I recently decided to take a break from coffee and other sources of caffeine. I was inspired by a post on facebook from a friend of mine about how he cut chocolate out of his life a month or so back. I know…terrible right?
He did it on a whim because he thought the caffeine in the chocolate was having a negative impact on his performance and health. He’s probably even more of a geek than me when it comes to biohacking and increasing performance.
Anyway, a few things in his post caught my attention. He felt the chocolate had been impacting his adrenals (he had less energy), he had been having trouble falling asleep, his tinnitus was getting worse, and he was experiencing bowel irritation.
I had been dealing with all of these recently, which was a pretty big surprise because I had been feeling tip top for the most part prior to that. I attributed my lowered energy levels to it being winter time and me getting less sun and general outdoor activity. I didn’t think caffeine was impacting my sleep because I only drank it first thing.
It made me ask myself, could my caffeine consumption be behind these things? Well my coffee consumption had been way up as of late.
I went through a bulletproof coffee drinking phase a few years back and had good results for a while but then I didn’t think it was making me feel great so I cut coffee out all together. I went for a while without drinking coffee much except for occasionally on the weekends and then I started drinking it every weekend, then Friday, and then about 5 days a week.
With the addition of a baby boy in my life I was getting busier and started to drag a little and so I was drinking more coffee. At first the caffeine was a welcome boost and not only that but there was a new coffee at GreenStar (the local health food store where I live in Ithaca, NY) that I just loved.
So next thing I knew I was drinking coffee almost daily and it was one of the first things I thought about in the morning. I guess I got hooked.
So I read the facebook post I mentioned above and decided to do a little experiment and see how I feel without caffeine in my life.
Since I cut caffeine that means I had to cut chocolate out too.
Not that big a deal for me since I don’t eat a ton anyway. I was eating a square a day on average of Lindt 90% chocolate but once my coffee consumption increased I lost most of my desire for chocolate.
In addition to my increased tiredness, decreased sleep, and irritated bowel my face has been breaking out more. One possibility is an overworked liver so I decided to give dandelion tea a try since I had heard about its positive effects on detoxing the liver.
I tried a few and my favorite is Organic Dandelion Root Tea by Kiss Me Organics. It uses raw dandelion root which has a higher bioavailability, meaning your body absorbs more of the nutrients. There’s also some hibiscus in it and I like the flavor.
Dandelion root is a good source of vitamin A, C, D, B-complex, iron, potassium, and zinc. It’s anti-inflammatory, has antioxidants, some essential fatty acids, helps digestion, and it helps regulate blood pressure.
Does it taste as good as my GreenStar, War Horse dark roast coffee? Not quite but even though coffee has antioxidants I know it doesn’t have all of the above mentioned benefits.
So it’s only been a few days without coffee and drinking dandelion tea and I’ve had some improvement in sleep and overall energy levels, my face has cleared up, my bowels are back to normal, and I haven’t had any hives. Let’s see what happens with more time. I’ll be back with an update soon.
What is something you might be hooked on that you could try cutting out? It can suck for the first few days but it does get better. Let me know if you do an experiment of your own.