Monday, 8 September 2014

Going Caffeine Free - My story!

For today's post I thought I would do something a little off topic from the beauty world and talk about my New Years resolution from January 2014, which amazingly I managed to stick to! That resolution was me giving up tea/coffee and all caffeine wherever possible.

I realise this isn't going to be something for everyone, but for me personally it felt like something I really wanted to try.


There were two main reasons – vanity and my general wellbeing. I hated what years of tea and coffee drinking had done to my teeth. The effort of using Crest White Strips and other whitening products seemed in vain when I had been happy at the results only to take my teeth back to almost the same shade within weeks from continuing to drink tea/coffee.

I also relied heavily on my 4-6 cups of tea at set times in the day just to get me through the day and keep me conscious to the outside world. My energy levels would fluctuate massively and I would get very irritated and sleepy quite quicky after the last cup's effects wore off.

How I did it

After previous attempts whereby I lasted 40 ish days, I realised that the cold turkey approach just doesn't work for me. For the first couple of days I tried cutting the last cup of tea I would normally have in the evening, and slowly cut it down. I got to the stage where I was just having a half a cup in the morning just to take the “edge” off, and finally felt confident after this to also cut this out too.

Easy it was not. That first morning after having no caffeine for 24 hours left me with a really terrible migraine, which made even the glare of the TV seem overwhelming and I had to have a couple of painkillers and take it easy/avoid screens etc.

This experience is what I believe is part of the “withdrawal stage” from caffeine. It's incredibly difficult and you feel irritated and headachey and definitely lack energy, but within a couple of days this should vanish completely as it did for me.


My energy levels are much more regulated throughout the day and I find it much easier to fall asleep at night, and at a regular time too. I only now feel super tired in the day if I have been out for a run in the mornings as I still haven't got my food intake right. Otherwise I generally feel motivated and alert throughout the day and only start to wind down in the evenings.

I also eat far less sugary treats after and in between meals. For me biscuits or sometimes a slice of cake after my evening meal with a cup of tea was a given. I now fill that gap with fruit smoothies which I make myself (in less than the time it would take for the kettle to boil I might add!)

And finally since doing Crest Whitestrips 6 months ago, I have noticed the results have lasted much better this time around *not drinking any tea of coffee whatsoever* since I last used the strips in March.


It can be weird explaining it to people when they offer you a cup of tea that you no longer drink it. Sometimes the long pauses and stares are so intense that I am expecting immigration to burst through the door and remove my British passport at any minute – since I no longer drink the tipple most associated with my nationality!

A cup of tea was also a nice thing to have on a cold day or when suffering from any kind of stomach cramps. Whilst green tea is generally ok and much healthier, it still doesn't give the same inner warm as a regular cup of tea.

On the rare occasion that I do go out for any kind of cake... it really isn't the same with a glass of water or juice. Tea and cake are a match made in heaven which unfortunately I can no longer enjoy.


Giving up caffeine is not going to be for everyone, and I never thought in a million years I would have been able to last 3 quarters of a year up to now, especially as I have had failed attempts before. However I genuinely feel much better for it and it has encouraged other healthy changes to my diet such as more fruit which I use as a substitute whenever I crave any kind of sweet pick me up.

I get a much better quality of sleep which of course is vital for skin regeneration at night, as well as digestion and other key processes that happen whilst we are asleep.

When I wake up in the mornings I don't reach for the kettle, instead a healthy bowl of porridge and a glass of water. It might sound like something out of a Charles Dickens novel for some of you, but for me it has really worked out and I am so glad I persevered through the side effects and cravings.

It really gives you a sense of satisfaction when you battle through something difficult and come out the other side healthier.

If you are concerned about the amount of caffeine you consume, you can try this handy little test which will give you a score out of 10 for your level of "caffeine addiction". Interestingly before quitting caffeine I scored a 6/10... and I just re-took the test and now score 0/10!

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