10 days ago, I randomly decided to see if I could limit, or restrict, caffeine. Restrict caffeine I did and still am.
If you’ve been a loyal follower of mine (much love!), you’ll know I’m extremely partial to experiments. I’ve tried numerous diet approaches, lifestyle ‘hacks’ and workout strategies. I just love analysing and dissecting the results!
I’ve given up many common ‘Achilles heels’ and actually find I’m quite gifted in that department (probably the only thing the good lord gave me) and I use it to my advantage. The coffee/caffeine experiment is one of the few left to try, and you may be wondering……..
What’s wrong with coffee? You’ve promoted it many times before!
Ah, you do read my stuff then! Yes, I do think coffee can be beneficial, but again, it’s context dependent. Recently, I sat and thought………….do you know what, I’ve been consuming caffeine for the vast majority of my life. I’d never thought of that before.
How dependent on caffeine was I? My results/progress lately has been satisfying to say the least. Would it have been as good without?
Then there’s the sleep/fatigue aspect. Working in the fitness industry is basically a life sentence to shift work and just general awkward hours. That’s not a compliant, more an acceptance. But switching from 10 pm finishes to 6 am starts isn’t so fun. Trying to get to sleep at an early enough hour for any degree of sleep worth having is harder than adding 20 lbs to your bench press without gaining any bodyweight.
Thus I thought…………….I wonder what my sleep would be like without any caffeine?
Obviously the research and science on caffeine is concrete solid – it improves performance, strength and overall focus. BUT (and the but is that big) it’s notorious for affecting sleep quality. Having a hard time getting to sleep is not the ticket when you’re alternating from early starts to late starts, and vice versa.
What I’ve found:
- I sleep better and for longer.
- I’m tired easier (it felt like I was never tired before)
- I’m much less tense. There’s little that can harm me it seems.
- My scalp is clearer (less dandruff)
- I’m hungrier (we all know caffeine is an effective appetite suppressant. Accept it.)
- My strength is much THE SAME. I was braced for this to take a real hit.
- I’ll confess, I am slightly less motivated to train without caffeine than I was with, but it’s just a matter of searching deep and finding your own reasons.
Being naturally very energetic, it makes sense that caffeine would potentially push me over the ‘edge’. At the end of the day, having all the energy in the world but not knowing where to focus it is like taking control of the playboy mansion for a night whilst suffering from severe erectile dysfunction – pointless and useless.
It’s been different and I’m not quite sure if I’ve been ‘converted’; it’s still early days. I’m going to try and add many more days to my ‘streak’ and see. I guess reintroducing caffeine at some point in the future will really tell me a thing or two!
I know many bloggers have tried this before with great success, some of them went over a year and never looked back. Maybe I’ll join the team?
Have any of you had experience with caffeine withdrawal, habitual use, or what do you make of caffeine in general? Is it your knight in shining armour?
Let’s chat down below!