This post may seem rather contradicting considering how many coffee posts I have on my site. Technically, I didn’t totally quit drinking coffee — it’s a beautiful thing called decaf. I had been having coffee since I was a freshman in college. Over the years, I started to go from one cup a day to two, three, and sometimes even four or five.
At one point, I remember meeting up with some classmates to work on a college report. I sat there drinking my fifth cup of coffee whilst thinking about the pre-workout I was going to take leaving that meeting. I counted up how many milligrams of caffeine I would have that day and it was easily closer to the 2,000-milligram mark than the 1,000.
Yet, I still wondered why I couldn’t sleep at night. There were countless nights I would sit in bed not able to sleep just thinking about how excited I was to take my first sip the following morning.
I was most definitely addicted to coffee.
After getting some tests back from the doctor a few months ago, coffee had started to make a bigger impact on my body than I thought — and it had to entirely go.
Guys, this was SO hard to kick.
The first week I felt fine. The second I felt like lifting my finger was too much work for the day. And then, the third started to give me hope. The fourth? AMAZING. I honestly don’t know if I will go back to drinking coffee. And if I do, I definitely won’t be drinking much as I did before.
If you’re considering this yourself, I got a couple tricks up my sleeve. And trust me, you got this!
1. Build Up to It
A few weeks before fully pushing decaf to the front line of my morning routine, I slowly started to cut my regular coffee with decaf. I mixed my regular caf with my decaf grounds 50/50. Then, 25/75 and so on. The first two weeks tapering off were totally fine until the third — that was a doozy.
2. Plan for the Slump
The side effects most likely will catch up to you if you’ve been drinking it for as long as I did. Luckily, I had actually planned a week-long vacation off from work when the third week hit. Since it was at the height of the pandemic, I had nothing to do anyway. All week long I sat their binge-watching my favorite shows trying not to fall asleep every 30 minutes. Try and predict when you’ll hit your slump, and make sure it’s the right time for it.
3. Vitamins & Supplements Are Your Friends
On the last Saturday of my vacation, I thought about the beautiful supplement of vitamin B. I went to Whole Foods to find a high potency version and this was the ultimate game-changer. I have been prioritizing taking multivitamins and vitamin B supplements every morning now and I have been feeling better than ever.
4. Find Your Replacement
You will most likely also still crave that warm, or cold, cup of goodness in your hand every morning you start on your to-do list. For me, I have been drinking decaf, and it cures my cravings. Other options are matcha, black tea, or even a healthy spritz cocktail (more posts on that later ;)).
5. Make Sleep Your Priority
While you may have been able to function properly on 5 hours of sleep before, you sure as heck are gonna struggle doing that when you cut out your main source of energy. I stuck to a strict bedtime and wake up routine to keep my body on track. That way, my body would know when I would be getting up and when I should start unwinding from the day.
6. Get Your Diet in Check
Like most things, it is always a plus when you can optimize your diet and fuel your body with the nutrients you need. Luckily, during this time, my doctor switched around my diet and I was cleaning it up pretty heavily. Honestly, I have been loving that as well!
7. Slow Down Your Workouts
Along with everything else, I have been forcing myself to slow down a bit. Before I had been so wound up, always going and feeling anxious about meeting my own standards for myself. I have been taking the time every morning to get in light movement to relax before jumping into my day — starting with yoga. If you haven’t already, you can find my morning routine for productivity here (but choose decaf if you follow the same protocol).
Below are all my favorite coffee staples. If you choose to save a little extra this summer on cold brew, check out my favorite at-home cold brew recipe.
Cheers to your iced decaf coffee (& more natural energy) this summer!
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