Elite Feet

Caffeine: I Gotta Quit Chu

Sources of caffeine addiction

My "7 Diet Cokes a day" habit is just not going to cut it. I am a slave to the fizz and it rules my life. There's nothing wrong with drinking a coffee or having a soda but I have to have one in front of me all day, and that can't be healthy. Here's a list of possible effects from excessive caffeine consumption:

  • increased anxiety and hypertension risks
  • decreased liver performance
  • tooth decay and weakened bones
  • addiction and dependence
  • cycle of hyperactivity and/or inability to focus, followed by subsequent crash
  • disrupted sleep habits
  • decreased libido or sexual performance
  • may interfere with weight loss and has been linked to hypoglycemia
  • financial costs to support caffeine purchases
Caffeine diet withdrawal

Combine these with the fact that aspartame is going to give me cancer, and I've now established that I need to take it way down. The problem is, like with any addiction, there are withdrawal symptoms. In the case of caffeine these can last up to two weeks and include:

  • headaches
  • fatigue
  • lack of concentration
  • poor motor skills
  • flu-like symptoms

Today is my first day of detox and I am experiencing all of the above. I had to have 3 diet cokes just to stay alive today. After realizing that I can't quite cold turkey, this is how I plan to kick it:

  1. Decrease my consumption by 1 drink every 3 days. In three weeks I will be down to 1 or 2 sodas a day, about my desired state.
  2. Substitute for soda with sparkling water and fresh lemon or lime. I love the fizz and the tang. Carbonated water with some heavy lime gives me the same feeling.
  3. Accept that I am going to need about 2 extra hours of sleep while I detox. I can barely stay awake right now at 9 o'clock.
  4. Find another energy source. I'm thinking fruit.

There are surely numerous health benefits to this but I am doing it to improve my running. I have had calf cramps in every marathon despite the fact that the rest of my body was completely hydrated. I unscientifically concluded that caffeine is causing my calves to be dehydrated. Yes, just my calves. Don't mess with me I'm irritable right now.