Why I decided to quit coffee
So, yes, I quit coffee. Well, actually I broke my coffee addiction/dependency. I love coffee. I love the taste, the scent and the way it makes me feel. A cup of hot coffee was my little break. My daily hug. My afternoon boost. But also my anxiety intensifier. My heart palpitation inducer and my “stomach upsetter”. So, I had to quit. I started to feel so dependent on it and the effects just weren’t beneficial anymore. And when I learned about the effect coffee has on your body (https://youtu.be/pVXHD1gl6c4). I realized it was time to quit.
What are the effects of coffee on the body
As I understand it, the caffeine in coffee hinders Adenosine to dock on to its receptors. This makes us more alert. Because when adenosine docks on we get sleepy and our muscles relax. Another effect caffeine has on us is a” feel good effect” because it blocks another receptor and therefore releases dopamine and glutamate.
And let me tell you. I got hooked on that dopamine flow. Combined with the cozy and warm feeling the hot coffee mug gave me, I just couldn’t resist.
Source:How does caffeine work in your brain? ~ 16.11.2021
Why was I addicted?
Now, why couldn’t I resist? Well, as mentioned above, because I NEEDED a break. A break from what my life had been. A break from the responsibilities I took on long before my baby was born. A break from being needed, from having so much weight on my shoulders, from worrying, from anxiety, from depression.
But you know what happened?
Coffee made all of those feelings I had worse. Way worse. So now I was hooked on something that made me feel more anxious, more depressed and more like a failure.
The caffeine made my heart flutter and therefore increased my anxiousness. It made me feel more stressed instead of alert and it sometimes would make me feel sick.
And yet here I was still craving this break, still craving the dopamine rush, craving the alertness in the morning. Because I needed to feel some sort of “good” again. Even if it came at a price and even if it wore off quickly.
Yes, I was so sad and lost and so full of fear that I couldn’t let go of something that hurt me.
How I quit
I did some research and watched tons of videos of people who had quit coffee for a while or once and for all. Some suggested to quit slowly and reduce the amount of caffeine intake over time. This should help with potential withdrawal symptoms such as headaches. I did that several times but it never worked for me. I also tried to switch to decaf first. But that ended up in me just switching back to regular coffee.
I knew the only way an addict like me could quit was cold turkey. I couldn’t let go of the ritual but I could let go of the caffein. So I went for plant based coffee substitutes.
Here are some of my favourites:
Teeccino – French Roast Tea
Bambu – Coffee Alternative
Naturata- Lupinen Kaffee (German)
So how did I do it?
- I kept my “coffee routine” but replaced the coffee with the substitutions above.
- Whenever I wanted to cave in, I reminded myself of the effects a caffeinated beverage would have on my body. I kept a graph I saw on examine.com : How does caffeine work in your brain? in my mind. I knew that if I just kept drinking coffee the caffein would never fully leave my system and I would be in this anxious and depressed state all the time.
- I educated myself on what I should expect. And when I got hit by withdrawal symptoms I knew that this was part of the detox and from other peoples accounts I knew how long this would probably last and that afterwards I would feel so much better.
How did it go?
The first week was hard. I was exhausted and pretty much a walking zombie. Throughout this week I also was trying to breastfeed less (in order to stop breastfeeding), which my 18-month-old did not like. Doing this was quite hard while being so tired. I also was alone for two days with no help and during this time my toddler would not want to go to bed and would wake up at 1 am. It was grueling. But I pushed through and now I am on the other side and now I am completely free of caffeine.
Whenever I feel like I need some, I think about the consequences. I also might just make myself a cup of “fake-coffee”.
Where am I now?
Now I am in a place where I can choose to drink coffee or not. I no longer depend on it and I use it as a tool for the hardest of days.
What did I learn?
I learned that I am strong. This was hard for me to let go of. I didn’t have to do this. But I chose to do the right thing for my body, mind and soul. I proved to myself that I can be free again. If you are struggling with quitting coffee then know that it is doable and so freeing. Do prepare yourself for the withdrawal symptoms such as being very tired, headaches etc.. So what bad habits and addictions can I rid myself of furthermore?
Stay tuned to find out and accompany me on my journey to glow up my life!
I encourage you to ask yourself whether you are addicted to something and why? What is something you can’t let go off even if it hurts you?