What A Year Of No Caffeine Did For Me

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I used to be a hard core Diet Coke addict. I loved the stuff. I would drink it morning, noon and night with an extra one for a bedtime snack. I thought I was being healthy, too. It had no sugar and it had less caffeine in it than a cup of coffee. Obviously I was delusional (probably all of that aspartame and caffeine messing with my brain). Then I got pregnant with my second daughter and pretty much stopped drinking any caffeine. With both of my pregnancies I would get super dehydrated, so cutting down on caffeine was the obvious solution.  I did my best to avoid it, but I didn’t cut it out of my diet altogether.

What A Year Of No Caffeine Did For Me

After my daughter was born I thought I would resume my regular Diet Coke habit as I had after my first daughter was born, but instead I decided to switch over to caffeine- free. I have suffered from chronic headaches and migraines my whole life and I wanted to see if it would make any difference. Well it did.

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So here we are, more than a year later and I haven’t had a caffeine drink. And guess what? I was not expecting the amazing changes.

  • I can now rise with the sun (or my kids…whichever gets up first!) and not want to murder the first person who talks to me. I have never been a morning person. Never. But now I wake up and while I’m still not super enthusiastic about being awake (because really…who doesn’t’ love sleeping in!) I am awake. Wide awake. I don’t need anything to “wake me up” (like a cup of coffee, tea or shower).
  • I don’t get tired in the middle of the day. I used to be exhausted by the middle of the day. Maybe it was my dependence on caffeine, maybe I was dehydrated, but whatever it is, I am awake, alert, and usually raring to go all day.
  • I fall asleep with ease. Do you see the pattern here? I am awake and productive when I should be and I am ready for sleep when I should be. I used to tell myself that caffeine had no effect on my sleep, but it totally did.
  • My skin looks AMAZING. I used to wear a lot of makeup because I felt like my complexion was kind of blah. Since I have kicked the caffeine my skin is so much better. It is hydrated and looks way younger.
  • I am a good 10 lbs lighter than I was 2 years ago. Chalk it up to having to chase kids around, or not working a 9-5, or kicking caffeine, but I weigh less than I did before I got married. Which is pretty awesome.
  • I am richer. I no longer spend a stupid amount of money on soda. Do you know how much that stuff costs? It’s ridiculous when I think about the amount of money I used to spend on it. Now I primarily drink water but will have an occasional cup of herbal tea while counting my billions in the bank (ok not billions, but you get the idea)
  • My headaches are 90% gone. I did have a really bad 4 week long headache/migraine a month or so ago, but I’m going to chalk that bad boy up to stress. Other than that my headaches are few and far between. Go me and my awesome noggin.
  • It has led me to kick other bad habits. I actually no longer drink soda at all. I decided after a year of no caffeine that I really didn’t like the taste of caffeine-free soda. So I kicked it to the curb. Now I just drink water and I don’t even miss it.

I always hear people say they could never give up caffeine. I get it, it’s hard to change something that is so enjoyable and we don’t feel has an effect on us. But what if you did? What’s the worst that would happen? A caffeine headache for a few days and then you will feel awesome? We all lived when we had to give up stirrup pants…so caffeine should be a cinch…right? (p.s why did we ever give them up? They were so comfy!)

Could you give up caffeine? Is there something else that isn’t that great for you that you might consider giving up?

1 Comment

  1. I get up at 4:50AM and run with my wife. We never get headaches, We sleep like a baby and we consume copious amounts of caffeine. We are both in our sixties and can outrun and out hike most millennials, as well as destroy most of them at tennis. I guess my point is you can’t really make any scientific conclusions from one person’s experiences. Placebo effects, normal chronological changes as you age, the impact of childbirth all could have had way more to do with what you’ve felt than any biochemical impacts of diet cola. On the other hand your life is better now and that’s awesome! I will say that caffeine is a proven endurance aid and I’d never try to run a marathon without a half dozen gel packs of caffeine spiked glucose. I’m just saying there is no scientific consensus on the impact of caffeine or diet soda on human health.

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