My name is Reiko, and I’m a coffeeholic.

Today is day 30 without coffee (or any caffeine).

I was a hardcore user, at least 4 cups a day. I own two coffee makers, two Nespresso machines, hundreds of coffee pods, bottles of cold brew in the fridge. Yep, hardcore.

I had been using this drug for decades. I had no plan of stopping.

Today, a month without my fix, I’m so grateful I gave it up. I’m clear headed. I’m serene, with steady energy throughout the day, and I feel a new sense of freedom since I don’t have to cater to my addiction every day.

But I won’t sugarcoat it, it was tough. Days of headaches, body aches, foggy thinking and mood swings.

Still, it’s absolutely worth it. I don’t want to be dependent on a stimulant. I want to be connected to myself and fully present.

If you’re thinking of stopping coffee, here are a few things I learned along the way:

1. You don’t need to decide you’re giving it up forever.
But if you’re going to try it, stop for three weeks.

Why? Because you will not get the gift of being truly caffeine-free until its fully out of your system. This takes some time (see below for my process).

2. Keep a light schedule the first week. Your energy might be up and down (more likely, down and down).

During the first week without coffee, I was ready to go back to bed after being awake only a few hours. It’s a good idea to start it on a weekend or a long weekend.

3. Find alternative drinks that you can have when you want that coffee fix.

I found some nice herbal teas, and even made my own tea blend that vaguely resembled the taste of coffee.

4. Should you go cold turkey or gradually ease off?

I cut it out cold, although I’ve heard the gradual process is a better way. But being a coffeeholic, I knew I would never gradually cut back. I needed to cut the cord.

5. Why did I stop?

I had a minor medical procedure that forced me off coffee for 24 hours. I’m grateful (in retrospect) for the splitting headache I dealt with that first day. It actually made me nauseous, which I believe qualifies it as a migraine.

The pain made me aware of how dependent my body was on caffeine. I decided then that I never want to go through the pain of withdrawal again.

What to expect when detoxing from coffee:
This is a general overview of how I felt. I’ve researched other’s experiences, and found that many people have similar symptoms in the first three weeks.

Week 1

  • Migraine! (first day only)
  • Mild headache most days
  • Body aches
  • Fog brain
  • Low energy (around 40% of normal energy level)

Week 2

  • A couple of mild headaches
  • Body felt better, but still sluggish
  • Emotional, sad, sensitive
  • Energy swings – One day I feel high energy, the next I’m tired
  • Energy better than week one but not great (around 60% of normal)

Week 3

  • No headaches
  • No body aches
  • Emotions are better
  • Clear headed
  • No need for naps, sustained energy all day
  • But frustrated, because I think I should have more energy by now
  • Energy level around 75% of normal

Week 4

  • Vibrant
  • Clear headed
  • Steady wakefulness without the jitters I used to get from coffee
  • No need for naps
  • In fact, I find I need less sleep at night
  • No stomach burning from the acid in coffee
  • Less stressed and anxious
  • I’m more in tune with myself.
  • I know how I’m feel, I know when I’m hungry, I’m in touch with my body and my mind in a clearer way
  • Energy level is better, around 85%

That brings me to today – day 30.

I’m feeling largely back to normal. In fact, better than before!

My energy is really good, and I hope by next month I will be back to 100% of the energy I would have after a morning cup of joe.

I sometimes miss my coffee high, but not enough to go back.

This drug is real. I was dependent on it, and today I’m free of it. Woohoo!

If you’d like to try letting it go, I’m here to answer any questions and would love to hear your experience.

Be well!

Get into the Flow

Follow us on social med