October 13, 2010

The Caffeine Withdrawal Experiment

So a few weeks ago I had the sneaking suspicion that I had developed an addiction... I recently replaced my 1-cup coffee maker with a 4-cup coffee maker... Which has lead me to (sometimes) actually drink 4 cups in one day!

To help make a long story short-- I decided it was time to see if my addiction was real or imaginary.

To begin- I quit caffeine cold turkey. One day I woke up and didn't have any coffee. Or tea. Or anything that runs rampant with caffeine. And I decided to go a week without any-- to see what would happen.

What follows is the result of my experiment and research:

CAFFEINE ADDICTION: After doing some research I found out some important details to my experiment. First, caffeine addiction is very real. And a lot of people suffer from it. Second, caffeine withdrawal symptoms can last up to a week. The symptoms are often the worst in the first 24-48 hours... And lastly: the symptoms:
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Muscle Stiffness
  • Difficulty Concentrating
  • Headaches
  • Chills/and or Hot Spells

At this point in my research I was very concerned for my week ahead... But I couldn't give up so quickly... So here are my results:

DAY ONE: "Today I had no coffee. I survived. Only eyed the coffee maker once. I don't feel any side effects... Had some chocolate milk- how much caffeine is in that?!? First day and I fail? This is going to be rough."
DAY TWO: "Today I felt moody and irritable. I had trouble focusing and took a 2 hour nap. No energy... Angry at nothing-- including the pot roast at lunch!!! But no headaches... Tomorrow I start my new job- perhaps this wasn't the best time to do this experiment... hmm..."
DAY THREE: "Symptoms: Trouble concentrating."
DAY FOUR: "Symptoms: Deep longing for coffee. Mourning the day I chose to do this experiment!!!"
DAY FIVE: "Today I felt sluggish and yawned a lot... Without caffeine I seem to lack the ability to get excited. I'm very mellow... Don't think this is ideal. Soon, coffee, soon!!!
DAY SIX: "Today I felt about the same. Figured out I can't even have iced tea! Very sad."
DAY SEVEN: "Today I officially gave up on not drinking coffee... Chances are most of the bad moments of caffeine withdrawal have passed. I am out of the 'danger zone'. Bring it on coffee! COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE!!!"

So, there you have it. You just experienced a week of withdrawal alongside me. You're lucky you didn't have to do it yourself or go the road alone. It's a long and lonely road. Uphill both ways. In the snow and ice. With no shoes. And I'm getting carried away with this...

What was the purpose of this post? I guess mostly to reassure myself that I'm ok with having an addiction to a drug... Because you know what? Caffeine makes me happy. I think it makes me productive. And it tastes delicious going down. I'm never going to quit it again... Well... Maybe.

1 comment:

  1. Most people suffer from caffeine addiction? I enjoy it.

    I am glad you did this experiment, because I occasionally think about quitting coffee. Now I know that I would inevitably return to it after becoming grumpy and probably alienating my wife. It's just not worth it.

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