30+ days of being caffeine free (a review of sorts)
I wrote the caffeine experiment and posted it on January 31st. At the time I had amassed 10 days of being caffeine free – no coffee, green tea, dark chocolate, nothing. It’s just conveniently occurred to me that it’s been over a month now since I’ve actually consumed any caffeine. There’s your answer to whether I stuck with it or not. A promise is a promise.
Doing something for 30 days isn’t really an achievement. And No, I’m not playing down your successful 30 day squat challenge, 30 days of paleo and 30 days of not masturbating. You done great to get there. But, a 30 day stint is more of a ‘water testing’ phase in my opinion. In other words, it’s an introductory phase.
By day 30 you should know whether whatever it is you’re trying/eliminating is adding or detracting from your quest to self-improvement. You will have seen clues, but you’re by no means in a place to truly judge……..yet.
I think 90 days is a purer test, and that’s what I’m targeting.
Anyway, back to the present; let’s outlay my personal findings at the 30 days mark………..
- MUCH MUCH MUCH less mental instability; no excessive mental energy without the clarity to focus it on anything worthy or even productive
- I’m a little easier on myself. No excess self criticism after any event that didn’t go exactly as I’d hoped.
- My sleep is unquestionably better. If I’m working early I have a much easier time getting to sleep than I used to – even though I used to not drink any caffeine on days I’d have to sleep earlier that night. Being off caffeine permanently does far more.
- My strength and endurance hasn’t really taken the hit I was braced for. Obviously I can’t say I wouldn’t have been slightly stronger if I’d been abusing coffee like old times, but nonetheless, I’m doing OK.
The (slightly) bad:
- HUNGER. It’s true what they say, caffeine DOES blunt hunger and suppresses appetite. I have always had a vast appetite and without caffeine, it really shows.
- Flavour/taste. I like or like(d) the taste of coffee and green tea. I guess you could say I’m limited in terms of beverage variety, although it’s not so bad; there’s plenty of herbal teas and other options. A personal favourite of mine is homemade lemonade (a mix of warm lemon water, honey and sea salt)
The numbers don’t lie. As you can see, the positives outweigh the negatives. I honestly believe we all have differing tolerances and responses with regards to caffeine. I’ve never lacked energy and drive, but then again my diet is almost 100%. Most of society is so caffeine dependant because they have to use it to mask cracks in other departments; diet sleep and maybe even other addictions.
30 days is nothing when you’ve had a lifetime playing for the other team. I’m going to trek on to the 90 day mark and I honestly think, knowing me, It’ll be a lifetime habit by then, but we’ll see.
JR @ Straight-Talking-Fitness View All
The 'brains' behind StraightTalkingFitness, a site all about discovery that leads to strength in all formats; fitness, mental, emotional and spiritual. Everything starts from within and projects outwards. Master the body, master anything and everything.
Oh my. I can go without but I chose not to do so. It’s a powerful drug and I can remember when my youngest was given it intravenously in minute amounts, he weighed in at approximately 1lb 10oz at the time. It kept him alive.
Oh really? I never knew it had been used in circumstances like those! It definitely has its beauty and uses. Maybe one day I’ll treat myself to a nice mug of black coffee…..
Absolutely, yes. It has been responsible for keeping many a little darling alive. Powerful stuff indeed.
That’s awesome. I guess we could look at caffeine like we do exercises; there’s a time and place for everything.
Spot on…everything in moderation. Too much and the balance tips.
I agree about the 30 day thing, I am doing 30 days of Yoga to see if I think it is likely to make a difference to me and be worth adding to y regime full time…it is a trial run!
however, for me, this is not true of coffee…if I could get to 30 days caffeine free some it would likely be written up as some sort of miracle! Strangely it doesn’t really affect me sleep, it just makes me less likely to kill people in my office of a morning!!
yes I am fully aware as I write that, that is exactly the reason I should try to stop drinking it…I am not there yet..I just don’t see enough negative side effects, but that is just me!
Congratulations on giving it up if it has that many positive outcomes for you then that is awesome! 😀
Man, yoga is something I absolutely don’t do enough of! Please let me know, or document your findings with that. I’d be really interested to see what it does for you!
I think if your sleep isn’t affected by caffeine, then you’re fortunate and probably do ok with it. How much do you drink on average?
I certainly will document it 🙂 I have never really done it, but even after a week I am starting to see mental benefits if not yet physical ones!
I drink about 6 -7 cups of filter coffee a day during the week and about 1-2 at the weekend…
It doesn’t seem to matter if I drink it late at night, I still sleep. It has no noticeable effect on my HR either, I measured it 🙂
6-7 cups is steep! I usually only ever maxed out at 3. But it sounds like you’re not affected by it, if that were me, I’d be bouncing through the ceiling! How do you think you’d feel if you cut it out for a day? I dare you 😉
Maybe 1 day…does it have to be a work day?
I think I have developed an immunity to it if that is possible!
Yeah, make it a work day! We can’t have it being too comfortable!
Hmmm I will consider it, in the interests of science 🙂
When you do, make sure you blog about it!
I certainly will!!
no-one will believe me!
I wonder how far to the right my Pre-Workout falls on that chart?
Hahaha, how much caffeine does your pre-workout contain per serving? I’ve seen some INSANE amounts.
First time i ever noticed, but according the label, a servig has 100 mg. Now that s abasic serving. Of course for higher body weights or more tolerant users, they recommend up to but no more thn 2 servings.
That’s honestly not too bad. I was expecting worse! I’ve seen 200 mg+ per serving before………many times.
Good for you! That would be tough!
Thanks! 🙂 90 days would be tough? I think the 30 day mark ALMOST sets it as a habit for life. At least for me. Do you use much caffeine?
I am definitely a caffiene junkie && I know my receptors are shot! I could surely use to cut back!
No time like the present! Better sleep is probably the best thing you’ll get as a result 🙂
Nice blog! A real eye opener in fact! I may have to try this myself – My girlfriend is going to hate me for a week or two!
Hi Calvin, thanks very much indeed! Yeah, it’s one of those things I think everyone should give a shot. I love an experiment! I’m actually stuck for ideas on what to try next……..Are you caffeine dependant then?
I wouldn’t like to say I’m dependant on it, but it is definitely part of my routine! I said to myself yesterday after reading your post ‘I’m going to stop drinking coffee’. You can imagine what I did first thing in the morning. I made myself a nice strong drink of coffee! What a great start! Haha… So in a sense of the word, yes I suppose I am dependant!
Hahaha, that’s all too common. But hey, coffee has benefits. It just depends on the gain/detract ratio. I’m highly strung and really don’t need external energy, so coffee sends me to another level! I’m well past missing it now. Whether I’ll ever go back or not, I’m not sure……I doubt it though.
Personally, I’m not sure why i drink it. I have often found it sends me sleepy only 30-40 minutes afterwards! I should stop really… But i do love a good Starbucks! Anyhow, you’re awesome for doing it and keep up the good work!
Thanks very much, try it yourself. Go 3 days and see what you feel like – then build from there. Start tomorrow!