It's Monday morning and the best thing for many people is the first sip of hot coffee when they start their week. I've been a part of this cult for more than a decade. A short trip to Colombia this year didn't help my "addiction". But for more than two weeks, I've been abstinent from the black goodness and I recommend that you should at least try it too, to get to know what your body actually feels like in its natural state.
The negative effects of my coffee consumption
You might say that I built up a pretty strong tolerance against caffeine over a period of years and that the first cup of coffee in the morning did not get me anywhere. In contrast, the first thing I would feel would be relaxation of finally hitting the fix (usually I drink less to none coffee on weekends), so the first cup would actually get me relaxed and in a slowed down state rather than agitate me. So naturally I would drink 1-2 cups more to get the effect I was originally looking for.
After 2-3 hours of feeling productive, the first low would hit - I would need more coffee. But you keep on trying to fix the symptoms rather than the illness.
At noon there was no coming back, every cup would drain energy and I would feel exhausted by 5. Coming home after that, no more coffee (because it's getting late) and the body can't recover. Everything is done and nothing can prevent an early night. Rinse and repeat.
Feeling familiar? I hope not, but that would be a typical day with coffee.
Less is more
It's not the first time that I'm trying to quit coffee or at least stop consumption for a while. I did this a few times already, because I wanted to feel that surge of energy again that coffee normally should give you.
Try to half your coffee intake for a few days and see what happens. I guarantee you, you don't need it.
I once was down to only two cups a day, one in the morning and one at noon. Still I was unsatisfied with the state and my inner cravings for coffee. For more than two weeks now I decided to drink zero cups a day. I substituted coffee with water. Usually I would drink far too less in a day, with 2-3 cups of coffee and maybe one litre water a day. Today I'm between 2-3 litres of water a day.
The Benefits Of My Caffeine-Detox
Like the headline spoiled it, there are benefits to my life without coffee. I'd also say that the benefits are far greater than the negatives. But let me elaborate on that:
- I wake up before my alarm and I'm not tired.
I could pull this stunt before, but it was never really consistent. I think it's a combination of many factors. When I go to bed I go to sleep a lot faster. My sleep is deeper and in the morning I just wake up and have energy that I've never thought I had in the morning. The overall feeling in the morning alone is great.
- I drink double the amount of water every day, because I actually experience thirst.
I can't say for sure if this is related to my coffee consumption but I actually feel thirsty. I want to drink water. That basically never happened before and I finally entered a healthy realm for my liquid needs. I mean, I don't have to explain that water is the root of life. It is also something that helps you regulate your hunger, so that is why all those health tips include water drinking as a major part.
- My teeth look better
Don't get me wrong, my teeth are in excellent shape but they have the natural color of one drinking coffee everyday, so not really Hollywood-white I'd say. I already noticed a healthier tone on my teeth, which is great. But I think this is general wisdom, if you want clean and white teeth, brush 'em and don't drink coffee, black tea or smoke.
- My energy level throughout the day is consistent without highs and lows every few hours.
I was amazed at how consistent the state of energy and awareness throughout the day can be. As I described earlier, usually the day would go downwards starting at noon. Now I feel the same level of energy until late in the evening. There are no highs or lows, no mood swings or anything. A pretty welcomed effect.
- My overall mood is significantly better.
Just one line above I mentioned it, no mood swings. Meaning that my mood is not influenced anymore by any level of tiredness or other effects of caffeine. In general, my body feels more at peace with itself without an inner demon dancing around all day. This improves not only your life, but your relationships with other people.
Will I start drinking coffee again?
Who knows? So far the upside is immense and I wouldn't want to become "addicted" again. Although I could imagine myself to drink coffee out of leasure and enjoyment of taste and not because I need to be awake.
Now I'm curious, what is your daily caffeine intake or preferred beverage for a long day or a short night? Let me know in the comments below.
Thanks for reading.