As the most popular drink worldwide with around two billion cups consumed every day -Coffee is quite simply put, life. In the UK alone according to The British Coffee Association ( I mean who even knew there was an association for that), we drink approx. 55 million cups a day. Like WTF. If you really want to get geeky on the facts – check them out here
Anyway, as one of the longest standing members of the IBS sufferer society with possibly the weakest digestive system and all around internal system – coffee was something always knew I had to stay away from. I never drank it and when I started this journey into wellness 2 years ago, I was probably the biggest anti-coffee campaigner. But like every other sucker, I got sucked, sucked bad. It was the influx of tasty milk alternatives that got me I am sure.
I got sucked in to its creamy taste, its warmness, its quick pick me up and its ability to get me through the day (well, until the 3pm slump that required more anyway). But I also got sucked into all its nasty baggage that comes with it. The constant craving for more, the sleepless nights, the anxiety, you name it – I had it.
So why did I quit?
The constant coffee voice in my head ( Addict )
Before I would even get out of bed, I thought about that morning coffee. The cravings were real. It was literally all I could think about all day. Can I have another one? When should I have my next one? How many were acceptable. I couldn’t bare how much it took over my mind – how could something have that much control over me and my actions?
The Coffee Comedown
I got it bad, that 45 minutes before your next coffee I was a dead woman. If I wasn’t desperate for a nap, I was grumpy. I really struggled with the comedown. You can read more from nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert here on why coffee works in this way but for me, this was the worst bit.
The lack of sleep
I did not sleep. Ever. Maybe 2-3 hours per night if I was lucky in a light sleep. I went to bed anxious and jittery and at the time, just put it down to stress and work.
This was a 24/7 thing. I was bad. That constant feeling like my heart was going to jump out of my chest. The worry I hadn’t done enough, being in that ‘Fight or Flight’ mode always. I just never found calm, not even with meditation.
The meal swap
SO many people do this and do not admit it. I was having coffee as a snack, as a hunger curb. So many people drink lots of coffee to take their mind away from food.
So how did I feel coming off coffee?
Ok, so those physiological effects are no joke. I had heard how bad it was from people ( which was half the reason I kept pushing back when I was going to start) but nothing really prepared me for it.
Within probably half a day, I had a headache. I don’t know if my mind was playing with me but I felt it. It only lasted a day or two and then it went away but I hadn’t had a headache like it in a while. I slept worse than I have ever slept before and I came down with a cold. The first cold I had suffered from all year. My nose was bunged up; my glands were up and my throat was in bits. The oddest thing for me during this time is I hadn’t put 2 and 2 together that it was the coming off coffee that had done it. I didn’t realise it at all. Then, as soon as I realised it was the withdrawals that was making me feel that way it didn’t make me want to give up, quite the opposite – it made me want to quit even more. Knowing that something had the ability to make you feel that ill when you kicked it was AWFUL.
A lot of people told me it would get easier by the 4th day but I felt it worse. My cold wouldn’t quite come out or go away and I was THE grumpiest person ever. I could not function. My energy levels were at an all time low and I was so negative about everything. I still wasn’t sleeping and the exhaustion was real. So were the food cravings
Something just clicked, suddenly I felt lighter, brighter, more positive and like myself for the fist time in so long. I was happy, I was FULL of energy, I wasn’t craving food all the time and best of all – I had a proper night’s sleep in the first time probably in 6 months.
Since then I haven’t look back. 2 weeks later was a little tough in terms of energy getting through the day but as I got over that hurdle for a few days, I feel so much better. My mind is clearer, my food cravings completely stopped and I sleep every night in a deep sleep for 8 hours. It was the best decision I ever made.
If you are thinking of quitting coffee, get involved in the Mathca Now #iquitcoffeecampgin for 21 days and see for yourself how much better you feel ( after the little initial one week hiccup) – Find out more here.
To find out if coffee is good or bad for you, click here