I gave up caffeinated coffee a month ago. I actually never thought I’d give up caffeinated coffee. In terms of the Paleo diet it is more acceptable than so many other beverages because I drink my coffee black with just a touch of stevia in it. Other beverages available on the market are full of sugar or dairy products, coffee seemed relatively harmless to me.
Why give it up? Well, I realized that I was starting to get bad headaches if I didn’t drink coffee and, worse still, I would get bad headaches a few hours after I had some coffee. The only cure for the headache was more coffee. Being as I’m not a fan of any form of addiction, I knew I needed to let coffee and it’s hold on me go.
Caffeine is a very potent stimulant. According to the Mayo Clinic, “heavy daily caffeine use — more than 500 to 600 mg a day — may cause:
- Stomach upset
- Fast heartbeat
- Muscle tremors”
Eliminating caffeinated coffee from my daily routine took about two weeks as I cut down my consumption from 3-4 cups a day to half a cup each day. Interestingly, I had the worst headaches in the four days where I drank only half a cup. On my first caffeine free day, I was headache free.
Since going caffeine free, I’ve noticed that I’m calmer, more patient, and less irritable. I’ve also noticed I feel a lot less anxious in general. It is an amazingly different world caffeine free and I admit I really noticed the difference in the busy holiday season. I felt unusually serene through the holidays and that calm has remained with me into the new year.
While I let go of the caffeine, I couldn’t let go of coffee as a beverage. I enjoy the flavor, the aroma, and the sensation of drinking a hot cup of coffee. About a week after I had kicked the caffeine habit (and I was coffee free), I discovered that a former co-worker of mine was making and selling organic, fair trade, Swiss water processed decaffeinated coffee at our local market. I still enjoy my coffee each day, but without the kick.