Here’s a fun fact. Caffeine is the most commonly used addictive drug in existence.
Many of you have probably never considered it to be a drug, but it certainly is. (Just Google caffeine and check out the classification box to the right) I’m not saying its a bad drug, caffeine has been found to have positive health effects in moderation and whether you use it is totally up to you. But the fact is is that it is a drug, it is addictive, and through my experience your life can significantly improve without it.
So while I’m not here to tell you what choices to make, I am here to portray the facts so you can make an educated decision. If you’re struggling with fatigue, anxiety or just not feeling awesome and your slugging down the caffeine all day, take a step back, have a read and decide whether going caffeine free is something you need to do. It was for me.
Why would I ever give up caffeine?
Kicking caffeine is certainly not for everyone, and I am in now way against caffeine, or trying to say it is bad for you.
I know people that live on Starbucks and wouldn’t be able to function without it. But to me this is the problem. “They wouldn’t be able to function without it.”
Ask yourself right now, if caffeine wasn’t available for you tomorrow, how productive and useful would you be? Most of you would probably be completely brain dead zombies. I was.
Personally, I do not want to be reliant on any substances. I used to be heavily reliant on caffeine for years and now I am 100% free of it. Since this life change, I can assure you my energy levels may be twice as good as they were before.
I must warn you though. This is not for the faint of heart and this change does not happen overnight. This is a decision for long term self improvement and will make anything else you are trying to do in the next few months much more difficult. But if you can stick with it I know you won’t regret it.
Caffeine is an addictive drug
Caffeine is one of the most widely accepted addictive drugs on the plant, along with porn. Check out the info-graphic below for more detail on just how addictive caffeine truly is.
Benefits of being caffeine free
You can see from the infographic that the problem is not just in mine or anyone else’s head. Caffeine is a drug and not being dependent on it carries many benefits. For example, after giving up caffeine and getting through withdrawals:
1) You will have consistent energy levels thought the day
2) You will have a decrease in stress and anxiety
3) You will wake up easier and more refreshed
4) You will save money
5) You will get harder erections!
When I was on caffeine, I started to have problem with anxiety and my energy levels. I was on a constant track of up’s and downs, and each cup made me increasingly more jittery and nervous. Some people will never feel this way. Good for you. But most people do, and they have no idea what the cause is.
Since I quit caffeine, and have recovered from withdrawals, my life has gotten a lot better. I have consistent energy throughout the day. I wake up refreshed and my overall well being has increased. I also don’t have to spend my hard earned money just to feel good and have the energy to get out of the house.
It is a great change, but I will not butter it up. It did not come easy.
Caffeine withdrawal | the ugly truth
Caffeine withdrawal is real, and it sucks. A lot. If you decide to go caffeine free and you have been dependent on caffeine for years like I was you will go through withdrawals, and they will likely last for months. Although everyone is different, I will share with you the withdrawal symptoms that I experienced.
First some commonly reported caffeine withdrawal symptoms:
7) Muscle pain and stiffness
8) Lack of concentration
9) Flu-like symptoms
**Update: Since writing this article, we have had an amazing 188+ comments from people going through similar caffeine withdrawals. You can see them below, and it just goes to show that it is not a two week thing as many people will have you believe. So when you are done reading you can check out the comment section which is filled with amazing information and stories from great people. You can also head to the Forum and personally track your progress and receive support from hundreds of people in the same spot. Just head here and start a new thread.
My personal caffeine withdrawal symptoms
Here are my personal symptoms that I experienced after being a slave to the drug for years of my life. Again, everyone is different! And some of you lucky bastards will feel better in weeks to a month. But for some, it can take as long as a year for the brain to fully return to its pre caffeinated state. (This doesn’t mean you will be in withdrawal that whole time) So do not feel afraid or alone if you experience any of the following or worse.
Extreme fatigue for the first week. Feels almost like bad jet lag. You have no energy to do anything and you don’t really want to do anything. Concentration was near impossible this week. Also developed what seemed to be a slight cold.
Week 2 – 4
Along with the extreme fatigue depression sets in. I felt so low. I didn’t want to do a damn thing and I felt like a complete piece of shit. This honestly lasted over 2 weeks. This was accompanied by some raised anxiety levels. I was just constantly stressed out and felt horrible. Honestly its rough, and your body is so dependent on it that when you take the caffeine away your brain misses those chemicals and needs to re balance itself. This state feels like it is never going to end but you will get through this state, just stay strong.
Depression and anxiety went away but my brain was just plain dull. Life wasn’t too exciting at this time and I just felt bland. I didn’t have strong energy but I wasn’t in extreme fatigue. Its just a lull. As the month went on I began to experience glimpses of feeling good. But they were short lived. sleep got a lot better this month. I began to sleep very deep and I feel like this is important in the road to recovery.
The glimpses of feeling good started to get a little longer in duration. I would start to feel good for a few days but then have another wave of fatigue and dull foggy mind set in. It was discouraging but I knew that recovery was not linear. There was good weeks and there were shitty dull brain weeks. The depression and anxiety was gone though. You are almost completely stress free because you are kind of just there lol. Lack of emotion is a good way to describe it.
This is when things really started to turn around. The dull foggy mind was about 80% clear and things started to seem bright again. I was excited to go do stuff and happy that I was free of caffeine. This was the first feeling that all my sacrifice in the past few months was worth it and it was about damn time.
Month 5 ( Where I am writing this article)
Awesome. Literally the brain fog and dullness is completely gone.
I feel awesome and I wake up refreshed at like 7 AM. My co workers are slaves to caffeine and when they ask me if I want a cup I can say no thanks. I am energized and lively all the time. My wit has come back and my mind is sharp. I find myself joking around and am very quick to the punch.
I also am approaching girls a lot more now and I truly believe this has helped. I am grounded while energized and can hold a good conversation. Essentially I just have a great mental balance. No anxiety from caffeine but with a good energy about me. Its the best of both worlds.
***It’s important to note that if you are going strong and you do give in to a cup of coffee or a caffeine fix during your withdrawal, this will not set you back to the start. It may set you back a day or two but trust me you are not starting over.
I went back to the caffeine a few times during my whole journey. Each time I felt I noticed a little bit more how shitty caffeine really was. The energy it gave me was an unclean stressful buzz. It was accompanied by some anxiety and didn’t really help much. So each time I went right off it again.
It definitely may have amplified symptoms for a few days but then I was right back to where I was.
As you see this is not easy
This is not for everyone. But I assure you, if you are reaching for coffee or soda several times a day just to get you by, and you still feel fatigued, you can really benefit in the long run going caffeine free.
Many people start to become so strung out from caffeine and stress that the caffeine actually starts to make them more tired. It doesn’t work and they need more and its just an ugly downward spiral. This eventually can lead to adrenal fatigue, which I believe I definitely had, and really takes a toll on your quality of life.
And don’t listen to anyone who says caffeine withdrawal only lasts a few days to a week and cannot last more than a month. I’ve experienced it and I assure you it is real. Some sources say that your brain can take up to a year to fully revert back to its pre caffeine state. See some of the links below for others who have taken long to heal.
Things that may help with caffeine withdrawal
1) Drink a lot of water
2) Taper off the Caffeine, meaning cut back a little less each week over the course of 3 – 6 months. give your brain time to catch up.
3) Light exercise at first. If you feel fatigued don’t force it
5) Quit Caff - Special blend of vitamins and herbs to help your body adapt to stress and to quit caffeine. The ingredients are legit, but they do affect neurotransmitters (they contain Rhodiola Rosea & 5 HTP) so it is up to you. I didn’t take this, but it will help with depression and all ingredients are natural.
6) Astragalus Root! – This stuff is amazing. It is a Chinese adaptogenic that helps the body with fatigue, deal with stress and to raise the chi. I take 400mg everyday.
7) Eat a healthy diet! Stay away from sugar.
Your body is like a sports car
I like to think of my body like a highly tuned BMW M6. I’m not going to fill it with shitty dirty fuel ( Coffee, Soda, Energy Drinks ), but instead I am going to put clean premium oil and fuel in ( Water, Vegetables, Essential Fatty Acids ) This is going to keep my engine running smooth and clean, give me a better supply of power, and increase my mpg’s.
It is really up to you if you want to take the dive and go caffeine free.
I am in no way against coffee, I am aware that caffeine has been proven to be good for your health, and can veen extend your life. This is just my personal experience and wanted to share it with you.
Also, if you do decide to give this a try, understand that this is not a quick fix like a lot of the things on this site. Life caffeine free is much better in my opinion, but it took a while to get there.
Now when I get a little tired from natural day to day stuff I take a 20 minute nap and I feel amazing and refreshed afterwards. My energy is clean, my mind is clean, and if you can be the same.
Quitting caffeine is hard, these books may help you. Check out their descriptions, read some reviews and see if they are right for you.
2) How To Quit Without Feeling S**T: The Fast, Highly Effective Way To End Addiction To Caffeine, Sugar, Cigarettes, Alcohol, Illicit Or Prescription Drugs
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