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  • Ryoga

I Went Without Caffeine For a Month: This is What Happened

Updated: Dec 22, 2023

Espresso with spoon on the table

The aroma of freshly brewed coffee is one of my greatest pleasures. As a self-confessed coffee aficionado, I would typically indulge in two cups of this elixir daily. However, one day, I was wondering what would happen if I stopped drinking coffee for a month. Inspired by the words from Matthew Walker'svideo, the author of 'Why We Sleep,' who transitioned to a decaffeinated lifestyle, he also shared the testimony of another figure who had never imagined caffeine was the problem. This video sparked my interest and I decided to start on a month-long caffeine detox. This is the chronicle of my journey.

My Coffee Habits

Before the experiment, my coffee consumption was moderate and regulated. I'd usually have two to three cups per day, typically waiting at least 2 hours after waking up, when my cortisol levels naturally subsided. As a rule, I stop caffeine intake 12 hours before my bedtime. This precaution was adopted after learning from Andrew Huberman that caffeine stays in the system for 8 to 12 hours, potentially disrupting sleep.

Detox Day 1

On the first day of my caffeine-free journey, I experienced a slight headache, I thought this was a result of poor sleep the previous night due to an unusually large cup of coffee. Other than a slight foggy feeling in my mind, my focus remained relatively fine as usual.

Detox Days 2 to 5

The next few days proved challenging. I felt lethargic, unfocused, and had low energy. During this time, a slight headache still lingered. A brain fog seemed to have descended, blurring my thoughts.

Detox Day 6

By the sixth day, the headache had disappeared. However, I continued to grapple with low energy levels, reduced focus, and that maddening brain fog.

Detox Day 8

Eight days into my detox, I noticed an unexpected change - I seemed less prone to irritation. Could it be that caffeine was influencing my emotional control? Also, my energy levels appeared to be on an upward trajectory. Even at this time, I didn't experience any sleep quality improvement.

Detox Week 2

Two weeks in, my energy levels had stabilized, and there were no more ups and downs in my energy level., Also, my patience seemed to be improving - trivial annoyances didn't bother me as much as they used to.

Detox Week 3

Three weeks into my detox, there were no more discernible improvements. My sleep quality remained the same, and I started to question myself, 'What would happen if I started drinking coffee again?'

Detox Week 4

Even at the end of the fourth week, there were no new revelations. I had hoped for a significant energy boost and improved sleep quality, but those expected benefits remained elusive. I suppose my sleep quality was already great even before I started caffeine detox due to my exercise routine and diet.

Reintroducing Caffeine: Day 1

After completing my month-long detox, I went to a café with friends. The familiar weight of a coffee mug in my hands elicited a sense of excitement. That first sip was a joyous moment, heightening my mood considerably.

Reintroducing Caffeine: Day 2

On the second day post-detox, I realized that my caffeine tolerance had dropped. Consuming two cups of coffee in a few hours resulted in an intense feeling I hadn't experienced before.

Reintroducing Caffeine: Day 3 and Beyond

In the days following, I didn't notice any significant changes. Contrary to expectations, my focus and energy levels didn't spike with resuming caffeine consumption. In fact, I found myself wanting to drink less coffee than before.

The Aftermath: One Week Later

A week post-detox, the only remarkable change was my reduced desire for coffee. I now limited myself to just one cup a day. Interestingly, seems like my improved emotional control persisted, and I found myself less likely to lose my temper.

The Final Thought

In retrospect, the detox didn't yield the benefits I had anticipated. Perhaps, as a disciplined coffee drinker who avoided afternoon caffeine intake, my sleep quality was already optimal. The most significant outcome was improved emotional control, which persisted even after resuming coffee consumption.

If you're considering a caffeine detox, particularly if you struggle with anger management, it might be worth a shot. And if you're aiming to improve sleep quality, it could be beneficial to refrain from caffeinated beverages at least 12 hours before bedtime.


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