Kicking Caffeine

There are few things I like more than a great cup of coffee.  Traditional brewed.  French pressed.  Creamy espresso.  Iced.  Hot.  With frothy steamed milk or just a bit of cool almond milk.  Lightly sweetened.  A splash of vanilla.  A sprinkle of cinnamon.  coffee

And then there is soda.  I have treated myself to an afternoon Diet Coke since I was 12.  And I often have one with lunch as well.

On any typical day, I drink 6 servings of caffeinated beverages and I like it.

But as hard as it is to admit, I think caffeine and I are odds with each other.  I have such a high tolerance for caffeine, I can chug a triple espresso and immediately take a nap that would put Sleeping Beauty to shame.  I suspect caffeine aggravates my headaches, causes the fatigue I think it’s fighting off, and has probably kept me from shedding the few extra pounds I was hoping to lose before my wedding.  And after a brief conversation with my doctor, it’s clear that caffeine and I must part ways before we try to get pregnant.

Discovering how much caffeine I drink was quite an eye-opener!  Here is a list of common beverages and their caffeine levels.  I probably drink at least 700-900mg on an average day.  500mg is the recommended max.  If I also consider the fact that I tend to cut out water when I drink caffeinated beverages, I’m probably doing even worse things to my body by being chronically dehydrated.

Since I’m on spring break this week, I figure it’s as good a time as any to begin my caffeine detox.  I really should be removed from all civilized society, but I have a wedding to finish planning, so a retreat into a cave in the San Gabriel Mountains is not possible.  You’ve been warned.

Here is my game plan:

  • Days 1-4: cut caffeine to 2 servings a day.  This is a big cut from my usual 6, but I’d rather get the worst of the withdrawal over while I’m home.  Drink LOTS of water.
  • Days 5-14: 1 serving of caffeine per day.  This is the part that’s really going to suck.  This is where I have to break habits that I’ve had for years.  Coffee is my security blanket and I am terrified to be without my travel mug as run my classroom’s morning routine.  I will attempt to REPLACE my coffee with caffeine-free tea.  Some people suggest green tea, but a little research tells me that green tea contains as much caffeine as a diet soda.  That will completely undo my first 4 days!
  • Day 15-30: limit caffeine to 1 serving every other day.  Since this leads up to the wedding, it will be very challenging.  But I think my waistline and energy level will thank me for the effort!
  • Theoretically, I should be able to kick caffeine completely at this point.  I would do it sooner, but I’d rather not become bridezilla from a lack of morning java.

I’ll update how this goes, but in the next few days, I don’t promise that it will be coherent, polite, or well-edited.


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