By Rylee Seavers | Broadcast Reporter
My name is Rylee and I am a caffeineaholic. I love coffee. Hearing my Keurig brewing liquid gold every morning can pull me out of bed, even if the sun hasn’t risen yet. I used to start every morning with a mug of black coffee and follow that up with at least one, sometimes two or three, more coffees throughout the day. As the saying goes, everything in moderation, but the problem is I had sped right past moderation straight into full-on caffeine dependency.
My solution to the headaches and afternoon crashes that come with mass amounts of caffeine consumption was, naturally, more caffeine. One day in between afternoon coffees, I began to wonder what would happen if I stopped drinking coffee. This sounded like a really dumb idea, but if it had positive effects on my health, then it was worth a shot. I decided to quit drinking coffee for two weeks and see what happened.
My hypothesis going into this experiment was that after I overcame the initial withdrawals from caffeine, I would sleep better and have more lasting energy throughout the day. I allowed myself tea at first because it has less caffeine than coffee.
My first coffee-free morning was an early one. I don’t have the words to express how disappointing it is to drink tea at six in the morning. I have never been a big fan of tea; it’s so weak and dull compared to coffee.
I had a massive headache by mid-day, despite drinking lots of water in an effort to avoid this. This trend continued for the first half of week one. Caffeine deprivation-1, Rylee-0.
The headaches continued for the rest of the first week. They were very painful and, at times, made me wish I had never come up with this idea. I began to have much less energy throughout the day. I silently complained to myself every morning about how much I loathe tea. But I did notice that I was falling asleep much quicker at night, a small victory.
The headaches lessened going into week two. A few late nights working on homework almost made me crack, but I hadn’t come this far to only come this far.
During the second week, not only was I falling asleep quicker, but it was also much easier to wake up in the morning. So far, I was seeing progress but I still had low energy in the afternoons. This didn’t change at all through the end of the two weeks but, after an unintentional third week coffee-less, I did notice that I started to regain my energy.
All in all, I’m glad I gave up coffee for a time. I am sleeping better and feel that I have more energy throughout the day. But I think the greater benefit of this experiment was recognizing the negative effects coffee was having on me.
I’m not sure I will continue to stay away from coffee completely, especially with finals week coming up, but I know now that I am better off without it and will never drink as much coffee as I did before this experiment.
There is nothing wrong with drinking coffee in moderation, but my advice to all college students would be to cut down on the coffee if you find yourself reaching for it every time you get tired. It may seem like a solution at the moment, but after a few weeks without it, you will realize it was actually the problem.