Quitting caffeine for a week

Anyone who knows me will remember that I cannot start my day without a cup of tea. It cannot be made by anyone other than me in order to achieve the perfect colour and taste (2C for sure). Ive been drinking tea for about religiously for about 10 years, having between two and three cups a day. I always assumed that tea is much healthier to drink than coffee, but only recently read that in fact that tea contains more caffeine than tea, which can lead to unwanted health risks. This lead me to wonder how I would cope without my morning caffeine burst for an entire week. Here’s how it went.

Day 1 – ‘Oh God’, I thought to myself as I lay awake on my bed. It was 7.30 in the morning and I was already yearning for my daily tea and porridge. Of course my dreams came crashing down at an instant, and my only beverage was a water. At 9:3o I felt a mild headache coming on. I had heavy eyelids and not having the feeling of being completely awake. I had a driving lesson at 10:30 which couldn’t have gone worse if I tried. After my awful attempt at reverse parking into a bay, even my instructor was questioning me. I then went grocery shopping, which is usually my favourite activity of the week. Bu things took a turn when my head started throbbing – it was a not so mild headache anymore, in fact it had taken over my entire head and down my face. I couldn’t take it anymore. I took an ibuprofen which made my day more desirable again. Looking forward to tomorrow.

Day 2 – I had quite a disturbed sleep, waking up multiple times during the night which is unusual for me. I woke up feeling luggish and munched on two croissants for breakfast and an orange. As I got through the day, I started feeling more tired than I normally would, but there were no signs of a major headache like yesterdays. That was until my maths student had arrived and I spent the majority of the lesson frowning. I had a minor headache for the remainder of the day but nothing I couldn’t manage.

Day 3 – I remember reading other articles about people quitting caffeine and it mentioning that day 3 is the hardest part of the challenge. I woke up at 9:30am, much later than normal – this was probably due to my overall tiredness for the past couple of days. I made sure to keep extra hydrated throughout the day, drinking more cups of water than usual. I then headed to my aunts housewarming party where we chilled in the beaming sun for the for the entire day. Despite what the other articles said, I didn’t have a tough day at all, no tiredness or headaches. In fact I felt much more awake!

Day 4 – By the fourth day, my headaches had disappeared and I was back to my normal energetic self. That’s not to say my need for tea and gone completely, I was still craving for one sip of it. I tried having warm milk but even still it did not fully satisfy my needs.

Day 5 – My mum came back from a long trip and asked me to make her a cup of tea. Now I was going back to my favourite cabinet in the kitchen, taking out the container with all the loose tea leaves. This was a mistake. As I opened the lid, the sweet aroma punched the air and lingered, enough for me to give in and make a cup for myself – something I don’t regret.

Even though I didn’t last the entire week, a 5 day gap after years of drinking routinely was a big challenge. Quitting had many negative effects on me such as headaches and just having an overall tiredness during the day. On the other hand, the withdrawal symptoms were not as bad as I thought they would be with only the first day being the hardest overall. In fact, without drinking tea in the mornings, I was not full after my meals and ended up snacking more often. I am certainly going back to drinking tea, unhealthy or not, but at least I know that if there was ever a shortage in tea bags, I would be fine.

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