How to Cut Caffeine and The Benefits You Will See

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I knew that I was taking in a lot of caffeine, but I never realized how much or the side effects it was having on me. To start my day, I was taking a scoop off pre-workout (300mg), followed by a coffee after the gym (90mg), followed by a Hot Girl Water (AKA Diet Coke – 50mg). If I was going out at night I would also take caffeine pills (400mg)…that’s a ton of caffeine.

I did this for years, until…

Migraines. Raging Migraines. Headaches like I had never experienced before were coming out of nowhere and affecting almost every aspect of my life. I couldn’t work out, let alone barely drive my car because my motor skills were lacking. I couldn’t stay awake for more than 3 or 4 hours at a time. I was having detrimental tunnel vision that made me dizzy and nauseous, and I was never hungry but I was somehow the most bloated I had ever been.

I had multiple blood tests and CT scans to try to figure out what was wrong. Finally, my general doctor sent me to a Neurologist. My neurologist told me I had to give up all caffeine, even chocolate, for 30 days. Let’s just say, I didn’t do very well at giving up chocolate, but I did manage to make it 30 days without a single milligram of caffeine. I was on medication to help me ease into this transition but I swear I have never felt better.

Here’s what happened when I gave up caffeine
    1. I had zero headaches. None. Totally gone. I was able to resume my normal routine of working out, eating, and working.
    1. I lost my bloat within the first couple of weeks. I was finally feeling like myself again.
    1. My mind felt so clear. I was able to be a more productive (and enjoyable) colleague and employee.
    1. I was sleeping like a baby. For someone who has struggled with their sleep for many years, this was the biggest win for me.

I don’t feel like giving up caffeine is for everyone. This is something that I am conscious of every day and I have to be careful to always choose zero headaches when given the option to drink an espresso martini. If you want to give up caffeine too, these are the things I recommend you do:

    1. Make a plan and stick to it – you have to want to give up caffeine but make sure you give yourself a realistic timeline and manage your expectations.
    1. Write all the benefits you want to see at the end of your no-caffeine journey.
    1. Track how you feel! Make sure you give yourself a long enough trial run to see changes.

After a month, I decided that I was going to go caffeine-free for a long time. I liked the way my body felt and I was feeling better than ever. I’ve found joy in my herbal teas and my favorite Starbucks Shaken (decaf) Espresso. I never saw myself living a caffeine-free life, but at the end of the day, it’s best for me.

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