Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Caffeine-free and happy

I know I promised not to mention the 100-day caffeine-free challenge (saga?) again, but it’s is just too long to go without an update. I’ve now been caffeine-free for 50 days. At least, I’m not drinking tea or coffee; I do have the occasional piece of chocolate.

50 days is the longest I’ve managed so far (30 and 24 days being the two previous attempts) but having failed twice there is not a lot that could force a cup of tea down my throat right now. That’s not to say I don’t have the occasional yearning for a cuppa, I do, but after the last failed attempt I had to make a decision – go back to drinking tea or stay caffeine free. I opted for caffeine-free because I believe it gives me more energy, fewer headaches and better sleep. Not inconsequential benefits in exchange for drinking herb teas or Roibush.

I came to the conclusion that I would need a little help if I were to make 100 days without a caffeinated beverage, so I bought the much praised book “Caffeine Blues” by Stephen Cherniske. If you are also trying to live without tea leaves or coffee beans I would highly recommend it. It is slightly evangelical in parts, but well researched and convincing. The list of problems associated with caffeine, including stress, depression, poor sleep, plus many others, is long and worrying. Yet in talking to friends about caffeine it seems many people would sooner put up with various ailments than do anything about it. Or maybe they think that a substance so widely accepted by society cannot be harmful. An interesting idea ...

So another 50 days to go, including the Christmas and New Year holidays which I’m guessing will be the most difficult. The strangest thing about this challenge has been that I’m always tempted when in a relaxed social setting, rather than at work. My workday habit of peppermint tea is now established, and I think my temperament is more even for taking caffeine out of the working day. It’s the out of work days that cause me the most trouble, the days when I’m having such a nice time that a cup of green tea would just go down a treat. Not dissimilar to having a glass of wine when relaxing with friends.

I’ve been struck by the interest in living a caffeine-free life. It seems many people are looking at ways to improve their health or perform better. I’d be really interested in others’ experiences, either through comments or by email.

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1 comment:

  1. My thoughts exactly, who wouldve known there was some one else out there thinking the same thing! Caffeine free & happy too! just 3 days, but i like the slow gradual steady energy....