The least caffeine in 25 years

My history of caffeine intake is quite long. It started more than 25 years ago when, probably still as a toddler, I drunk my very first cup of black tea. Sometimes with some sugar or milk, it became my regular beverage celebrated few times a day.

And once I became a teenager I could finally put my hands on coffee, another wonderful drink which would give you even more pleasure. Years of seeing my family members indulging in this aromatic, dark liquid, simply programmed my to follow their habit.

Going decaf

So when two weeks ago I finally replaced my morning coffee with a decaf one, I was a bit concerned about my well-being. Because when you cut on caffeine, you get quite nasty withdrawal symptoms which can last for weeks or even months. And I would be getting now the least amount of caffeine in quarter century.

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But thanks God, it has not been that bad. The very first week was the most challenging. Most of time I felt really tired, with an occasional mild headache and a weak feeling of annoyance. In the second week I am still a bit tired but my over well-being is better than a week ago. Perhaps it is thanks to a very deep sleep I have been getting now – I guess my body is now recovering from all those years of stimulation!

An advice

If you are thinking of eliminating or limiting amount of caffeine in your life, don’t go cold turkey. It might be too much to handle and you will quickly revert back to your habit just to avoid all the nasty symptoms.

A better approach is step by step cut on caffeine. In my case I split the detox into three stages which I spread over five months:

  • replaced half of my black teas with caffeine-free beverages like fruit or herbal teas
  • replaced the outstanding black teas with caffeine-free beverages
  • replaced my morning coffee with a decaf one

It simply makes the whole process much easier to handle as you can read in my previous posts (first stage summary and second stage summary). But if you want to go or you went cold turkey, share your experience in the comments. I would love to know about it!

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Less coffee means more energy

At the beginning of this year I decided to initiate a slow process of eliminating caffeine from my life. A month ago I reached the second stage of it – my only source of caffeine is a single cup of coffee in the morning.

The first four days were a bit unpleasant. My energy levels were very low and I struggled with everything. I didn’t have any headaches or upsets – I just wanted to stay in bed and sleep, sleep, sleep.

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But the fifth day brought some hope and it has been getting better ever since. My energy levels stabilized throughout a day which actually means I can do more stuff! I am not getting as exhausted as previously – I have enough mental and physical energy for work and leisure. My sleep quality improved a lot. I used to struggle to get up in the morning, constantly repeating my 5 more minutes’ mantra. Now I can get up at 7:00 am on Saturdays to go for a swim! And on top of that I am less moody, anxious and frustrated! Life simply got better!

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There is still the third stage of decaffeinating my life waiting for me and it will mean replacing my morning coffee with a decaf one. It will happen over the next two months and to be honest I can’t wait to see the results!

Spring is coming!

Once a year a very ordinary patch located next to train tracks changes into a colorful garden.

And this can mean only one thing – the spring is finally coming!

A drop of swimming pool philosphy

Learning swimming is not that easy once you reach adulthood. Water is too wet and too cold, swimming pool is too deep even at the shallow end and all those annoying kids dare to enjoy splashing. On top of that you are asked to lay on water and simply relax.

As a beginner swimmer with only two months of experience I still remember the stress of getting into water. My brain was constantly scared. The environment was so unfamiliar and the more I was trying to float the more I was failing. Until I realized that

we are used to taking actions to do or get something but sometimes it is best when we do nothing. 

And that what floating is about – you lay on your back and water does the hard job. It seems to be such an obvious thing and I am pretty sure it is for many of us. The only problem is that once you are trained to always take actions, you do it unconsciously. Even when you are failing, you are pushing more and more believing it will finally get you where you want.
Sometimes you just need to let it go. Take a deep breath, lay on water and relax.

Decaffeinating my days

Nearly two months ago I decided to cut down on caffeine and see what happens. I usually drink a cup of coffee in the morning and then I stick to water and six cups of black tea during day. It does not seem to be too much but if you realize I have been drinking black tea since childhood, it might get a bit scary. Even if caffeine has a negative impact on me, I probably just get on with it not knowing I can easily change it.
My small experiment started with a simple swap. Instead of six cups of black tea I had three cups of green tea and three cups of herbal teas like mint or nettle.
Based on Caffeine Informer my six cups of black tea, brewed for up to 1 minute, would give me around 120mg of caffeine. With herbal teas being caffeine free and green tea having around 25mg of caffeine, I managed to shave off ca. 45mg. It is not an extremely big difference but it was enough to improve my well-being. After around two weeks a constant feeling of anxiety, which has been with me since I remember, was gone.
This encouraged me to go a bit further. A week ago my yummy green tea was replaced with a tasty decaf green tea which is supposed to have 2mg of caffeine. It means that my intake dropped by around 70mg and the only proper source of caffeine is my morning coffee.
The first four days were quite hard. My energy level was very low and if I could, I would stay in bed all day long. Finally I got back on track and I have not been having any more withdrawal symptoms. The only thing left now is to observe myself and look for further benefits from the decreased intake.