I am in a committed relationship with caffeine. I don’t think I go one day without some sort of caffeinated substance: pre-workout, coffee, soda, energy drinks, you name it. In full transparency, do I really need an iced coffee every day? Not really. Do I want a delicious, creamy, sweet beverage to make an average day feel ten times better? Absolutely! No caffeine is like self-torture. Even an iced cold soda pop to wash down a delicious meal…who wouldn’t want that? Luckily, my caffeine in-take is far less drastic now opposed to a year or two ago, but what would happen if I cut it out of my routine for a few days? That’s right, no caffeine of any sort for one (work) week. I usually only run on Dunkin’ a solid Monday through Friday, so how would I feel without it? Well, I tried it…and I’m here to tell you the results. Here’s what happened when I drank no caffeine for one week*.
*Disclaimer: The experiment ran only Monday through Friday (one work week) due to the fact that my caffeine intake is usually only during the work week. Accuracy of results would be better with said-five days. Please enjoy!
Mondays are always a struggle. The only thing that lures me out of bed is knowing I’m less than five convenient minutes away from a Dunkin’ or Starbucks. However, this particular Monday felt like I was bound to the comfort of my blankets and sheets. My bones were tired. Everything felt exhausted and weak, and going into work was a lack luster feeling of bleh. Besides the (obvious) exhaustion, I felt no further symptoms of my lack of caffeine. No caffeine for day one wasn’t anything to write home about.
Feeling exhausted from the previous day, I woke up on Tuesday morning feeling more well rested. I knew I had a busy morning before working in the afternoon, and remaining occupied makes me feel slightly better, and less aware that my body would like a nice cup of joe. Again, no real physical symptoms besides the late-night craving of a sweet, sugary substance, more so Diet Coke over coffee. Although, no caffeine for two days seems like lightyears without it.
The physical symptoms of no caffeine are creeping in on Wednesday. A lethargic feeling overwhelmed me from the moment I woke up, and my day started pretty slowly…and remained even slower. With little to get done on this day, the enjoyment of an iced cold Pumpkin Caramel coffee from Dunkin’ sounds like just the right pick-me-up. I stuck to my guns and occupied myself to forget about my slight headache and drowsiness. Day three of no caffeine makes me want all of the coffee.
Thursday greeted me with a plague of sickness. Now, I’m not blaming the lack of caffeine, but it’s a funny coincidence that I start developing a head cold the same week my body is depleted of all sorts of caffeinated goodness. All jokes aside, I feel sluggish and tired today, apart from the sniffles and headache that were induced by said-sickness. Tea sounds more enticing today than a cup of coffee, which is equally pleasing and somewhat concerning for a die-heart coffee gal like myself. Levels of exhaustion, however, are pretty low! No caffeine on day four is not entirely bad…the sickness takes the cake on this one.
My sickness concurred on Friday. Thankfully, no caffeine wasn’t even a thought in my mind. Exhaustion was minimal due to a full nights rest with the appreciated help of some cold medicine, but my preference of tea overruled my desire for coffee, yet again. Loading up on water, opposed to craving diet soda, was truly easier when you don’t feel your best but you want to. Friday was filled with obligations, so remaining busy kept my energy level and focus at a nice medium, despite sickness. Headache was very minor and I think my body has adjusted to working on its own without the help of a stimulant. Fighting a sickness was a bigger concern over fighting a caffeine hankering. Don’t get me wrong, caffeine is still truly missed, but day five of no caffeine wasn’t as terrible as expected!
Withdrawing from caffeine for a whole work week sounds much scarier than the results had shown. With minor physical symptoms, I truly believe a low caffeine in-take, to begin with, will truly be easier to adjust to if you go periods of time without it. Had I have stopped consuming caffeine a year ago, when my body was well-adjusted to pre-workouts followed by iced coffees followed by soda, this no caffeine experiment would’ve posed as more challenging. No caffeine is a nice break for your body, however, to channel inner motivation to bust out work, opposed to a mid-day-pick-me-up. My final thoughts? No caffeine is not preferred, but not impossible. Now, who want’s Dunkin’?