Taking a Coffee Break

2011-12-11

I've decided to take a break from coffee. There are three major reasons I thought this would be beneficial.

The first being I was drinking it at least once a day every morning and often I'll make a pass through Starbucks later on. The sugar and milk I'm consuming is adding an extra 100-300 calories a day with not much nutrition. 3500 calories equals 1 pound so theoretically just by cutting coffee out of my diet I'll be losing a pound every 11 days.

Second, I experience back pain. I haven't been able to find any scientific studies correlating coffee drinking with back pain, but googling 'coffee back pain' led me to find many people commenting on how they had back pain for years and it stopped 1-2 days after quitting coffee. That is the case with me, I have had a knot on the right side of my neck and on the upper left side of my back invariably for years. The days after I stopped drinking coffee they got smaller and are now gone completely.

The purpose of my quitting coffee isn't because I never want to use it again but because I do want to use it again as stimulant. I remember the days before I drank coffee every day, when I did have a cup, I could sit down and focus intensely on reading a book or writing. I don't want to have to drink coffee to feel normal, I want to drink it to feel better than normal, and if I am addicted to it and my tolerance is built up, I'm wasting a wonderful chemical.

Having quit cigarettes before which I put at a difficulty of 10/10, quitting coffee is about a 3/10. I got a headache the first day and felt kind of out of it. Towards the middle of day 1 I got a Starbucks mocha with just 1 shot (Half my normal). The next day I had no caffeine at all and didn't feel much withdrawal symptoms at all. The biggest side effects aside from the headache is the lack of productivity I felt in the morning.

My plan on keeping my coffee drinking down to 2-3 times a week and only using it before things like writing this blog, or right before a programming session.