Well, after reading the Whole9's Coffee Manifesto, we figured why not give it a try. We decided to give it all up for 100 days. Ryan also mentioned the desire to not be addicted to any substance. Both of us agreed that giving up caffeine was easy and we drink coffee because we like the taste more than anything - and probably the habit or ritual of it. Having a cup of coffee means the day can now commence. Although prior to giving it up, we both had noticed that going even a day without the 1 or 2 cups usually meant an afternoon headache - so it was definitely time to kick the habit.
What we've observed over the first 50 days coffee/caffeine free:
- Headaches only happened the first 2-3 days. The duration for caffeine withdrawl is typically 48 hours, but can last for up to a week. Although incidence of withdrawl symptoms in caffeine consumers is only 50%, so if you quit - maybe you'll be in the lucky half of the population.
- Ryan craved coffee for the first 2 weeks, I only craved it for a few days. The weekends seem the most difficult. We both enjoy making a good breakfast while sipping coffee on a Saturday/Sunday morning (typically post workout, even though it might be better to drink coffee before a workout and rehydrate post-workout). Herbal tea has really been a perfect replacement for these times and suppresses any coffee cravings I might have.
- After the first month, I only had cravings when walking past a coffee shop and catching a whiff of freshly ground beans. Not fair they can spit out those smells.
Benefits we've experience:
- It's easier to fall asleep and get a good night's sleep
- Whiter teeth
- No more dependence (afternoon headaches) on caffeine
- Fat loss! I'm not sure if this is related to eliminating coffee, but I have noticed that some stubborn belly fat that wouldn't go away during our 45-day challenge is finally disappearing. Ryan has a theory that it is related, since coffee consumption leads to increased cortisol levels, which can lead to more belly fat.
- Less general crankiness
- Save money - $2-$4 per day adds up fast
- It's easier to stay hydrated now. In the past, I would occasionally experience muscle cramps due to dehydration. These occur very infrequently now, and I can usually pinpoint why they happen - either drinking alcohol, or not drinking enough water. Before, they would often occur even though I'd been drinking a lot of water, and I wouldn't know why. Probably the coffee.
- More counter space - storing our coffee maker and bean grinder, we have more room for other things.
* Our love of coffee has run deep. We both drink it black, truly appreciating the flavor of coffee, not just using it as a sugar/cream/caffeine vehicle. We owned 2 coffee makers prior to this trial (now down to 1), 1 french press, 1 bean grinder, and more coffee mugs than cups (we also own 2 tea kettles - for rare days we might not have any beans). Ryan has even been able to identify our favorite Chicago coffee, Intelligensia, in a blind taste test.