Friday, 7 August 2009

4 Immediate Benefits of giving up Caffeine


I’m beginning to sound like Alice in Wonderland – amazed at every white rabbit that jumps out at me. I’ve given up caffeine for long periods of time before, but am still pleasantly surprised at the benefits. 14 days ago I resolved to give up caffeinated drinks for 100 days, and after 14 days it’s going well.

I was hoping for fewer headaches, and a more even temperament (caffeine can put me on edge after I’ve drunk too much). But I’ve found a whole number of unexpected benefits:
  1. More energy. This was a total surprise – I thought I would have less, but removing caffeine seems to have improved my energy levels.
  2. Less inclined to have a glass of wine. Caffeine tends to wind me up, so the desire for a glass of wine is stronger the more tea I drink. Remove the caffeine and I seem to be very happy without the wine.
  3. More moderate eating. I haven’t looked up whether this is well known or not but I’m certainly finding that I’m eating more healthy foods since I cut out caffeine.
  4. More inclined to exercise. The running shoes were dusted off and actually used this week. It’s hard to know whether this is the results of removing caffeine from my diet or not, but it certainly felt good.
It is certainly an easy change to make to my diet – there are no social pressures to drink caffeine and no cravings. I feel like I have already formed the habit, although I suspect that unless I have some pressure to keep going for 100 days I might slip back again with the occasional cuppa which would turn back into my normal 46-a-day habit.

The original motivation was to test out how long it takes to form a habit, rather than giving up caffeine. It hasn’t exactly been a tough challenge, but it has been one with much greater benefits than I had anticipated.

6 comments:

  1. Well done, first of all. But also, and more importantly, proves that some of the consequences lead to other positive results (less coffee -> less wine -> healthier eating), which shows that some bad habits may lead to others.
    Now I am not suggesting you go onto drinking coffee to check if you start eating junk food!

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  2. Yes, it's interesting isn't it? Although I'm not sure I could go back to drinking coffee now (I've drunk mostly green tea for years now) I think I'm mostly enjoying this experiment. As always, though, it's easier to start something than it is to finish it! Thanks for your input.

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  3. Another major benefit of giving up caffeine (especially coffee) is keeping your breath fresh! This is almost impossible to do if you are a frequest coffee drinker. You may not think this is important, but ask the people (physically)close to you!

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  6. "my normal 46-a-day habit" -- you drank 46 cups of coffee a day? WTF! Yeah, I'd say it was smart move to cut down!

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