How Quitting Caffeine Changed My Life

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

 

caffeineI’m going on ten years of not consuming any caffeinated beverages.  Like zilch, nada, nothing.  It really hasn’t been too difficult to avoid since I have never liked the smell or taste of coffee or tea.  One time, my mom let me try some of her sweet tea, and I immediately spit it out.  It was repulsive to me.  Furthermore, I’m also just plain weird in that I hate the taste of all alcohol as well.  I think we can all agree that I have extremely picky taste buds.

 

Big Caffeine Consumption

I am currently in the minority when it comes to caffeine consumption according to this study by my Alma Mater, Johns Hopkins.  80% of adults in the US have some sort of caffeine each day.  Starbucks clearly benefits from this as 35.2 million people, or roughly 10% of the US population, has visited a Starbucks within the last 30 days in the US.  The stock since Starbucks’ IPO has gone up over 17000%.  Boy do I wish I had bought some of that stock when I was
younger.  

 

Clearly people love their caffeine, namely coffee.  So whenever people make analogy of saving money through cutting back on lattes, it never resonates with me because I don’t understand the allure.

 

Coca-Cola

Ah, but the sweet nectar that is Coca-Cola.  Now that is a caffeinated beverage that I was very addicted to.  I loved Coke and only Coke (no Diet versions or any other brand).  I drank so much Coke that I once took a blind taste test and easily pinpointed Coke out of its lowly competition.  Even though I haven’t had a drop in years, I feel like I could still pass a taste test.

 

According to Brandon Gaille, “the average person will consume at least one Coca-Cola product once every 4 days,” and “7% say that they drink 4 or more servings of soda every day.”

 

I included that 7% stat because I was definitely in the 7% population that drank way too much Coke.  I would get a headache by noon if I hadn’t consumed Coke at lunchtime.  On top of that, it was an expensive addiction.  Every time I would eat out, it would cost me an additional $2-$3, which over a month would really add up.  I can still remember the taste of a McDonald’s Coke with french fries.  That was my perfect combo.

 

I also drank a two-liter bottle of Coke every day in addition to restaurant purchases.  Since I wasn’t a savvy shopper, I rarely shopped sales, so that bottle costed around $2 per day.  That’s roughly another $700 per year spent to satisfy my Coca-Cola habit.  Not my finest financial moment.

 

Negative Side Effects

Many of you are probably disgusted at my Coca-Cola addiction.  Trust me, I am too as I recall it.  The real reason that I gave up drinking Coke though had nothing to do with finances.  It had to do with anxiety.  Growing up, I didn’t drink Coke since my mom never had it at the house.  However, like most kids, when I got to college, I started to make my own food and drink decisions.  

 

Besides the fact that I gained some extra weight probably due to drinking 250 calories of soda at a time and now I am trying to make up for it, I became very anxious, and it affected the way that I lived.  

 

I thought initially it was due to typical college stress and trying to fit in.  But as time went on, I thought, this anxiousness might be more serious as it began to escalate.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t until about ten years after college that I figured out that there was a direct correlation between my anxiety and the soda that I was drinking.

 

Quitting Cold Turkey

I have to admit that when I gave up Coke cold turkey, it was not pretty.  I felt sick for a couple of days with night sweats, dry-heaving, and pounding headaches.  The withdrawal was terrible, but then I noticed a shift in my emotions.  I started to feel less anxious, and I felt more energetic and less irritable than before.

 

It all makes sense though.  Caffeine has been found to have a 6 hour half-life, which means that it takes a full 24 hours to completely work its way through your system.  So, the caffeine from my lunchtime Coke at noon would still be at 50% strength at bedtime.  According to Coffee and Health, increased caffeine results in people sleeping less, poorer perceived sleep quality and waking up more frequently during the night.

 

Decreased Cognitive Performance

I’m sure you are thinking you could never give up your morning caffeine.  You may think that it gives you the jolt you need to make it through the day and helps you work harder. However, a recent study by the University of British Columbia found that excessive caffeine may actually make you slack off.  

 

The Johns Hopkins study I mentioned before found that once the morning high wears off, the residual caffeine actually reduces your cognitive performance and negatively impacts your mood, much to the chagrin of your colleagues.

 

Irritability

quitting caffeine

There is a connection between caffeine consumption and irritability since caffeine causes the release of adrenaline, which puts your body into a hyper-aware state causing your emotions to overtake your mood.  This is why when you don’t have your routine morning caffeine that you may be prone to irritability.

 

Increased Stress Levels

For those that believe that caffeine helps cope with stress, according to James Lane, “The caffeine we drink enhances the effects of the stresses we experience, so if we have a stressful job, drinking coffee makes our body respond more to the ordinary stresses we experience.” He goes on to say, “Everyone accepts that stress can be unhealthy. Our results suggest that drinking coffee or other caffeinated drinks can make stress even more unhealthy.”  With that amount of stress we’re all already under, why would we undertake any additional stress than we don’t have to?  

 

Health Benefits?

Some argue that caffeine is good for you.  Interestingly enough, some newer studies now contradict those that previously claimed that drinking caffeine in moderation was good for you.  

 

quitting caffeineI know I bring this up as I end this article, but my wife also gave up caffeine and has a similar success story.  She developed a deep affection for coffee and Diet Coke in college and relied on caffeinated beverages to stay up late studying.  She kept up her addiction until I encouraged her to drop it to see if her anxiety decreased.  For her, switching to non-caffeinated Zevia flavors helped her eventually transition into drinking La Croix and Pellegrino to satisfy her carbonation fix, while totally eliminating sugar and caffeine.

 

Both of us agree that eradicating caffeine from our lives has yielded amazing results.  Those include: diminished anxiety, clarity of mind, better sleep, and interestingly enough for me, several promotions at work.  

 

Have you thought about giving up caffeine?  If you have given up caffeine, have you noticed any positive or negative effects?  Share your thoughts below.

Mustard Seed Money

Welcome to the website. A mustard seed is a very small seed but astonishingly grows very large over time. My hope is that through your financial journey that your small investment in time, money and faith will grow beyond anything that you could ever imagine.

94 Comments

  1. You’re a stronger person than me, MSM. I’m basically sub human until I have my morning coffee!

    For me, that morning coffee is something I really look forward to, and its part of my routine. Carbonated soft drinks were another thing entirely though – I gave those up a couple of years ago and have never felt better. All that sugar was killing me slowly!
    AustralianDividendInvestor recently posted…The most Bizarre Article I’ve read this year.My Profile

    • I hear ya. I think the sugar industry is going to be in trouble as people continue to wise up regarding the dangers of sugar. For years they have been touting that fat is the enemy but now we’re learning that fat is actually good while sugar is bad.

      Amazing how things can quickly shift. Thanks for sharing and stopping by!!!

  2. I’m reading this article while drinking my morning coffee. 🙂 I do drink it black, so no added sugar/cream, but I wouldn’t want to give it up. I started when I was going to school full time and working full time to get my undergrad degree, and I’ve never stopped. I don’t drink soda though-don’t care for the taste. Good for you on giving it up, though!
    Liz@ChiefMomOfficer recently posted…8 Christmas Spending Facts, and 5 Tips for Busy Working MomsMy Profile

    • Same here, reading MSM while having a black coffee! I need a little boost in the morning and two cups is the routine for me. But I’m better than I used to be. Through college and a few years after it would be coffee in the morning and a diet Mountain Dew in the evening. I finally kicked the syrup soft drink habit and never care to go back. About once or twice a year though I’ll enjoy a Coke… Then regret it after as my teeth feel cruddy!
      The Green Swan recently posted…Buying Solar Panels: Year 1 ReviewMy Profile

      • Oh man I do not miss the sugary film that laid on my teeth after drinking Coke. Thinking about it now gives me the chills. I don’t know what I was thinking back then 🙂

        Thanks likes always for stopping by!!!

    • Thanks Liz for sharing!!! My Dad and Sister love coffee and it definitely doesn’t affect them in the same way that caffeine affects me. Funny how different things affect different people 🙂

  3. 10 years, nice work! I rarely drink caffeine anymore as I don’t like being dependent on things. I meet people who have that attitude of “don’t talk to me until I’ve had my morning coffee.” These are the ones making Starbucks stock price go up. For me, I don’t want to have a crutch that I have to have every morning or my day is ruined.
    Go Finance Yourself! recently posted…Investment Fees are Costing You Years in RetirementMy Profile

    • I still remember being amazed when my wife and I were on a cruise earlier this year and seeing a Starbucks and there was a huge line.

      It’s truly amazing what Starbucks has been able to do.

  4. Honestly I never drank caffeine before kids. These days I get nowhere near enough sleep and honestly the caffeine is about the only thing that gets me going. It has been rapidly escalating to 3 cups a day recently so I need to cut back, but I see no real detriment at 1. That being said once the kids get better at sleep I see me largely dropping caffeine. On days where they are sleeping over at someone’s house I don’t drink caffeine, so I’m sure at least at this point I can still do it. I doubt it’s great for me, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do.
    Full Time Finance recently posted…Plan for Financial SuccessMy Profile

    • I hear ya Full Time Finance!!! In college I needed all the caffeine I could get in order to do those late night cram sessions.

      Thankfully my son sleeps through the night now so I don’t feel nearly as exhausted as I once did.

      Thanks for sharing!!!

  5. That’s great that you don’t have any attachment to coffee, like most of us. 🙂

    I don’t like sweet drinks, but I used to drink diet drinks. I gave those up long ago when I started to think about the chemicals. I LOVE my coffee though. It is more than the caffeine. For me, it is the sound of the brewing, the smell, the warm mug… I gave it up once for 3 months, right after I left the corporate world, and I do have to say that I felt really good. But, since I spend a lot of time writing at coffee shops, it slowly crept back into my life. I do wish I wasn’t so attached to it though.
    Primal Prosperity recently posted…Shut Up And CalculateMy Profile

    • Isn’t it amazing how certain smells just grab hold of us. There are certain smells that transport me back in time and I have such warm memories of them 🙂

      I can still smell my Dad brewing a morning pot for my Sister and him and while I don’t like the smell/taste, it still brings a smile to my face.

      Thanks for sharing!!!

  6. That was some serious Coke consumption! I used to drink a can a day for years. Never more than that. I pretty much cut that out for the most part now. Maybe one on the weekends if we go somewhere to eat. Coffee on the other hand is a different animal. I have two cups in the morning every day. I come from a long line of coffee drinkers haha. My parents drink it like you wouldn’t believe, almost like you drank Coke 🙂
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    • Isn’t it funny how the things that our parents enjoyed get passed down. While my mom didn’t love coke she loved sweet tea. The way she makes it probably has as much sugar and caffeine as a can of coke 🙂

      Thanks for sharing!!!

  7. I gave up diet soda years ago, and only have an occasional regular soda, usually split with Jon. And getting rid of all the sodium and late day caffeine has been good.

    but, I don’t know that I could do without my 2 cups of morning coffee. I try to limit the impact by stopping caffeine by 11 am and limiting the amount. I have heard that matcha is a better source of caffeine than coffee because of how it moves through the body, and have been interested to try it. Going cold turkey, though….
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    • Going cold turkey is not for the faint of heart. I can tell you it was a pretty unpleasant experience and I definitely do not wish it on my worst enemy.

      I can’t say I’m too familiar with matcha but I’ll have to read up on it.

      Thanks for sharing!!!

  8. I used to drink coke a lot as a kid…but cut down once I learned about the unhealthy effects of it. I also never drank coffee much because I didn’t like the taste and the one time I tried to drink it when I was dead tired and had to drive a few hrs. The coffee didn’t make me feel more alert, it just made my heart race…and I also had to pull over and relieve myself! So I never drank coffee, but when we had a baby…and then baby #2, I find myself drinking coffee occasionally…albeit only one cup at most.

    • Thanks for sharing Andrew!!! Sounds like we’re pretty similar 🙂

      You definitely sound like you have your hands full between two kiddos!!!

      Good luck and hopefully you get more rest so you don’t have drink it too often!!!

  9. You…are…killing…me.

    I used to drink a 2-liter of diet soda a day. I know. Very bad.

    I quit that and now allow myself three 8-oz cups of coffee a day, but am thinking about cutting back or even going off it altogether.

    Your post has challenged me to do the latter.

    That’s why you’re killing me. 🙂
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    • Thanks for sharing ESI.

      I struggled with if I should post this because I didn’t want to sound like I was on a soapbox.

      I was just hoping to share my experience 🙂

      You’ll have to let me know how the challenge goes for you.

  10. Wow that’s very impressive! I never liked coke (or other soda as well). I’m pretty indifferent on coffee and don’t drink it on a daily basis. However, I do drink about 7 – 9 cups of green tea every day haha!

    As weird as it sounds, I don’t drink tea for the caffeine. I just like to sip on it throughout the day and it helps keep me hydrated 🙂
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    • Thanks for sharing Andrew!!!

      I have a friend that is similar and loves to drink Bubble tea throughout the day. He says it’s just his thing 🙂

      So I definitely get it!!!

      Thanks for sharing 🙂

  11. Ah great post. I’ve also never been a fan of coffee or tea but started drinking energy drinks the first two weeks of work at a law firm. When I started getting massive headaches on the weekends I immediately quit. I still enjoy the occasional Diet Coke but perhaps it’s time to quit that too!

    • Thanks for sharing and stopping by MMA!!!

      I have to confess I’ve never understood Diet Coke. To me it’s always tasted like a bunch of chemicals mixed around to look like Coke.

      But I have friends that swear by it. Anyway that’s really interesting how quickly energy drinks and caffeine took hold of you. Sounds like you did the smart thing and listened to your body!!!

  12. I am a hard-core caffeine addict with coffee as my drink of choice. Since I work from home, the financial impact isn’t quite as bad as it was when I stopped at Starbucks everyday. But the ease of using a Keurig machine makes it hard to resist and it’s not an inexpensive habit.

    And I agree that the health impacts are not great.

    I’ve quit before and have been thinking about it again. The last time I quit, I weaned myself slowly over a few weeks. If you quit cold-turkey, be prepared to have the worst headache of your life for a day or two. It was so bad, I literally had to just sleep all day.

    Thanks for bringing this idea back to me. I think I’ll give it a try.

    • I still remember driving to work one morning in traffic and thinking I am going to have to pull over and throw up. I feel awful. Somehow I pulled myself together but that detox was an awful feeling. After getting through that I said I cannot do that again so I haven’t had a sip since then.

      So I definitely understand your pain. Good luck with breaking the habit and you’ll have to share your success.

    • I hear ya DC. I definitely remember feeling sapped but then again I did it right before a vacation so I was able to sleep all day and just relax 🙂

      Thanks for sharing your perspective though!!!

  13. Thanks for the interesting post. I think the sugar in the soda may have also been contributing to some of your symptoms. But congrats on cutting that stuff out! I don’t drink much soda or tea but I do love my coffee, and I probably won’t quit it any time soon. I drink about 1-2 cups a day, but not much more than that. I think problems arise when you drink too much caffeine, and everyone I think has their own limit as to what is “too much.” There’s actually a saying from Paracelsus that’s used in medical toxicology: “All things are poison and nothing is without poison; only the dose makes a thing not a poison.” Too much of anything can be bad for you. Even too much water or oxygen can be toxic. Anyways, sorry for the tangent. Thanks for the interesting read!
    SomeRandomGuyOnline recently posted…10 Strategies For Paying Off DebtMy Profile

    • I didn’t think about the sugar intake but you’re probably right. That probably had a lot to do with it.

      For me I found that caffeine is a huge problem while for others it has zero effect.

      So you are absolutely right that everyone has their own limits.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing!!!

  14. I want to give you a big high five! I don’t drink coffee or caffeinated tea at all, but I occasionally have a caffeinated soda when we’re at a restaurant. I think the saddest thing money wise is that there are a lot of people (like you said college students) that probably don’t realize just how much of their money is going toward their caffeine habit. Unhealthy and bad for the wallet :).

    • Thanks for sharing Kathryn. I definitely agree that a $1 here doesn’t seem like that much at the time but definitely adds up over time. Plus it’s definitely not optimal for our health!!!

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing!!!

    • Thanks Dennis. That’s awesome that you gave up sodas. I occasionally sneak a root beer with Mexican food. Don’t ask me why spicy food with a good root beer is a vice of mine but I’m definitely guilty.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing!!!

  15. We’re opposites! I absolutely hate carbonated beverages, and have had maybe three sips of coca-cola my entire life. I grew up disliking coffee based on what my dad had (and I tried), but I’ve always liked tea. When I moved down south I loved sweet tea.

    In college, I discovered coffee creamer, and that allowed me to enjoy it a bit more. While I can now drink some varieties black, I could go without it if I really needed to. I don’t use it to wake up, but I do sometimes use it mid-day to get me through the afternoon lull. But then again, there are days where I don’t bother making any. I usually just stick to water, and 95% of the time I make coffee at home, so thankfully it’s not costing me *too* much.

    I do know some people that spend a boatload on energy drinks, though. They literally cannot make it through a day without at least one. It’s scary how addicted we can get to caffeine.
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    • Thanks for sharing Erin!!! Sounds like you have some really good habits and are lucky that you never enjoyed the taste of carbonated drinks 🙂

      My mom loves sweet tea but I never liked the taste. Funny how things appeal to different people.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing!!!

    • Awesome job Tawcan!!! I know it couldn’t have been easy so I definitely commend you on your efforts!!!

      You have much better will power than I do. If I had a taste of Coke I know I would fall of the wagon and be right back to drinking a 2 liter a day.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing!!!

  16. I haven’t given up caffeine, but I no longer drink coffee. It’s a shame because I love the taste of coffee, but the caffeine causes a crash (among other things). Of course I didn’t know I had a problem until I switched over to drinking tea and now feel much better. I still have coffee every now and then, but only on special occasions and never in the morning of a workweek.

    So glad to hear you got rid of the Coke habit. That was a ton of sugar your system didn’t need!

    • Thanks for stopping by and sharing Biglaw!!!

      That’s awesome to hear that the switch from coffee to tea has had a positive effect on your life.

      My wife loves tea but usually the non caffeinated type. With this polar vortex swirling around I might need to warm up the kettle 🙂

  17. Your comment on my post about coffee reminded me to check out your latest – and what do I see? You quit caffeine! I don’t think I’ll ever give it up but I do limit my intake to two 12-ounce cups in the morning. Have you ever calculated how much sugar you were drinking a day in those Cokes?
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    • I never thought about the sugar intake but I just looked it up. 212 grams of sugar. Or roughly six times the daily allowance. Clearly I was no the embodiment of health 🙁

      I’m sure when I was detoxing my body was going through sugar withdraw as well.

      I’m so glad I live a healthier lifestyle now 🙂

  18. I wish I had your willpower. Whilst I can’t stand the taste of coffee and I don’t drink much beer (alcohol at all actually), Coke is something I can’t give up, and neither can my wife.

    We’re not the worst, we each try to have no more than one can per day, and we try to stick to Coke Zero, but it’s a habit I really want to get out of!
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    • From someone on the other side I’m so glad to have given it up. Although I’m not going to lie I still wish I could drink a coke from time to time.

      Good luck in your journey!!!

  19. That is great, MSM! It is nice to hear that being caffeine free has worked out for you.

    I love coffee, tea, and a fine glass of red wine. Looks like, I am just the opposite of you. It is a ceremonial ritual in the morning – I spend 15 minutes making two perfect cups of tea (black tea with creamer and sugar) in the morning – which my wife and I drink and get the day started.

    Caffeine doesn’t seem to have any effect on my stress or sleep habits. I could drink a cup of coffee and go to sleep right away 🙂
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    • Thanks for sharing Michael!!! Isn’t it amazing how certain people caffeine has hardly any effect on while other people like me get wired up too much.

      Thanks for sharing your perspective!!!

  20. I have an overall sugar addiction. Its the only thing that I am even close to addicted to. Its funny you mention the headaches from not having coke, I had the same problem but mine was Pepsi. Every day I was drinking a giant pepsi from Sheetz, but before that I would have two donuts, and Id chase those down with an orange juice, thinking the health benefits from the OJ would offset the donuts. I would also fit an extra sweet tea in there along the way…and this was every day. Whenever I started getting headaches from not drinking enough Pepsi is when I admitted I had a problem. I was never allowed soda growing up either, but once I got to college and was able to have unlimited access to to fountain drinks it was on. When I was about 27 I saw a siginificant increase in my weight, by the following year I was over 20 pounds heavier than I was just two years prior. Thankfully I woke up and though I am far from sugar free, I am much better off than before. Ill drink a Pepsi once or twice a month. One of the things that helped me cut sugar was working out. Once I started to workout again and take that part seriously it kind of felt like I would be defeating the purpose if I followed that up with junk food and pop.

    • Thanks for sharing John. Sounds like we had similar upbringings when it came to soda.

      Isn’t it amazing how we can have bad diets for years and then all of a sudden it catches up to you one day.

      Thanks for sharing and I’m definitely like you, now that I’m working out, my desire for junk food has greatly decreased 🙂

  21. My cafeine days peaked with our second child. I was having 3-5 expressos a day (quite a lot for a non coffee drinker during my first 34 years of life)

    After a few migraines, I found out that coffee and coke were the root cause. Since then, no more caffeine for me. Never say never, I do drink it once and a while… the attratction of the forbidden…
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    • Sounds like we are in the same boat. I have given it up and hopefully don’t go back down that path. I feel much better these days without it. So hopefully I can stay away 🙂

      Thanks for sharing your story!!!

  22. It probably was not just the cafeine, but also the massive amount of sugar. This may actually have had an even bigger impact than the cafeine, especially the improvements you noticed after the first week. Good that you stopped, your body will thank you.
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    • You know before people started talking about the massive amount of sugar I was drinking that it didn’t even occur to me that I was probably making myself sick.

      I think the caffeine along with the sugar was definitely not a good combo for me.

      I am feeling much better these days since I went off 🙂

  23. I can’t quit the caffeine. It really is an addiction. I need it in the morning to wake up. I hate the taste too but sometimes I drink 3 or 4 cups in a row because I love the feeling. Seriously, I am an addict. But, I guess there are worse things to be addicted to. I have quit drinking coke and most sodas, but it really had nothing to do with caffeine.
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    • Thanks for sharing Leo!!! Caffeine is definitely something that I never thought would take a hold of me like it did.

      So I can definitely understand the highs that you feel from the caffeine.

      I can tell you from my experience that going off caffeine was miserable but after I got through the initial hump that I felt much better 🙂

      Thanks for sharing!!!

  24. I gave up caffeine for a month a few years ago when doctors thought I had an intolerance for it. Turns out I don’t, but the hardest thing was that it was winter, I wanted something to warm me when I got out of bed. Warm cordial just didn’t do it for me. It did make me realise how much caffeine I’d been drinking, so when I started drinking it again, I cut it out at work and stuck to 2 per day (sometimes 3 if I’m visiting relatives). Funnily enough, since then I have learned that caffeine inhibits absorption of iron, whereas vitamin c encourages absorption, so I’ve switched my morning brew to a glass of orange or apple juice. I rarely used to buy juice as it seemed so expensive, but I feel better for it so the cost is worth it for me 🙂
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    • Thanks for sharing Sarah!!! I had no idea that caffeine inhibits absorption of iron. It’s amazing all the effects that caffeine can have on our bodies.

      Thanks for sharing!!!!

  25. Nicely done on kicking the habit!I’m so glad I never got hooked on sodas, although I crave them with certain foods (pizza, fries). I am pretty hooked on my morning coffee, which unfortunately I only like loaded with creamer. I do mix regular with chicory coffee, to cut the caffeine and acidity. I think for me it is a comfort thing, not caffeine, since I easily gave up caffeine throughout two pregnancies. Interesting how we form our addictions, as well as how people like you finally defeat them!
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    • That’s awesome that caffeine doesn’t have a hold on you. I have to admit that it definitely did on me and it was something that took me awhile to finally give up.

      Every now in then, especially in the summer I think “I could really go for a nice coke slurpee.” But then I come to my senses 🙂

      Thanks for sharing your perspective!!!

  26. I never really liked the taste of caffeine so I don’t drink coffee. But Coke was really something that I always enjoyed since young. In fact I remember when I was young that I told myself I wanted to make sure I always had a refrigerator full of Coke when I grow up next time!

    Well it didn’t happened (mainly due to me realising how unhealthy it is), but I am still a big lover of Coke. I still drink it, just much lesser now.
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    • Thanks T for stopping and sharing!!!

      I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one that doesn’t like coffee. Sounds like we are similar in our love for coke.

      My parents have a Coca Cola basement decked out in 1950s Coca Cola decorations.

      It’s incredibly impressive and you could say that with that type of advertising in the home that I was destined to love coke 🙂

  27. Haven’t read all of the comments although I feel you might have gotten a lashing in the comments from people who might be cranky if you took caffeine away from them 😉 haha..

    I haven’t had a lot of it either through soft drinks or coffee up until about 2 – 3 years ago when it became a bit of a habit.. While I do now enjoy the occasional cup it’s something that hasn’t affected the health too much 🙂

    Nice one MSM!

    • Thanks for sharing Jef!!! That’s awesome that you have weaned yourself from soft drinks and coffee. I know it’s definitely not easy.

      Thanks for stopping by!!!

  28. This is a really great post. I have a similar story. I didn’t completely quit but I went from 6-8 sodas a day to coffee and finally organic green and black teas. It has been an interesting journey. I’ll post my site below and you can check it out if you would like.

    • Thanks for sharing Matt!!! I would love to check out your site and read how you did. Sounds like we have a similar story when it comes to caffeine.

      Thanks for stopping by!!!

  29. WOW … day I hope I can write a post like this .. for now I am pleased that once, 7 years ago, I went 40 days without Coke ..!! I know it’s bad but as you say ..
    “Ah, but the sweet nectar that is Coca-Cola” …
    Well done!

    • Thanks for stopping by Emma!!! 40 days is incredibly impressive.

      I have to admit there are days that I really crave a coke. Especially on those hot days when a coke slurpee would really hit the spot.

  30. My parents also did not allow pop in the house when I was growing up, but for me, it had the opposite effect. Pop has always tasted disgusting to me. I flat out do not drink it. I do like coffee though and got into it in college with the Starbucks Frappacinos. Now I drink more the straight coffee or espresso, not the sugar bombs. It’s interesting the pop thing though… I had a supervisor once that bragged she didn’t drink coffee but she would pop open a Coke every day at 7 a.m. To me it was the same thing.

    • Hahahah…I’m not sure I would brag about not drinking coffee and substitute with coke. Seems like a coke is way worse for you 🙂

      That’s interesting to hear that Coke didn’t take hold for you while it was a forbidden drink for me. While my Dad drank coffee every morning but I thought it smelled disgusting.

      Interesting the things that shape us 🙂

  31. Hi MSM,
    I did something similar several years ago. I quit drinking soft drinks, packed juices, adding sugar to tea and coffee and so on. Effectively I quit drinking sugar and I feel way much better since then. I do drink a coffee in the morning to start the day and sometimes a second on in the afternoon. The biggest achievement for me is that I don’t have those “after lunch dips” anymore and my energy level is rather continuous during the day due to the missing sugar peaks.

    • Thanks for sharing FIP!!! I was just talking to a friend about the effects of sugar and I think there is definitely something to investigate. Seems like fat has gotten a bad rap when it may have been sugar all along causing massive problems.

  32. This is bad news for me! I manage a Starbucks! I’m glad the lifestyle choice is working out for you and I totally understand. Everyone can take a break from caffeine once in awhile. Even me.

  33. Timely article for me. I’ve been reflecting on my caffeine dependence lately. I’ve recently moved from coffee to harder drugs (red bull) and am a little ashamed. I don’t even have kids yet, so I have no excuse.

    It’s good to reflect on habits every once in a while to determine if you control and desire your habit, or if dependence is controlling you.

    I’m going to quit cold Turkey for a week just to break the cycle. Thanks for the kick in the pants MSM.

    • Thanks for stopping by Julie!!! There are definitely days that I still crave Coke and I haven’t had it in years so it is/was definitely tough to give it up. So I definitely understand the struggle 🙂

  34. I recently went a year without drinking any soda. When I tried it again, it tasted sickeningly sweet and salty and watery. It was disgusting. During that year I saw improvements in my energy level, skin, and mood. But I haven’t yet pulled the trigger on quitting caffeine. I drink quite a bit of coffee. I should probably give it up though. When I don’t drink my coffee, I become irritable and can’t function. Thanks for sharing your story!

    • Thanks for sharing Cleaner Numbers!!! I definitely felt a lot better when I went off caffeine and have actually been thinking about cutting out processed sugar to see how I feel. Although admittedly it’s a little bit scary.

  35. I’ve tried a couple times to cut it out, which lasted maybe two weeks. Then, we would go through a stretch of less-than-usual sleep due to the kids being sick or just being busy and I would go back to drinking coffee. I don’t drink that much, usually 1 on weekdays and 2 on weekends. I used to put sugar in it, but now don’t, so it’s basically a health drink due to the antioxidants. You know, like red wine and dark chocolate…
    Congratulations on kicking the soda habit for so long!
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    • Thanks for sharing Mike!!! I definitely know what it’s like to break down and get back on caffeine. I had given it up for a couple of months once before and started drinking it again. Took awhile but I finally kicked the habit 🙂

  36. I’m not a soda/pop/coke (or whatever it’s called in your part of the country…) drinker, but I do love a good cup of coffee and wouldn’t consider giving it up. However, I do think this way about alcohol and have been limiting myself to no more than two glasses in a single sitting, and only on weekends.

    • Thanks for sharing Amy!!! For whatever reason I’ve never been tempted by coffee. It’s never appealed to me but my sister on the other hand LOVES coffee. Funny how different our taste buds are.

  37. I felt this way about Dr. Pepper for a long time. I still blog about Dr. Pepper often. It’s a symbol for my fight for self discipline. Not to say that I’ve kicked the habit, because I’m definitely in the “at least one every 4 days” category. But I’ve certainly cut way back.

    I’m toying with the idea of cutting back on sugar and maybe caffeine in my life. I’ve heard so much about these things lately, it’s like God is trying to tell me something. Thanks for giving me more to munch on!

    • Thanks for stopping by Jamie!!! Going cold turkey was definitely one of the most difficult things that I ever did. But I am so happy that I did. Dropping down to 1 every four days is impressive. When you’re ready I’m sure you’ll start to stretch it out 🙂

  38. Good stuff. I firmly believe sugar and caffeine is death. I’ve been indoctrinated this thought by my mom and all the documentaries I’ve seen since middle school, hence, I don’t drink caffeine, and eat a small amount of sugar. Who can resist coffee ice cream?!

    Finally, I can’t stand waiting in line when I got stuff to do! How do people at the coffee shops do so?!
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    • Thanks for sharing Sam!!! My wife’s family is huge into nutrition as well and it’s something that I’ve started to pick up on. Definitely need to worry on my sugar in take…but I’m getting better 🙂

  39. Gimme a liter of cola! Wow I’m glad you kicked that habit. I drink a triple espresso every morning. I don’t think I could give it up. I am going to try not to put sugar in it any more. I’ve been experimenting with butter in my espresso instead. That’s right…. butter and espresso in a dainty little cup that everyone makes fun of me for drinking out of.

    • Hahaha…thanks for sharing Matt!!! I know caffeine doesn’t affect everyone the same way as it did for me 🙂 Every once in awhile I could really go for a coke, but I’ve held off at this point!!!

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