An avid coffee drinker (and I’m talking three cups daily), I was a bit thrown off last week when I woke up late, rushed to the kitchen for a quick cup of coffee before work, and opened my coffee tin to find that it was empty. Without enough time to stop for a cup, I began my day, coffee-less.
2 hours later. 10 AM. My head was pounding and I felt sluggish. Why? I slept enough the night before, and I had eaten a balanced
breakfast. It must have been my body telling me that it missed caffeine.
I looked at my watch again. I had enough time before my next meeting to grab a cup of coffee. Joyfully, I headed out the door. Before turning the corner to order my usual “large coffee with room for milk,”
I stopped myself. If I’m having withdrawal symptoms, does that mean that I’m addicted to caffeine? The health nut inside of me became suddenly nervous. Is this healthy?
According to Medicine.net, there is not enough scientific evidence to support caffeine addiction, however, research shows that caffeine withdrawal can occur. Doctors at Johns Hopkins University found that consuming even small amounts of caffeine can cause withdrawal side effects such as depression, mood changes, fatigue and headaches.
Interesting. Say I have three cups of coffee every day, that’s i
n excess of 2,000 cups of coffee every year, not to mention the occasional “afternoon pick-me-ups” I often enjoy. That’s a lot of caffeine and a lot of coffee (and a lot of money).
A few feet away from the coffee shop, I decided to turn away. I don’t want to feel miserable every time I miss my morning coffee or reap any negative side effects of caffeine withdrawal. So, I pushed through my coffee-less day as a scatterbrained zombie
with a short temper and a headache.
For the next week, I went coffee-less
every day and progressively, my symptoms of caffeine withdrawal went away. It’s now been 10 days that I haven’t had coffee and I feel so much better. Not only do I not have an afternoon crash (which I didn’t even know I was having until I stopped drinking coffee), but I also stopped craving that evening glass of wine, sleep better and am more concentrated at work.
Never in a million years did I ever think that I would stop drinking coffee. That was, until I realized how much I relied on it.
Will I never drink coffee again? Doubtful. I do love it. It’s so nice to wake up and have something warm and instantly energizing… but I don’t want to NEED it ever again, that’s for sure. Additionally, I bet I will enjoy it more when I actually do treat myself with a cup here and there.
Are you up to going coffee-less? If so, I recommend gradually cutting down on your intake until it reaches zero so that you have less caffeine withdrawal side-effects. It is hard in the beginning, but totally worth it in the end.
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