Last week I started weaning myself off caffeine. For years I have needed a coffee every day. Each time I went without coffee for more than 24 hours I developed a headache from the caffeine withdrawal. Now, without the pressures or commitments of work, it is an ideal time to end my caffeine addiction.
To prepare, I bought one 500g packet each of Oxfam Fair Trade caffeinated coffee and decaffeinated coffee. I then weighed and mixed the coffee into six difference proportions:
a) 0% decaffeinated / 100% caffeinated (put aside for later consumption)
b) 20% decaffeinated / 80% caffeinated
c) 40% decaffeinated / 60% caffeinated
d) 60% decaffeinated / 40% caffeinated
e) 80% decaffeinated / 20% caffeinated
f) 100% decaffeinated / 0% caffeinated
The plan is to have one coffee per day, starting with the 20% decaf blend until that container is empty. Then, moving onto the 40% decaf, 60% decaf, 80% decaf and, finally, the 100% decaf. Once I have finished the 100% decaf container, I should be completely weaned off caffeine, free from the withdrawal headaches and without the multi-day headache going cold turkey would cause.
I began the program on the 12th of July and am currently on the 40% decaf mix. I have experienced a headache or two in this time which maybe related to the withdrawal, but so far, so good.
I love my coffee and don’t ever intend to give up on the ‘real’ caffeinated stuff. However, I look forward to the day when every coffee is a choice and not a need.
UPDATE (28 August 2015):
I have just drunk my first full strength coffee in almost 6 weeks. I am feeling a slight buzz but not as much as expected.
Overall, the program to wean me off caffeine was a success. Although going without real coffee for such a long time was frustrating I knew the end result was worth it. I’m happy now my addiction has ended and I don’t need to drink coffee to prevent headaches, a la coffee for coffee’s sake.
Going forward I will mix coffee and coffee-free days, not allowing my body to become addicted again. Tea, herbal teas and decaffeinated coffee will replace coffee on my coffee-free days.