On Cutting Back on Caffeine

Around about Christmas time, I decided to cut back on coffee. Not so much ‘caffeine is bad’, demonising or complete exclusion, and more ‘all things in moderation’, ‘let’s try this for a while’ and curiosity about whether any benefits could be gained.  I had been suffering quite badly with the effects of autoimmune illness and to be frank, was ready to try anything to alleviate the symptoms. Having read a lot about the subject of chronic illness I was swayed by suggestions that pumping myself with caffeine might not be in the best interests of my health.

Blue Door Diner Thurso Coffees

To be fair though, this was really something of a gradual process. Several months earlier my love for caffeinated tea had already become a casualty of going gluten and dairy free. I went from drinking about four cups of tea a day (and usually two coffees) to basically zero on the tea front. The reason: despite my best efforts, I just could not find a type of non-dairy milk that tasted nice when mingled with my daily brew.

I tried drinking black tea for a while but just found it horribly bitter. I went round the houses with lots of herbal teas but couldn’t find anything that I liked. In the end, I did strike on one that seemed to suit my tea-loving pallete (Tulsi Organic Original, in case you’re interested). And from that point on my builder’s tea habit, which I so enjoyed for many years, came abruptly to a halt.

It therefore seemed an easier transition to cut back on the coffee when the choice presented itself. It wasn’t as if I was a massive coffee drinker anyway, but I did love the odd almond latte now and then (and for the record, instant’s always good enough for me 🙂 ).  I decided to switch to a non-caffeine, gluten-free alternative (Barleycup – yeah, I know, this rock n’ roll lifestyle gets overwhelming 😉 ) . For all but the hardest of coffee-loving people I’d say it’s pretty much okay.

I still drink coffee when we’re away on day trips, on holiday or enjoying coffee dates. As I noted the other day, that’s probably one reason I arrange day trips, holidays and coffee dates any chance I get 🙂 . For me now, there is a real sense of excitement about the prospect of going out for coffee. It’s not an everyday thing by any means so it’s something that gives me, quite literally, a buzz.

Blue Door Diner Almond Latte

As for the health benefits, I’m in two minds about them. I find it easier to drift off to sleep at night but that could also be due to some of the other routine changes I have made. My autoimmune symptoms have improved in recent months, but once again I’ve been doing lots of other things to tackle them. At the end of the day, maybe there is just a synergy to these things.

And if it’s working, that’s good enough for me.

Gx

What do you think? Could you cut back on caffeine or is it a prospect too awful to imagine? Has cutting back on caffeine helped you in any way? I’d love to hear your thoughts!  

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7 thoughts on “On Cutting Back on Caffeine

  1. BySarahMostly says:

    I used to drink coffee until it came out of my ears but for some reason about six months ago I just found that I couldn’t tolerate it any more. More than one cup and I’d become really shaky and feel so ill it was the strangest thing so that sort of ‘forced’ me to address my coffee habit! Now I have just one coffee a day (and boy do I enjoy it!) and for the rest of the day I have either caffeine free earl grey or Pukka herbal teas. I never thought I’d be able to get through the day without it but it just shows you! Ha!

    Liked by 2 people

    • welliesontheschoolrun says:

      I know Sarah – it’s funny how easily you can adapt without it. I was expecting headaches etc., but thankfully didn’t experience anything like that. Like you I now really enjoy my coffee when I have it (I find it makes me quite excitable, haha! ). These days when I treat myself to a latte I’m savouring every single sip! xx

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  2. hayleyfromhome says:

    I can take or leave coffee but I do love my tea, at first I cut back on mine when I was pregnant with the twins and I had iron deficiency. Apparently the tannin (I think) in tea stops you absorbing vitamins from other foods and as I have a tendency to be low iron anyway I cut back but I think cutting out caffeine has helped me in my general wellbeing. I get awful PMS symptoms and since I’ve cut down I do think they’ve improved. I do only have one or two proper cups of tea a day now but supplement it with many, many caffeine free varieties! I love that a simple cup of coffee feels like a real treat for you now too! They are very pretty cups of coffee 🙂 xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • welliesontheschoolrun says:

      Oh that’s really interesting about the tannin, Hayley. I’ve often had bouts of iron deficiency too so there could definitely be a link. And also interesting about the PMS thing as I don’t get that nearly so bad now either. Because I’ve changed such a lot of things it’s hard to know what exactly is helping, but as I say I think it’s the helping bit that counts! Oh, we have a lovely diner near here that serves these pretty almond milk lattes. It’s such a treat for me now and something to look forward to – I’m hoping we’ll get out for a coffee again over the weekend 😉 xx

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  3. Suzanne W says:

    Well done Gail, I am sure that cutting back on caffeine will have a hugely positive effect on your body. I actually think that I could reduce my in take as I still enjoy a decaff tea/coffee (can’t taste the difference) however in the morning I do feel in need of a ‘fix’ if I haven’t had one. Alcohol on the other hand, might not be so easy! xx

    Liked by 1 person

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