I’ll be presenting the findings from my food diary to you on Friday, so I thought this was a good time to let you know I’ve gone caffeine free…virtually!
The decision to go caffeine free wasn’t really a conscious one. I did have a bit of a caffeine addiction, as anyone who has had to endure multiple Costa/Starbucks stops during a shopping trip with me will attest to! And, I had been wanting to cut back for a while simply because, aside from keeping you awake during particularly boring meetings, I couldn’t see any benefit to consuming caffeine. Hubby used to laugh at me because I HAD to have my morning coffee in order to function. I wanted to cut the chain of dependency.
And, so it was almost by accident, that I became caffeine free. I always cut all caffeine when I’m suffering with a UTI as I find it dehydrates me and makes the symptoms worse. Ordinarily as soon as the symptoms have cleared up I’m back to downing the Diet Coke and Douwe Egberts. I don’t know if it’s because this bout took a little longer to clear up, or if it’s because it coincided with a time when I was trying to drink more water anyway. But for some reason I didn’t find myself reaching for the coffee…
Once I realised this I thought I’d stick with it. I’d been wanting to break the addiction for a while, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity. As I write this I’ve been virtually caffeine free for almost two weeks. I say virtually because I’m still eating chocolate, having the occasional glass of lemonade and did have a few cups of tea on the first few days. I’ve since swapped the tea bags for their caffeine free counterparts, although the chocolate munching is still very much happening.
When I’d thought about kicking my caffeine addiction in the past I’d been worried about the potential side effects. I did get a cracking headache one day but being as I was ill anyway, I couldn’t be sure of the real cause of that anyway. In general I feel good. So long as I keep my water intake up I feel as energised as I did with caffeine but without the horrible highs and crashes. There are times when I crave coffee. Like yesterday afternoon when I was sat at work yawning my head off and knew that just a kick of caffeine would do the trick. Instead I opted for more water, a saunter out of the office on my lunch break and an organic energy drink. I do feel tired sometimes when I’d have previously been buzzing on coffee.
Of course, there’s also the social element of drinking caffeinated drinks too. “Do you want to come round for a glass of water?” hasn’t quite got the same ring to it as “Do you want to come round for a cup of tea?”. But hey – that’s what decaf is for! That, and for when you’re craving the taste and aroma of coffee. Yum!
If you google caffeine consumption the jury is still out on the drugs benefits Vs its downers (pun intended). It’s still early days for me, but aside from feeling occasionally sleepy I’m doing OK. I’m hoping cutting it out of my diet will help to improve my skin. I’m sleeping better and waking up fresher in the morning (think Hubby is finding that one a bit scary!). Also, my blood pressure was even better than usual at my pre-operation assessment at the eye hospital. I can’t say that’s necessarily down to cutting out caffeine but the timings would suggest it might be.
Don’t worry though, I’m not going to become a complete health bore. I’ll still be indulging my chocohalic tendencies and I’m sure there will be odd cup of caffeine consumed – hopefully I won’t start sprouting wings as a result!
Are you a caffeine-aholic or have you cut it out of your diet?