10/28/2008

Avoid Caffeine

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

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If you’re a long-time reader, then you probably remember these two entries from back in 2004. If you’re a new reader, these entries might be the reason that you’re a regular now.

I have found myself back on caffeine a couple of times since I wrote those original entries, but I’ve been caffeine-free for the last few months now and I’m surprised at how often I’m tempted to go back to it. Sometimes just the smell of Mike’s Diet Coke is enough to entice me.

In all honesty, I feel better when I’m not drinking soda of any kind. I don’t know if it’s the caffeine, the sweeteners or the carbonation, but I feel MUCH better when I just have water. Sometimes I even order a milk, but it’s so rare that I shouldn’t even mention it here.

Why should you avoid caffeine? I don’t necessarily think you should. Caffeine affects ME negatively, but that doesn’t mean that it will affect you the same way. The most important thing during this whole journey is learning how to listen to your body. How do you know if caffeine is negatively affecting your body? Here are a few symptoms that might tell you that you should try giving soda a rest:

  • Gastro-Intestinal Problems: stomach bloating, gas, uncontrollable farting, pain. This is the reason that I first went off soda. It didn’t help with my stomach, but I’ve heard other people say that pop was the whole reason for their stomach pain.

  • Anxiety: anxiousness, irritability, restlessness, inability to concentrate. HELLO! Caffeine is a DRUG! It’s a mind enhancing drug that makes you more alert. Being in a constant state of alertness isn’t necessarily healthy for you. Some people tolerate it more than others, but if you’re experiencing those symptoms, you might want to throw yourself in rehab.

  • Sleep Issues: inability to sleep, sleep binges on the weekends. Ironically, when I’m off caffeine, I am more alert during the day. Sure, I don’t have those hyper-alert moments like I do when I’m on caffeine, but I don’t have those lows either. The highs aren’t as high and the lows aren’t as low, so on the whole, I do a lot better as far as alertness and ability to sleep is concerned. THIS was the unexpected benefit I found from being off caffeine.

Not everyone has a caffeine addiction. Not everyone who drinks soda, sips coffee or chugs Red Bull needs to look at their caffeine consumption, but for the few of us who are very sensitive to the chemical, it’s best to avoid it.

Photo via: Found in Mom’s Basement: 1947: The year of mutant children

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One Response to “Avoid Caffeine”

  1. Suzanne Says:

    I’ve cycled on/off soda for years. My dentist is my motivation, he keeps telling me how the acids in it damage the enamel on my teeth. Also, the artificial sweeteners are so bad for me, I know.

    What works best for me is to do it in stages. I wean myself off the caffiene and sweeteners by drinking sparkling water or club soda first.

    Then I transition to water and herbal teas to get away from the carbonation.

    My downfall is the caffiene first — all I have to do is smell good coffee on a chilly day and I’m seduced all over again.

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