What It’s Like to Go Off Caffeine

If you’re in college, an early worker, or struggle with the daylight hours in general, then your dependence on caffeine is likely pretty high.

As someone who loves my morning cup of tea, my trips to Starbucks after class, and occasionally some Dutch Bros to pull an all-nighter, caffeine is something that helps me run my life efficiently. But in general it’s really bad for you, which is why I decided to cut caffeine out of my system for two weeks.

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Choosing to cut caffeine out of my system wasn’t really a choice as much as a happy accident. With finals coming up and a generally busy schedule, anything other than the essentials of protein and water was out of the picture – other than a chocolate chip cookie or two. It wasn’t until a week was up that I realized that I hadn’t had a sip of caffeine in days. It was then that I decided to see how long I could go without caffeine and to see if anything else happened to my mind and body when it wasn’t in my system. And let me tell you, it was really interesting.

But before you start your own experiment, see what happened to me first.

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1. Exhaustion morning, day, and night

The first few days are the only negative side effects of going off caffeine. Because you’re suddenly off of “pretend energy” your body feels tired all the time. I stopped trying to look nice in the morning, was going to bed earlier, was neglecting work, etc. because I was so tired. This is where people go back to caffeine because they want this exhaustion to stop. But if you pull through all the good effects start!

2. Less bathroom breaks

It’s gross, but caffeine makes me use the potty more than when I don’t drink it. Which is inconvenient. When I went off caffeine I was no longer needing to use the bathroom 3-4 times before noon. And when I’m not needing to get up to go to the bathroom every thirty minutes I get much more work done and feel more efficient – and save toilet paper!

3. Weight fluctuations

This one came as a shock to me, but since I was cutting out a large amount of calories (seriously, look at how many calories your Starbucks drink is, or your daily coffee shop latte, and tell me that isn’t disturbing for a 12 oz) and it made my weight go down significantly. The sugar cravings – those are next – kept me back to normal, but cutting those drink calories can make a big difference.

4. Sugar cravings

The other drawback is that your body wants sugar to stay awake now. Which meant I was plowing through bags of Brookside chocolates like they weren’t $10. If you are good at managing your sweet tooth this isn’t a problem, but be sure to be diligent to ward off any candy wrappers taking over your life.

5. Renewed sense of energy

After the exhaustion wore off, I found myself waking up every day feeling very refreshed and energized, which is fantastic! I don’t need caffeine to feel awake in the morning and get much more done with a natural sense of energy. Instead of the fake energy that caffeine gives to just get through the day, natural energy keeps you pumped and ready to go, meaning you give even more of yourself over to whatever you’re doing. This is by far one of the best pros to going off caffeine and it’s the reason I stuck with it.

6. Better complexion

My complexion cleared up a lot from going off caffeine. Now, whether that’s because I felt energized enough to wash my face twice a day, or because of the caffeine, I don’t know, but it was a lovely little surprise I wasn’t expecting and my face thanks me for it.

7. Mood swings no more

Caffeine is a stresser for anxiety and depression. That’s why people who have mental health problems or who are inclined to emotional drops are told to stay away from it. As someone who has struggled with depression in the past and is a ball of anxiety 24/7, caffeine has never been too bad for me, but going off it kept my mood much more stable, even when I was dealing with major stresses in my personal life. I think it will affect everyone differently, but it will keep your mood more stable.

THE RESULT

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Going off caffeine was an amazing decision for me. It really did enhance so many factors of my life and I feel nice and brand new. While I won’t stay off it forever – I’ve already had a few lapses for a busy schedule – I will try to keep it out as much as I can. On a daily basis I won’t have caffeine, but for all-nighters (like tonight) and because sometimes I love a cup of tea in the morning, those will be small amounts of caffeine that won’t affect the benefits going off has brought. I definitely recommend everyone try it and see.


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