I Tried Giving Up Coffee For a Week, Here's What Happened

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love coffee. Whether it’s from Starbucks or my Keurig, I’m constantly drinking coffee to get me through the day. Research has shown that moderate coffee consumption isn’t actually bad for you, but coffee dependency is a real thing, trust me. Considering it’s hard for me to get through the day without it, I feared I was becoming too dependent. So, I decided to give up coffee cold turkey for a week to see what would happen.

Day 1

Thankfully, day 1 started on a Sunday so I got to experience something that rarely happens for college students: sleeping in. I ended up sleeping until 11:00 a.m. and only did homework that day (exciting, I know), so powering through without coffee wasn’t terribly difficult.

Day 2

I have classes at 9 a.m. every day of the week and day 2 was when it all began. As someone who values sleep more than anything, waking up for these classes is a struggle even with coffee. I made it to my class okay, but I was scared to see how the rest of my day would go. To summarize, it was not pretty. I almost fell asleep during the rest of my classes and had to take a nap so I could actually focus on homework. Clearly, I’m much more dependent on coffee than I thought I was. This week was going to be way harder than I thought.

Day 3

Another 9 a.m. class, another day without coffee. I knew what to expect from the day before; I was exhausted, cranky, and just really wanting a big cup of coffee. Walking past Starbucks was painful; I could hear the baristas calling out my name and knew I should’ve gone in. I had to stay strong though, so I put my head down and powered through. I also had a killer caffeine withdrawal headache that would put any hangover to shame. At this point, I really didn’t think I was going to survive the week.

Day 4

I never thought I’d be able to say it, but I actually began to get used to not having coffee. I was still tired but it wasn’t as hard to get through the day. I was more productive, happier, and stayed more alert and focused throughout the entire day because I wasn’t suffering from my daily caffeine crash. My morning classes still sucked but I really don’t think that’ll ever change, with or without coffee.

Day 5

Although I was proud of myself for how strong I’d been, I honestly missed coffee so much. I was surviving without it, but my taste buds wanted it back. I’ll admit, I was feeling much more awake and rejuvenated than I had been all week at this point, since I was finally used to not drinking it, but I wanted it back. Sure I was saving money and feeling better, but at what cost? I missed coffee and couldn’t wait until I could drink it again.

Day 6

I truly believe morning classes on Fridays are one of life’s worst punishments. I would love to say I jumped out of bed, dancing at the fact that the week was almost over, but really it took me about 20 minutes to actually get out of bed and I was not happy about it. But, I was able to survive the day without coffee. My body was accustomed to not having caffeine rushing through me at all times and was keeping itself awake on its own. I was still annoyed and crabby but I blame that entirely on having to sit through Econ on a Friday morning when I’d rather be sleeping.

Day 7

I’ve never looked forward to drinking coffee so much! My final day was on a Saturday and it wasn’t game day so I was able to catch up on all the sleep I lost from the past week. By this point, I didn’t need caffeine to stay awake so physically I was fine but mentally all I could think about was how much I wanted to drink coffee again.

What I learned from giving up coffee for a week was that I wasn’t as dependent on coffee as I thought I was, but it still sucks going without it. I had more natural energy and my wallet thanked me. I did the math: my go-to drink from Starbucks costs $2.96 and I usually go to Starbucks 2-3 times a week so I saved around $8.88. That doesn’t seem like a lot especially considering I have a cheap order, but if I stopped drinking Starbucks for a year I would save $461.76. Even though the benefits of giving it up are nice, I have no plans to completely quit coffee anytime soon. I love the taste too much and I don’t think I could survive the late nights doing homework and early morning classes without it. The week without coffee was a week I wouldn’t want to repeat, but I’m glad I did it nonetheless.