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.
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.