I share a life-lesson learned each day. Today is an update on my experiment to give up caffeine for six months.
I gave up caffeine for six months starting about five months ago. I didn’t quite make it. I broke for a latte while in the middle of moving to a new apartment. I was exhausted physically and mentally but I knew I needed energy to make it through the day.
Since giving up caffeine was more of an experiment on a lark anyway, I discussed it at length with Nicole (who gave up caffeine with me even though she did not have to) and we decided to stop at Kahwa Coffee. I had a Vanilla Pumpkin Spice latte with Soy, and it was amazing. Everything I remembered about my morning lattes. Warm, sweet, and satisfying.
Giving up caffeine, for me, has been a fairly useless experiment over the past five months. I have not gained or lost a pound. I do not sleep any better or worse. I have no more or less energy than before. Other than the four days of minor headaches when I gave up caffeine, its absence has had no discernible impact on my life. I didn’t even save money by giving up my expensive Starbucks addiction. The money just went elsewhere to presumably equally wasteful vices.
The way caffeine works is once you have established a routine dosage, its positive effects even out and you are mostly just staving off withdrawal symptoms after that. In other words, caffeine has a smaller and smaller effect on most people the more they consume it (like most drugs).
That being said, my latte on moving day was like having my first beer–one drink and I was lit. Because I have not had caffeine in so long, the latte was like a super dose and in no time I had the energy needed to make it through the day. It was like having a shot of adrenaline that lasted four hours–I plowed ahead and felt awake and alert.
The lesson I learned about caffeine is the same lesson I learned from minimalism: Less is More.
That was the only latte I had and I have not had another one since but now I know if you stay away from caffeine it won’t make much difference to your life. Except that when you really need that sugary dose of espresso… it can be like super charging your battery. I like the idea of using caffeine sparingly. If it does not do me good all the time, then I do not need to have it all the time.
Waking up with a nice herbal tea blend is not that bad either.