6 Weeks Without Caffeine

I have a vivid memory (and if you know me well then you know I don’t remember anything). I’m lying on my parents’ couch. My head is pounding. I’m supposed to go camping with my friends because we’re finally seniors in high school but I can’t sit up without feeling like I might faint. I could hear my mom making dinner. It seemed s o  l o u d.

True story: I wasn’t hungover. I just didn’t drink coffee. That’s what happens to me when I don’t have any caffeine before 4pm. Well, not anymore. I haven’t had coffee since February 8th. I’m starting my 6th week on the candida diet and so I’ve been without caffeine, refined sugar, legumes, grains, alcohol, fruit and dairy the entire time. More on that later.

So what was it like quitting caffeine? I’ll tell you:

February 9th: 

I wake up around 10am (it was a Saturday) and eat eggs and veggies. I feel a little bit of sadness wash over me when I realize I won’t get to drink a cup of coffee or a shot of espresso. I try to work and be productive because I know it’s coming.

By 3pm, I feel the darkness settle. Sounds dramatic but it’s the truth. By 4pm, I can’t move my head without feeling the worst pain. I find a way to lay on the couch watching Making a Murderer where I can still wear my glasses but where the pressure from the pillow presses into my temple. Somehow it helps. A little.

I feel nauseous and fall asleep at 8pm. I wake up at 10pm. Still feel like death. I fall back asleep for the night.

February 10th:

I wake up without a headache. It’s a miracle. I feel skeptical because I heard from others that their headache lasted 4 days. I take it easy (I mean, it is a Sunday) and start experimenting with recipes in case the headache comes back.

Week 1: 

I’m tired, groggy and foggy. Every morning is a struggle but I’m thankful there isn’t a headache. I try peppermint tea or any other herbal blends. It’s just not the same.

Week 2:

More energized. Still drool a little when I smell coffee. I don’t really go anywhere and Adam is sweet and drinks it outside the home (ha!)

Week 3:

Had to tell someone that I don’t drink caffeine or coffee and got the ultimate, “What the hell is wrong with you” look. I used to do that to others. Oh, past me. Oddly, I keep meeting a lot of other people who don’t drink caffeine. It’s like when you meet someone knew and then you see them EVERYWHERE.

Week 4:

Holy crap I feel amazing. I fall asleep quickly. I wake up quickly. My energy stays constant ALL DAY. I will say, however, that I do get 8-10 hours of sleep as of late. I can’t risk being tired without spiking my adrenaline.

Week 5:

Feels totally normal to not drink coffee. Still miss it when I catch a smell but I’ve found a really amazing herbal tea blend that I make myself. I think it rivals a good latte.

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I’m currently in week 6 of this diet. I have 2 more weeks and then I can reintroduce things slowly. For now, I think I may stick with a caffeine-free life. It seems daunting to get re-addicted. I will explore the decaf route (although I know it contains a bit of caffeine). I just can’t decide.

Are any of you caffeine-free? Do you ever cheat? Are any of you limited caffeine consumers? As in, a couple times a week? I’m so curious!

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  • I’ve never been a coffee drinker though I do love the smell of it and making it for my beloved husband! I’m really glad I never got into coffee drinking because I see the hold it has on a ton of people. My husband also gets horrible headaches if he doesn’t have a cup in the morning or he’ll get a headache later in the day if he didn’t have enough caffeine.

    Since I’ve never depended on coffee for my energy, I mainly focus on getting a good night’s sleep and eating clean. Also cutting back on sugar has helped me a ton. Keep experimenting with tea! My husband’s been trying to wean off and yerba mata is his go to cause of the high caffeine levels in it. It’s not the best tasting tea but apparently it works. Try high quality ceremonial grade matcha. I drink it almost every day and it helps maintain my energy levels throughout the day. Also it has a bunch of other shitz in it that’s good for your body. Best of luck to you! Stay strong! ;)

    • The smell is quite lovely. That’s when I miss it most! Right around the holidays I was drinking a lot of drinks from Starbucks (SO much sugar). I will be interested in experimenting with teas. I’m still not even sure if I want caffeinated tea! But I do love chai…

  • I’ve never really liked the taste of coffee or tea, which means I’ve never really gotten into that need for caffeine in the morning. If anything, when I do drink coffee, it makes me totally crazy and I feel really strange, so I mostly avoid it! There are days when I’m basically falling asleep at my desk when I wish I was a coffee drinker – but not enough to actually drink the stuff! It’s a shame, because it’s very Instagrammable (!)

  • Ooh please share your recipe! That looks delicious! I’ve never been a caffeine drinker. My parents wouldn’t let us drink soda growing up and I have thyroid issues and low energy anyway and I was always afraid to get addicted to coffee and have to rely on that extra energy boost to make it through the day. Since I’ve gone most of my life without any caffeine, I get really bad headaches when I do drink it, so I continue to avoid it altogether. I do like warm herbal teas though!

  • I’m not a coffee drinker, it makes me way too jittery and crazy feeling, but I do love a good tea. I’d say if you want to go back to caffeine start with tea instead of jumping back into coffee. the caffeine in tea is released into your bloodstream at a much slower / steady rate so it lessens the energy spike / crash most experience with coffee. good luck! :)

    • Good advice. I was thinking I’d keep drinking my herbal “coffee” but supplement with teas. I do miss chai but I think it’s because it’s filled with sugar usually LOL.

  • I need to do this but I’m so scared of life without coffee. How will I stay awake? How will function?

    I mean obviously you can do it (congrats!). It’s just…scary.

  • You know I’ve been off caffeine for a while now too. It was a weird experience – I definitely felt sadness of coffee not really being a part of my morning routine, dare I say my identity (?) anymore. But alas, life is GREAT without it.

  • I’ve been caffeine free for the last 8 weeks, thanks to a little babe I’ve got growing inside of me. I’ve quite caffeine in the past and always went back. I don’t miss it at all right now & agree with you – I fall asleep & wake up in the AM so much more easily!!!! I always get awful headaches/nausea during the first 24-48 hours of ditching it, too!

    • YAY!! I’m so glad you feel good without it too. I was having the hardest time falling asleep. It’s so much easier now. But I will be sad when I become more social + visit coffeeshops (I anticipate).

  • I switched to bulletproof coffee last week and will never go back. I don’t have the stomachache I used to get from coffee and I only have one cup and never have the dreaded caffeine crash. It’s amazing and I highly recommend it as a step toward being caffeine free or as an alternative for people who struggle with their bodies accepting coffee. Oh, the things we do for what we love….

  • I adore coffee, and I won’t give it up any time soon. However, I only drink one cup a day, and it’s crappy instant coffee! My boyfriend and I save the good coffee for the weekends, during which I might have two cups a day.

  • What does caffeine have to do with candida? Or is it the coffee? Either way, I don’t see the connection. Candida feeds in sugar… But I’ve never heard of this connection before…

    • Drinking caffeine spikes your adrenaline + lots of caffeine drinkers suffer from adrenal fatigue (so your adrenal glands aren’t working well). When you overwork your adrenal glands, a critical part of your immune system, will lower your defenses against things like Candida.

  • Please share this magical herbal coffee recipe!!! I suffer from OCD/anxiety and unfortunately coffee doesn’t help curb my anxiety levels – it just skyrockets them. Even more unfortunately, I love. LOVE. coffee. I almost can’t sit down at my desk to work if I don’t have a cup of it with me – it’s become a habit/this weird comfort thing. I’d love a recipe that’s caffeine free but still gives me something to hold onto while working… ‘I don’t know what to do with my hands…’

    • More posts on the herbal coffee SOON! But I agree – Coffee is so comforting to me. And I still miss it. I feel like if I drink it again after this diet my body will FREAK OUTTTT haha.

  • No caffeine here for 5+ years until I forcefully tried to become a coffee drinker this summer at my internship where everyone was a coffee addict! Ha! I’ve been back at no caffeine for the last couple of months and feel Sooo much better! I wish I had a secret or some recipes share that get me through but I totally feel the drag in the morning and through the afternoon of no energy. I’m def gonna check out more about the candida diet!

    • I’d love to hear what you think about the diet, Karly! I know it’s not for everyone because some people don’t struggle with the overgrowth but hopefully it helps someone discover some relief. I hope to post about it in full once I’m done.

      And I totally understand about coffee being a social thing!!