Oct 012008

I have consumed at least 700 mg of caffeine daily nearly all of my adult life, with occasional excursions beyond 1,000.  Typical day for me is two cups of coffee and at least eight diet soft drinks.  A heavy day might be three and ten.

After considering its potential contribution to irritability, as well as how closely I associate it with nicotine (you may have heard that smoking is bad for you), I recently decided it’d be best to get off and stay off.  (I mean the habitual use of large amounts of it.)

I’ve quit for a few days before.  In fact, I’ve quit for long enough to observe a significant increase in the quality of my sleep.  I also remember the headaches, which are formidable for a few days.  I’m going to try to slip out the back door of it this time and see if I can avoid them altogether, so I cut my caffeine intake yesterday to an amount just large enough to avoid a headache.  That wound up being two Pepsi Ones in the morning, and a Diet Coke with lunch.

That’s about a 75% reduction.  You know, the day went fine, for the most part.  I was a little tired, but still able to think clearly, get work done, and so forth.  I did decide that it probably wouldn’t be a good night for a beer when I got home, and probably not a late night, either.  You know, maybe I’ll lie down for a little while before dinner.


5:30 wound up being my bedtime last night.  Lea woke me at 8 because she was concerned about me disrupting my sleep cycle, but it was pretty clear from the way I felt then that I was down for the night.  I was gone.

I’m going to walk my consumption on down from here over the next week or so, applying aspirin as needed (it’s actually pretty effective taken as a preventative).  I hope last night was the only big crash.

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 Posted by at 7:34 am

  4 Responses to “1. Cut caffeine 75%. 2. Pass out.”

  1. I cut out all things caffeine as part of the gastric bypass life-changing step I took 18 months ago (no caffeine because it’s a diruetic and I have enough trouble keeping hydrated; no carbonation because it’ll stretch the pouch and defeat the surgery). I didn’t cut down gradually (I was living on Diet Dr Pepper … almost a 2-liter a day). I drank it right up until the night before surgery. Then I went cold turkey. Found out that three days on morphine post-op is a marvelous (if not total overkill) way to kick the caffeine withdrawal headaches! I’ve now been 18+ months without a caffeinated or carbonated drink of any kind. And don’t really miss them.

    I do wonder, sometimes, if there isn’t something to the idea that diet sodas contribute to higher obesity rates by not only psychologically letting people think they can splurge elsewhere since they’re not “drinking” calories (big mac and a diet coke, anyone?), but perhaps the sugar substitutes are doing something, too. Not that I can say I’m sugar-substitute free, because me and Splenda are going to be long-term partners since I can’t tolerate much real sugar any longer, either.

    The best thing I’ve done for myself (besides this surgery) is becoming “addicted” to drinking water. Boring? Yes. But so good for you! =)

    Anyway, good luck with the caffeine withdrawal. When you feel yourself getting lethargic in the afternoon, drink 8 ounces of cold water then take a walk around your building. That’ll do much more for you than if you give in to the caffeine monster.

  2. I cut caffeine out before I got pregnant with Punkin Pie (both of our girls were well-planned and deliberate). I’m glad I dropped the habit BEFORE I got pregnant, though – the headaches SUCKED and I was glad to be able to take something for them (and I wasn’t NEARLY the junkie YOU are, Bo…). Good luck with that – I think you’ll see a significant increase in your quality of life (and a significant DECREASE in your blood pressure…)

  3. Good luck, Bo. Welcome to aging. When I was about 34 I suddenly couldn’t fall asleep or sleep through the night. I cut out caffeine after noon and adjusted. I used to be able to drink caffeinated beverages right up to bed time, no problem. Now if I touch a Diet Mountain Dew after 11:00 I’m up late. And that pisses me off because I’m a great lover of sleep. I think only food and orgasms rank above sleep for me. And it’s a near thing.

  4. Thanks, all.

    Tami, I have a lot of trouble with the water all the time thing, but there are now enough interesting non-caffeinated soft drinks out there to keep me reasonably content, as long as I jump enough. I like Publix’s diet ginger ale right now.

    Mrs. Chili, I hope that I realize the blood pressure benefit–the press is ambiguous–but with the quantity I consume, I probably will.

    Cheryl, I know what you mean. You saw my Diet Mountain Dew site. Just not that way anymore. The sleep is nice when it isn’t competing with a caffeine cloud, I’ll say that.

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