Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Caffeine – A Cornerstone Habit?

I’m two weeks in to my 100 day caffeine free trial. After getting horrible caffeine withdrawal headaches for the first week I’ve been fine, and haven’t had any caffeinated drinks. I’ve eaten some chocolate, perhaps a little more than normal, but not much more.

In terms, of how I’m feeling I have to report I feel better without the caffeine than with. I’m much less tempted to have a glass of wine in the evening, so my alcohol consumption has plummeted. This in itself is a significant benefit. Sadly, it hasn’t resulted in any weight loss, but you can’t have everything! I’ve also taken up yoga again. It’s hard to know whether this is connected with giving up caffeine, but during the first week I did a lot of tidying up, and generally “putting my house in order”. So I’m tempted to think it was connected, but who knows?

On balance, therefore, I’m think there is something in this idea of a cornerstone habit. Improve one part of your life and other bits start following on, almost without any effort. It’s a very interesting idea that has lots of potential. Of course, it doesn’t have to be caffeine, it could be giving up smoking, taking up exercise, or making your bed in the morning. It could be anything. 

Curiously for me, I’m also growing tired of the debate about whether caffeine is or isn’t good for you (me, one, anyone). For me, it’s becoming clear that I’m a bit better off without it. It’s not a die in the ditch thing, but my life runs a little bit more calmly when I abstain. So whilst I’m sure there are benefits to drinking green tea, such as the antioxidants, I’m going to give them a miss. It’s no big deal, just personal choice. I know from past experience that a lot of people are interested in the do or don’t drink debate surrounding caffeine, but I’m no medic so can’t really contribute. The internet is a great resource for getting information on this sort of thing. I think running a personal trial with and without is no bad thing. Then you can make your own mind up.

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