A friend put on FB that she was thinking of giving up caffeine. When I read it, my PTSD came back in full force, remembering the two weeks it took me to get off caffeine.
In the early 90’s, I was the typical law student, drinking coffee all day – and did the same thing once I started practicing. Then, about 12 years ago, my law partner convinced me to run a marathon. He said it would be easy. You just start out running 3 miles, then 6 and before you know it you are running 26.2 (yea, right – topic for a whole nother blog!). I gotta tell you that the training was not that difficult. The hard part was his demand two months into the training that I ive up caffeine before the race. “What?,” I said? “Give up coffee? Here, just take my next five paychecks instead … I’m not giving up my coffee for a race!”
I made the mistake of not tapering and just went off the sauce cold turkey! Thus, I had a headache for two weeks and if I recall correctly, I had a lot more friends before quitting! But, let me tell you the results of this experiment:
Less trips to the bathroom: If you think I have to go a lot now, you should have seen me back then. I was worse than a 90-year-old man (I said man intentionally!)
Better sleep: Yes, I have the menopause sleep thing going now but when I went off caffeine some 12 years ago, my sleeping was so much better and because of that, I was a nicer person (I think).
More energy: I realize that I generally have an abnormal amount of energy but back then, the coffee made me feel sluggish with an occasional coffee buzz. I actually think I was brain-impaired half the day (and only slightly awake the other half!).
No siestas: I used to have those afternoon comas. You know the ones … the “crash” that requires a strong cup of coffee around 2:30? Now, if I’m feeling tired (usually from getting up and running at 5:30 a.m.!), I just go walk around a bit and I’m fine.
Less headaches: I was totally addicted to caffeine, and that if I didn’t get my morning cup, a nasty headache would set in around 10 a.m. I haven’t had one caffeine headache since I made the change.
Do I miss the coffee? H*** yes. Now drink decaf, if I really want the flavor (to go with a piece of flourless chocolate cake). The truth is, giving up caffeine can improve your productivity and your attitude, among other things.
I know people who drink coffee all day and well into the evening and have no problems whatsoever. Yet, I think it’s a worthwhile experiment. May I suggest that you try it after the holidays — I do think you’ll want to end up with the same number of relatives that you started with (if you know what I mean!).
Enjoy your weekend!