Breaking Up is Hard to Do

I’ve quit you so many times.

And I’ve picked you up again and again.

I dabble in you from time to time.

It’s hard to avoid you because you’re everywhere.

You keep me up at night.

I get all frazzled because of you.

There are times where I feel like I might throw up when I’ve had too much of you.

Oh, caffeine.

Yes, it has been a friend and an enemy. (More of the latter.)

As I was involuntarily up all night a couple of nights ago I was thinking about why I couldn’t fall asleep. Oh yeah, for some boggling reason there was caffeine in the Vitamin Water that I had drunk after my workout. I don’t usually drink anything but water after I exercise but at the Bridge to Brews race 2 weeks ago we were given free bottles.

Feeling parched I drank half the bottle until I read “natural caffeine” on the ingredient list. What is “natural caffeine” anyway?

Here’s my story with caffeine…

I would have to say that I’m a bit of an anxious person.

For most people caffeine just gives them a little bit more energy. Keeps them awake. Adds a little zing to their morning.

For me it does a little more than that. Actually, a lot more than that.

Caffeine can affect people depending on their size or how sensitive they may be and even your gender!

I get jitters. My hands tremble. I feel nauseous. The wheels in my head can’t stop turning. I worry. I freak out. I break down. (How much is too much caffeine? Read more about the symptoms.)

You see where I’m going.

When I get to this point, it’s usually when I quit it completely. (By the way, I’ve gone through this cycle more than once)

I can’t say that I’ve gone completely without caffeine. For example, it’s in chocolate! (which I’m nibbling on right at this very moment!)

It’s in a lot of teas. Coffee. Even de-caffeinated coffee. Cola. Energy drinks. Excedrin. And yes, Vitamin Water.

Quitting caffeine cold turkey felt like quitting drugs cold turkey (I can only imagine). It can lead to some gruesome withdrawal symptoms. (* = ones I have had)

  • Persistent headaches*
  • Drowsiness
  • Irritability or crankiness*
  • Nausea*
  • Vomiting
  • Tiredness*
  • Sweating*
  • Muscle Pain*
  • Temporary feelings of depression

I seriously thought that I had the flu. But I did not.

The funny thing was that I was only drinking about 10 oz of coffee daily. But like I said, some are more sensitive than others.

Therefore, I advise to gradually reduce your caffeine intake.

I’m not saying for everyone to quit caffeine. Research has shown that there are some positive effects with moderate consumption of caffeine, which is about 250 mg.

You might be asking

Well, what does that mean in English?

An 8 oz cup of drip coffee is about 250 mg. If you love your coffee but feel like you may want to decrease your caffeine try an Americano (1 shot espresso + hot water) instead. One shot of espresso is only about 60-75 mg of caffeine. That’s about ¼ the amount in regular brewed coffee!

(But how about other drinks? Find out how much caffeine is in a chocolate bar or tea.)

Personally, I feel much better without it.

I don’t get those highs and really bad post-caffeine crashes. I actually have more energy now. Also, I don’t find myself feeling sleepy through the entire day.

I do miss my cup of Joe from time to time. Just the aroma of coffee puts a smile on my face!

So I’ll cheat and have decaf now and then.

Do you absolutely need your cup of coffee in the morning? Have you ever quit caffeine and gone through withdrawals?


{On another note… I may not be blogging as often since I’ve started my new job this week. Hopefully once I get into the groove I’ll let you know how it all goes.}

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  1. I have quit caffeine sooo many times tooo!!!! I used to get headaches Saturday mornings from not drinking it. Now that I drink it and don’t get headaches I have less motivation to drop the habit. Ahhhh my vice.

  2. sisterfriend

     /  May 24, 2011

    *like button*

  3. I have gotten to the point where I have my daily cup of coffee, but usually that’s about it. I have gotten those headaches before but not too bad.
    I agree that just the smell of coffee is amazing. I just love it!
    Good luck with the new job!
    Kristen (swanky dietitian) recently posted..California There and Back


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