Giving Up (Caffeine)

Apparently, if caffeine was discovered today it would be considered a highly potent drug and would be unlikely to be legal in most societies. I can believe that. I am currently in the throes of a caffeine detox and my goodness do I miss it! Parenting small children is rather less fun right now.

Despite the obvious health benefits of this dietary adjustment, my main motivation for giving up caffeine is actually for the purposes of investigating potential causes of stomach irritation for my breastfeeding son. Following a bit of online reading, I have also cut out cow’s milk and my postnatal multivitamins in case they may be exacerbating the issue.

Tea, I love. Tea of all sorts. But coffee has become something that I ‘need’ to function. I know that it is essentially a psychological quirk, but the physical effect of imbibing so much coffee since giving birth has surprised me. I mean, it’s only been three months!

The last few days have been a blur of pounding migraine-like headache, irritability and feelings of total exhaustion – oh, the exhaustion! I’ve been going to bed at like, 9pm just to try and feel some kind of normal when my usual 6am wake up call from the toddler comes around. The withdrawal symptoms are just horrendous considering caffeine is so readily available. I mean, even hangovers usually subside after 24 hours! [Besides which, a hangover is more a collection of side effect symptoms rather than withdrawal symptoms, so that was a bad comparison anyway.]

Day three of ‘caffeine-free me’ is now drawing to a close and I think I’m over the worst of the withdrawal now. Luckily I wasn’t drinking quite as much coffee as I used to. The last time I went cold-turkey on caffeine a few years ago, I was having at least one coffee shop beverage per day, whereas it’s the granules that have snuck up on me this time. So rather than a week long headache, I was lucky to get away with 48 hours – not bad eh? Not good either, by any measure.

The addictive nature of caffeine is quite apparent. Ever since I gave up, I have been craving coffee all the time. Visions of sweet creamy caffeinated goodness plague my thoughts! Adverts really don’t help.

I’m not really a ‘foodie’, but I do enjoy my teas and coffees a lot – especially when they are paired with a sweet food. However, I have noticed that I don’t really enjoy eating those foods as much without a hot drink to complement them. Perhaps I will eat less junk food as a result of this purge? I already am I suppose, by ditching the lattes in the first instance.

Perhaps I will set myself a minimum goal of working my way through the various herbal and fruit teas that I have in the cupboard before allowing myself to indulge again. At least that way I will reclaim some of my kitchen storage space…think of all the new teas and coffees I could buy!

Feel free to share your experiences of cutting out caffeine or dairy below. Did you find it helped you? How long did you stick with it?

3 thoughts on “Giving Up (Caffeine)

  1. Caffeine withdrawal is REAL! This is day 2 for me. Because I can’t drink hot beverages and can only drink them when I’m not wearing aligners (max 2 hours a day), I’m forced to drink just plain water for the other 22 hours a day. 😭 My teeth hurt a lot whenever I remove aligners so I’m skipping meals. I’ve come to the realization that I won’t be drinking coffee and hot tea anymore, for the next 2 years that is, and am currently experiencing these wicked headaches. ☹️ I’m having a hard time focussing on things without coffee or tea. Before I was very addicted to steeped orange pekoe tea and drank several mugs of it a day.

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    1. Ooh orange pekoe tea sounds yummy! Plain water? That is pretty harsh! The good news is that the withdrawal will get better though? I’ve started feeling a bit more human the last couple of days and the cravings have reduced a lot – thank goodness!

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      1. I’m thinking about getting a bubble tea with green tea in it, and then storing it in the fridge until I can drink it. Even a small amount of caffeine is better than nothing. Plain water sucks, especially since I can’t eat the samples at Costco! I ended up getting an extra sample for my husband instead. He bought me some protein powder so I’m gonna start making calorie-rich/nutrient-dense smoothies for future meals. Hopefully that will keep me full enough between meals. My headaches seem to be worse when I’m hungry and cranky. That’s good that the headaches will subside with time, and there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

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