consuming WAY too much caffeine, but a week and a lot of massive headaches later, I think I'm off the stuff other than a single cup of green tea in the morning.

 For those of you looking to kick the caffeine habit, here's a random list of what I experienced:
* Headaches. Bad ones. Not as bad as the migraines I get from time to time, but it wasn't at all pleasant. Take some ibuprofen (not Excedrin or "migraine" pills--those have caffeine) and grin and bear it.
* Expect to be absolutely dead tired for a few days. The first couple of days was the worst for me.
* Even when I wasn't sleepy tired, I felt like I was getting over the flu--muscle aches, physical sluggishness, etc.
* I was pretty irritable but not as much as I thought I would have been. I'm sure this varies from person to person.

 And now that I'm virtually 100% off the stuff how do I feel? Great!
* My energy level is more constant throughout the day
* Biggest thing: I wake up in the morning not tired! I'm ready to get up because I actually got quality sleep and I'm not already suffering from withdrawal.
* I'm a lot less anxious about things, and I feel like I can do more quality work because I'm not thinking about 100 things at once and feeling like I'm behind on all of them. Or if I do think that, I don't get as stressed out about it.

 So for me it took a good solid week. Yesterday was the first day I felt like my old self again; well, a calmer, gentler version of my old self actually. Was a tiny slice of hell for a week but I'm really glad I did it.

 Interesting info here:

 Anyone else go through this recently? How did it go for you?


raelehman said...

Interesting to hear about your experience! I've been a coffee addict since I was 19 and never had much desire to quit, I really enjoy my coffee and the caffeine boost that comes with it. However I recently found out I'm pregnant so I had to kick it immediately.At first it was really tough to get out of bed, and I would arrive at work almost 2 hours later still feeling half asleep. I felt like my mornings which used to be my most productive time were no longer productive. Interestingly, I didn't experience any headaches, and I normally do if for example I sleep late and don't have coffee around 8 or 9 as usual. So the worst part was just being exhausted.However, a few weeks later, I feel like I'm finally getting used to it and feeling a lot more alert in the morning. Another thing that's been interesting is that I really start to notice how many drinks out there actually have caffeine that you don't think about: teas, sodas and energy drinks. Especially iced tea, since iced tea has always been a cold drink of choice for me!Good luck with the change!

Matthew Woodward said...

Thanks Rachel, and CONGRATS to both you and Adam on the baby news!

jamiekrug said...

I did the same thing nearly 10 years ago, and had the same experience (one crappy week of headaches!). I think my caffeine intake has slowly increased again, so your comments on having more energy and such may be just what I need to cut back again :) Thanks and enjoy the green tea! Try oolong too - nice in-between green/black, in both flavor and caffeine:http://www.amazing-green-tea.com/oolong-tea-caffeine.html

Matthew Woodward said...

Thanks for the recommendation Jamie--I tend to drink tea over coffee anyway, but I haven't had oolong in a while. Back when I was a musician I limited my caffeine intake but haven't tried kicking the habit in a LONG time, so thankfully it turned out to be not so bad.

WebVeteran said...

If you need a pick-me-up and don't want to turn to caffeine, try a an apple instead! Sounds corny, but it works.

Matthew Woodward said...

Thanks--I actually try to have an apple every afternoon when I hit the 2 or 3 pm wall, and it does definitely help. I hear it keeps the doctor away too.