Young Katy would not believe that Adult Katy could say this…
…I. LOVE. COFFEE.
But it’s a rocky relationship. And because of that, every so often, I detox from the java and let me tell you: it’s brutal.
[Tweet “The truth about taking a coffee break — as in, a coffee DETOX.”]
I’ve never actually gone FULLY cold turkey — even during pregnancy, I allow myself one cup a day and sometimes a bonus latte. But when I do detox, I start by only drinking coffee on the weekends. How do I know when it’s time?
- I like my coffee with creamer — my favorites are flavored – and after a while, my definition of half and half is 1/2 coffee, 1/2 cream: When it gets to that ratio, it’s no bueno.
- When I’ve stopped enjoying the coffee when it’s an everyday occurrence — I find myself chugging it just to get the caffeine hit before running out the door to work.
- When my intake has gone up from 1 or 1 1/2 cups a day to 2 or even three.
- I think there’s truth to the idea that too much coffee can cause adrenal fatigue — when I am drinking it by the trough, I feel burned out and I crash when I can’t keep my supply coming. When that happens, it’s either drink MORE or drink a lot less. I choose less.
I’ve done this four or five times in the past, and the results are always worth the pain. Once I feel more in control of my caffeine addiction, I’ll probably build coffee back in to a near-daily schedule (along with juicing, which gives me a ton of energy).
So, as an experience coffee detoxer, I thought I’d share the normal course of events for me.
[Tweet “The five stages of caffeine withdrawal (spoiler: you WILL survive!)”]
Coffee Detox Day 1:
I usually quit cold turkey, so Day 1 is more about cravings than any physical pain or symptoms. I want the coffee both for its taste and for the routine. I tend to feel a little off all day after giving up the coffee, and by the end of the day, I’m a bit more fatigued than normal and tend to go to bed a little early.
Coffee Detox Day 2:
For me, the following 48 hours are the worst. Day 2 is fatigue city. I still crave the coffee, I start to develop a low-grade headache and I feel cranky and short-tempered (although I will say: with each detox, these symptoms seem to be less severe — the first time was the worst!). By 5 or 6pm, I’m so fatigued that I can barely keep my eyes open. I often lose my appetite and crash on the nearest couch by 8pm. I sleep soundly through the night.
Coffee Detox Day 3:
Headache, headache, headache. The cravings have started to diminish at this point, and the fatigue is not as debilitating. But I develop a headache that feels like migraine strength, and even my jaw and teeth hurt. My head feels like it is actually pushing out any remaining caffeine through my eye sockets.
The pain is bad, but I have never had to take off work or change plans. I know that by the next day, I’ll be feeling great, so Day 3 is usually just about surviving. Still fatigued at night but able to stay up until my normal bedtime.
Coffee Detox Day 4:
I love Day 4, because it’s like the final day of a cold or flu: I feel almost back to normal, my headache is gone and the fatigue has disappeared. The cravings are pretty much gone, too! I still have a bit of a lingering offness (that’s the best way to describe it) but the hope has set in and the terrible detox seems to be ending.
Coffee Detox Day 5:
Home free! No cravings, headaches or fatigue. I wake up feeling more energetic and happier. I still like the idea of coffee (the smell, the act of making it) but I no longer feel like I need it to stay awake or kickstart my day.
Now, I’ll only be going five days at a time without coffee, although I have given it up for weeks or even months before. I find that once I’m out of the detox, I’m fine. No more headaches or fatigue, and no real cravings.
[Tweet “Are you a coffee addict? Would you ever consider detoxing?”]