Day One Without Caffeine

Normally I drink a reasonable amount of caffeine. I average between one and three sodas a day. I drink coffee, but it’s the decaffeinated kind; Coke is my caffeine delivery vehicle of choice.

But every August, I drop most caffeine sources. It’s not a total ban — I continue to drink decaffeinated coffee, which has some caffeine in it, and I eat chocolate — but it’s a substantial reduction. My friend John got me started on this some four years ago. It’s not something I absolutely need (says the junkie). I don’t have heart trouble that caffeine would exacerbate, and caffeine doesn’t have a huge effect on my sleep schedule. I do find it a useful counter to my tendency to drink ever-increasing amounts of soda as time goes on. The first two months after my one-month ban, I’ll drink one soda a day. Then I move to two, and then three. I don’t go much beyond three, though yesterday I had my usual complement of three cans of soda plus a glass or two at lunch. Clearly this is an exponential trend that, if left unchecked, would leave me with a ten-gallon-a-day habit by next year.

So far I have a mild headache. Experience tells me that that headache will reappear tomorrow as well, but that by Friday I’ll be fine. Really, as DTs go, this is as mild as it gets.

12 thoughts on “Day One Without Caffeine

  1. I drink lots of soda too…for breakfast even (it’s a good wake-up!). I’ve tried giving it up and it doesn’t work for me. The headaches suck too much.

    They came out with some study recently that said that even one soda a day can be harmful to your health. But, thankfully, numerous researchers said that those findings were crap.

    Let me know how your detox goes! Good luck 🙂

  2. About a month ago, I cut out caffeinated beverages completely. I have broken it twice — both times, the best drink available was Barqs Root Beer.

    Of course, since my primary beverage was Mountain Dew, I’ve nearly cut out soda completely as well. I do drink orange soda from time to time, but that’s about it; maybe two cans per week.

  3. Yay for being caffeine free for a month! I’d actually forgotten today was the day, but luckily I haven’t had any today anyway, so it’s off to the races.

  4. I find I do better if I throw in some Sprite or Diet Sprite, as it takes away the big incentive for me to break my plans: after a while, I want to drink something other than water. Lemonade works for this as well.

  5. My cycles tend to be about two months long. I decide that I’m not sleeping well and switch to decaf entirely for two months. Then I decide that I’m not feeling motivated and alert enough and switch back to caf entirely for two months.

    Right now I’m in the caffeinated part of the cycle; I’ll probably stay there until we ship the game. Right now that consists of a medium coffee in the morning and sometimes a soda in the afternoon.

  6. I cut out caffeine from my diet back in 2002/2003. Since then, I occasionally “backslide” by having a can of Coke or a bit of chocolate. I think in the last four to five years, I’ve had a total of 6 cans and eight or nine chocolate pieces (cake, candy bar, etc), period. Whenever I do, my entire system gets an immense jolt. It’s a little scary.

  7. Good for you, Stephen. I’ve actually managed to severely cut back my caffeine intake on a semi-permanent basis (I backslide every time I go to the customer’s place) I have a cup of coffee (or tea, depending on what I’m in the mood for) in the morning. Then, sometime in the afternoon, I have one soda. Thanks to Misty, I’m now hooked on Coke Zero. Yum.

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