Checking in After 20 Days Without Caffeine

You heard it right. Not 15, but 20. Yesterday was in fact my 20th day without any caffeine whatsoever. No coffee, no green tea, no supplements with caffeine, notta. I must say, it’s been an interesting experiment and I learned a lot from it. I decided to take it a bit longer since day 16 was on a Monday and I figured I could make it through another work week. I was also donating blood on that coming Friday and figured it was best to wait until after that anyways.

Throughout the entire time (excluding weekends!), I still managed to get up to that 5:20am alarm each morning. Some days were worse than others, and as a result some workouts were worse than others. I was riding that fine line between making the excuse that I was too tired to workout and the simple fact that working out that tired could either cause an injury or just be very inefficient. Nonetheless, I am extremely stubborn and determined, so I always went. It was one of the first times where I actually made a plan to get to bed at a certain hour so I wasn’t so tired in the morning. Instead of my usual, whenever I can’t keep my eyes open any longer, I’ll just go crash in bed.

I was admittedly way less productive at work throughout the day (WAY LESS), especially the first week. I noticed though as long as I was fairly busy and there was something I needed to be working on that was fairly urgent, I seemed to have more than enough energy to power through the day. It was when there were only a few things I needed to pick away at, with no pressing deadlines, that really got me down. If there was nothing urgent for the same day, it was like my brain told my body, ‘hey don’t worry about it, let’s just take today off’ and I struggled through it.

The more I think about it though, the more I realize that might just be my natural personality. Much like a lot of people, I tend to procrastinate and without that kick, I had nothing to keep me going.

So why am I stopping now?

As much as I feel like I could go on and on, until probably my next semester of classes and final exams when I would convince myself I needed the extra boost, I’m actually not doing it for the caffeine. Today I had just a little bit, as I treated myself to an iced capp from Tim Hortons, more so because I find them incredibly delicious. If they had a decaf option, I would have likely taken them up on that. Even though it’s pouring rain out there, it was definitely still worth the the wet walk to go get one.

I have never struggled much with making it X number of days to try and do anything. I have gotten much better with the innate drive of ‘just another day, just one more day’ but it’s what happens afterwords that gets me.

There were a few reasons to start this in the first place. First, I was barely functional without what felt like 100 cups of coffee each day, so that was an issue. Second, I wanted to get more and better quality sleep, ideally decreasing stress and cortisol levels. Third, my blood pressure is abnormally high and I was hoping that it would help lower my blood pressure, unfortunately it didn’t seem to have much of an impact.

That being said, I do plan on introducing it back into my life. The question is how to do it without getting right back to where I was before. It will be something I have on one of two occasions. Occasion 1, I’m ‘grabbing a cup of coffee’ with a friend or for a meeting. Occasion 2, something very pressing is happening and needs to get done but I am tired and unfocused, so a little caffeine might give me the boost I need.

There’s no doubt about it I am more productive with it. I just think it’s more beneficial for me right now to slow down a bit and de-stress, without something keeping my mind going 24/7. So I will take it when I need it, and hopefully not fall off the bandwagon and convince myself I always need it!

Enjoy the weekend everyone and don’t forget how important a bit of rest is!

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