Sunday, November 16, 2008

Decaf in a Caffeinated World

So, a little over a week ago, I implemented the decision to stop drinking caffeine and all forms of diet soda. I’m not a coffee drinker but I do drink a lot (a lot) of soda so this was all part of a slow effort to make myself a little healthier.

I’ve learned a few things in the last week…

1) My body loves its caffeine and protests vehemently when I take it away. The headache only lasted for a day but I’ve discovered how much I relied on the false pick me up caffeine provides. One morning this week, I woke up at 8:15 and went back to bed at 10:30 (also in the morning). I was exhausted and couldn’t focus. The little nap helped but I was groggy all day.

2) It’s difficult to be uncaffeinated. Drinks are either caffeinated, filled with sugar, or filled with artificial sweetners (also part of the sacrificed list at the moment). I know water is the healthiest choice, but sometimes, I need flavor.

3) Caffeine has become such a part of our culture that people find it strange if you decide to remove it from your diet. The most common question asked when I’ve mentioned I’ve given up caffeine is “why?” Admittedly, in the realm of unhealthy addictions, it’s not the most likely to kill me, but in the quantities I was consuming, it couldn’t have been a good thing. And, when my 13-year old niece is drinking caramel lattes, I think we should consider our culture a little too caffeinated. There’s got to be a conspiracy theory here—something about caffeine keeping us so wired we can’t think—but you know, my brain is just too tired to think how it might work.

So, I’m moving a little slower than the rest of the world, not twitching quite as much and sleeping a lot better. Still, I feel a little out of sync, just a beat behind. Eventually, I know my body will rebound from its caffeine addiction but (yawn), right now, I need a nap.


Titania Ladley said...

Good for you, Tielle! *sips coffee* I was able to beat the addiction for a few months, then once I started back on coffee, forget it. But I do use the sugar-free chocolate Carnation Instant Breakfast Drink mix in my coffee, so (pat me on the back) at least I'm shaving off sugar. *Grin* I do find that as long as I quit by noon, I'm able to sleep fine that night. Great post!


Lynn LaFleur said...

I've drank (drunk?) decaf coffee for years, but don't drink much of it. Tea is my biggie, and Dr Pepper. I do sweeten my tea with Equal. Dr Pepper is the real thing. I can't stand the taste of diet sodas.

Yes, water is best, but I'm like you, Tielle...sometimes I want some flavor. Plus, if I drink too much water, I just get more thirsty.

Yep, call me weird.


Kyra Heiker said...

I can't handle too much caffeine either but I REALLY can't handle sugar. And I hate drinking plain water. I drink water with a splash of iced tea so it doesn't taste like water.

Works for me.

Cait Miller said...

I've gone without my caffeine fix in the morning before - usually when I'm in the US. I can't get a decent cup of tea there! LOL! I don't drink a lot of it by most standards, 1-2 cups of tea a day and one can of pepsi but it kills me! I actually bought a travel kettle to take with me now and bring my own tea bags but I still haven't solved the milk dilemma. All the hotels have coffee creamer in the rooms and most don't have a fridge. In the UK you get the same little plastic cups with milk in them in hotels.