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Crisp, Clean and No Caffeine

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I‘M CAFFEINE-FREE, and I feel awesome.

Have you ever considered giving up caffeine completely?  I never had. I was addicted to Coke Zero for years, mostly psychologically, but also physically. I’ve never been a coffee drinker, but I’ve loved sodas since I was a kid, and I substituted them in for my morning caffeine fix (and every other caffeine fix I needed throughout the day).  I drank probably four to five Cokes a day.  And I loved it. They always tasted great, and it kind of became my thing.

But in July, I was feeling pretty rotten physically, and I decided things had to change.  I made up my mind to go without fast food and Cokes for two weeks to see how I would feel at the end of it.  At first, I tried to substitute iced tea for my Coke habit, but I wasn’t able to drink nearly as much tea as I could Coke, and so I always wound up with a mild headache in the afternoons from lack of caffeine.  After about a week of trying to consume an inordinate amount of tea, I became angry.  Nothing should have this kind of hold on me, I thought to myself.  So I decided to bite the bullet and go without caffeine entirely.

It was tough.  The caffeine withdrawal symptoms, which had already begun to some degree, were painful for a few days – longer than I thought they would last.  But one day I woke up, went about my business, and never had a headache.  It was wonderful.  Of course, the psychological problem continued for a while.  I found myself craving a Coke at certain times of day or in certain situations (especially when things got stressful).  But I held out.

The biggest benefit of being caffeine-free is that you wake up pretty clear.  You don’t suffer from that fog or even pain that people associate with “I need caffeine now!”  You also don’t feel the energy lulls throughout the day that you do when you self-medicate with caffeine.  I’ve found myself waking up about an hour earlier than I used to (or even more sometimes) and going to sleep earlier.  I feel a lot healthier.  And I’m also not consuming the sugar/aspartame that comes along with a Coke Zero addiction.

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60 days after I decided to quit caffeine, I have not had a Coke Zero. And I don’t plan to. I feel too good now, and I refuse to go back.

What about you? What are you doing to stay healthy these days? I’m thinking of trying yoga. Any yoga proponents out there?

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