You may have read about my latest experiment in going vegan. As loyal readers know, I put everything on the line when i “hack my health” as I like to call it. Today, I’m writing about another experiment, and that’s my attempt at cutting caffeine out of my diet.
Ever since I was young, I had caffeine in my life. My parents were good at saving money, and there was never a shortage of assorted flavors of Shasta in our basement refrigerator. I wasn’t over-consuming it, but let’s just say there was definitely a daily dose of caffeine in my life since I was young.
Fast forward to when I started working the 4:00 AM shift. This was in November of 1994, when I had become a trusted associate at Texaco Gas Station. I was opening the store as a Sophomore in high school, and well, that meant I was up at 3:30 to get there and get the store unlocked, and do the daily routine to get ready to service customers.
Thankfully one of the jobs was to start the pots of coffee as well as get the bakery going. At this point in my life, at only 16 years of age, I started drinking coffee. That didn’t stop until last week, when at 39, I realized that there may be a life without caffeine. I’m on day 6 of being caffeine free, and I have to tell you, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Eliminating caffeine, something that has been in my life for 23 years, (minimum) on a daily basis, is taxing. Today I’ll share with you the side effects that I’m experiencing as well as share with you research that I’ve read to help me get past this experience.
What are the Caffeine Withdrawal Symptoms?
For me, the main thing I started realizing was that I was getting headaches. I’ve never been one to be headache free in my life. I abused alcohol pretty hard in my 20’s and early 30’s, and the old hangover provided me with plenty of head pain the following morning. Fortunately, I figured out how to detox quickly after partying, and that provided some relief. On top of that, I had many concussions in my days of playing sports growing up, as well as a couple car accidents that just added misery to my life. I’m probably going to donate my brain to research one day, because I’d like people to do some good out of me getting my bell rung too many times. I’ll never forget being laid out on the ice during a high school hockey game. That’s the only time I’ve ever had a game stop due to an injury on my behalf. Ouch.
Ironically, the #1 sign of caffeine withdrawal is the caffeine headache. So yeah, so far, I’m 100% on all of the withdrawal symptoms.
#1: Caffeine headaches
These start near the eye and work their way to the front of the head.
The next symptom I had was just being tired. Sure, I work out first thing in the morning, and that could be part of it. However, I have done that routine for a good year now, and with the coffee, I’m always ok. These days, I’m dragging a bit.
It’s hard to keep your eyes open. Laying down sounds amazing. However, as I write this, I’m just trying to keep a laser focus on getting this written so you all can learn from it.
This week so far it seems like everyone is just annoying me. I went off on my son for breaking the chain on his bike. When I found myself with hands full of black oil from trying to fix it myself, I became upset. Happens to be that irritability is the next symptom. Check.
Everything bothers me. I don’t want to converse with people. Just leave me alone so I can work!
These next signs, thankfully, are not symptoms I’m experiencing right now. (Sigh of relief.)
A lack of motivation can be the next sign of missing caffeine. So far, I’m powering past this, but you may not.
Again, glad I am missing out on this one!
Happy to report I’m in great spirits, although a double espresso would put me on cloud 9!
#7: Muscles Hurt, Cramps Occur, and Your body is Stiff:
I’m working out without issue. #Boom.
#8: Lack of Concentration:
I’m good here as well. I do recommend taking Alpha Brain to help with this.
#9: Symptoms of Having the Flu
If I get this, I’ll definitely get #6 (depression) as well! So far, so good.
Hasn’t happened to me yet, thankfully.
#11: Nausea and Vomiting
I have vomited. I’m not certain it was due to this, however. I started taking a new fish oil supplement and I’m not sure I like it. There has been a sickness going around my town as well so that could be it. However, never know…..could be the lack of caffeine?
All good here, I’m far from anxious. If I had issues, I’d take Elimidrol.
#13: Brain Fog
I’m good. I’ve been working like normal and making good decisions!
I’m good here as well. Not dizzy at all, even after doing a pretty serious gym routine and having to run uphill at a 15% incline only an hour ago!
#15: Abnormal Heart Rhythm
My blood pressure has gone down, so I can relate to this. I monitor my blood pressure after a scare last year where I had tension headaches from high blood pressure. Highly cutting alcohol consumption, cutting out the weekly cigars, and quitting caffeine have all helped me get it under control. (As well as watching sodium intake.)
Remember, caffeine is highly addictive, and the longer you were using it in your lifestyle, the harder it will be to quit, and the more symptoms you’ll probably suffer through.
There are a number of things you can do to help yourself throughout this process.
How to Help Yourself Kick The Lack of Caffeine Side Effects
#1: Slowly cut back on consumption.
Ease out of it.
#2: Take pain relievers.
I used Advil migraine, and it worked wonders for about 6-8 hours.
#3: Consume a TON of water.
I do this anyway, so no real adjustment made on my lifestyle. It’s important to hydrate no matter where you are in life and health.
#4: Rest up.
Sleep well and you’ll wake up feeling better.
I’m upping my workout regimen during this phase. This releases dopamine, which you need. #boom.
#6: Eat Healthy.
Again, like water, this is something you should be doing already. However, when you eat fruits and veggies, you’ll have a better natural base of energy and positive mindset. When I finish this entry, I’m going to slide up a mango and have some celery with hummus.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to do so below!