About a month ago after coming home with yet another headache and seriously questioning my own mental state I finally succumbed to the ask from the good lady to go to the doctor. These headaches have been going on a while now, mostly on a Monday and Tuesday sometimes later in the week, but usually in the afternoon.
I’m talking come home from work lie In bed, curtains closed, pounding headache.
It felt like a headache behind the eyes and for the longest time I had put it down to the fact that at work we end up having to switch gears so often, so for example you may have 8 hours in the day, 8 different meetings all needing a different mindset. So I just assumed it was me and that I need to do a better job of keeping things balanced at work.
Caveat, I’m a father of now two kids, one of whom is 2.5. Luckily though we all sleep decently, mostly due to my wife being a rockstar,.
So I have tried multiple things to solve the issue of the headaches. Deleting social media Monday-Friday on my phone, as I mean the constant checking in can’t be good if you are trying to keep focused. Certainly helped my focus but again the headaches came.
Next thing, as you might have read I stopped eating breakfast last year which has been amazing to lose weight but I wondered if that was the issue too. So here and there I started with breakfast again which certainly helped. Heres that post if you missed it..
So then with those two variables changed and life, I started looking to what else it could be. So I spoke to then doctor whom I explained my habits and straight away he said I might need reading glasses. Fair enough, I’m 38, why not. I could rock me some glasses like the best of them. Then as I’m leaving he asks how much coffee I drink. He said that he is seeing more and more people with coffee withdrawal symptoms, even just in the afternoon.
Now in no way am I a coffee snob. No way a coffee hipster. But I do love a good cup or three of coffee. Yes I have the grinder, the beans, the aeropress, the drip, most of the 9 yards I guess. But usually I might have 2 or 3 through the morning, sometimes in the afternoon and of course at offsite’s but no more than anyone else.
So Wednesday 28th Feb I woke up and said “lets try without it”. Of course I missed it. I love everything about coffee. Making time for yourself, the process, the smell, the new bags of beans. The first week was a bit of a challenge, but it was fine. Week after, Monday, Tuesday, usual headache days, no headache.
After 10 days of no coffee it was a weekend and it was amazing to see the difference it made in terms of energy levels. Usually my weekend involves watching my terrible football team over multiple cups of coffee and so by the afternoon after some kind of activity I need a nap. This week, no nap, intact I dug up a bunch of the garden, went for a run and felt amazing. I have to admit though I thought I was really on hardly any caffeine then realized the amount in tea…. I can’t give you up too oh precious one.
So yes, after now 28 days without a coffee I’ve come to a couple of conclusions.
- I miss coffee. I miss the ritual of grinding the beans, waiting for the water, then choosing the drip or aeropress. Its a nice way to spend a weekend morning.
- I love coffee.
- I dont miss headaches. I don’t 100% know if they are from the coffee but everything is pointing that way, and essentially thats what the doctor said, its an afternoon coffee withdrawal symptom. Seems insane to me that you are able to get your body addicted to something so easily.
- I think the way that people drink coffee is unsustainable in terms of health. In general a coffee has 95 mg of caffeine and 64mg in an espresso. I was probably on 2 or 3 cups a day so call is 300 mg a day. Research says that up to 400mg is safe, but I don’t know if those headaches would say that I felt healthy. I found this which speaks to how much caffeine is in a bunch of drinks. Seems that a Venti Starbucks is actually way more than I’d imagined.
- I thought I was crushing it by drinking tea, but realized there is still 26mg in English tea which is what I drink a lot of. However herbal tea has 0 and so the might be my next thing.
- Coffee has become a crux for a lot of people.
At this point I’m already a believer and so will continue as No coffee, no headaches and we’re a month in here.
I’m going to try Decaf for a month. 0 caffeine apparently….
No coffee was hurt in writing this article and if you are in portland drinking coffee go check out the one and only