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I Quit Coffee After 7 Years and I’m Okay?

I have drank coffee for as long as I can remember. Since middle school, I can remember making a cup of coffee in the morning or going to Starbucks to get a latte with an extra shot. 

I would go through waves with coffee. My tolerance would build up to where I would be drinking 3 or more cups of coffee a day. During summer or winter break, I would stop drinking coffee to bring my tolerance back down, only to build it up again. When I would stop drinking coffee during the breaks, this came with terrible withdrawal symptoms. Migraine, nausea, irritability, foggy brain, all of it. I could not function and felt like I needed coffee to be myself again. I became so dependent on it that if I got it an hour late, my whole day was off to a terrible start and there was not coming back. 

It was not until recently that I felt like I needed a change. While I love the taste and smell of coffee in the morning, I knew I would live a healthier life without coffee. After two weeks of not drinking coffee, I can say that I am okay, but it was definitely rough getting here. For anyone considering to stop drinking coffee, here is my personal experience, but remember that everyone is different. 

Day 1 and 2: Migraines

I start with the symptoms I have had before (and expected.) I made sure to keep ibuprofen nearby and to drink plenty of water. While initially I regretted my decision, I was able to get through the day. 

Day 3-7: Foggy and Tired

I was no longer getting headaches, but I could not focus. I was zoning out in class and could not help but move slow in everything I did. This was frustrating at times but I was able to take multiple tests and exams without drinking coffee. For the days you have a lot to do or really need to focus, I would suggest drinking black tea as a substitute. It will give you a slight boost without giving you the jittery and shaky feeling of coffee.

Day 8-14: I’m Okay!!!

Come day eight, I had the same energy I had when I would drink coffee in the morning. This was an incredibly strange feeling. I cannot lie, I was poppin and bubbly again! Not to mention I was able to focus in class and actually understand what was happening again. While my withdrawal symptoms only lasted about a week, for some people it may be shorter or longer depending on your body. Once you get past that hump it will be worth it all.

Now that I have stopped drinking coffee, I am saving thousands of dollars I would have spent at Starbucks, Argo, or Dunkin! I am also consuming less milk and sugar now that i am not starting my day off with a sweet and sugary coffee. While this decision is what is best for me and my lifestyle, everyone is different and may need to drink coffee everyday which is okay! If you have tried quitting coffee in the past or are considering it, just stick with it and remember why you are doing it!

Mackenzie Nelson

George Mason University '21

Mackenzie Nelson is a double major in Government and International Politics with a concentration in International Relations and Russian and Eurasian Studies with a concentration in Russian Language and Culture. She is passionate about politics and loves coffee. In the future, she hopes to work in public service.
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