Caffeine – An Experiment in Willpower

image1 (1)Caffeine is like putting rocket fuel in a go kart. At first it seems like a great idea—your go kart blasts ahead of everyone at the start of the race. Unfortunately it just isn’t sustainable. The go kart starts shaking and pieces start breaking off; the engine’s working too hard. Before you know it, you have to put in more and more rocket fuel just to keep up with everyone else.

Well, at least that was my experience. I had truly become dependent on the sweet nectar that is coffee. I wanted to share my trials and tribulations of breaking this caffeine addiction; I had planned to make a video to track this, but quickly realized I felt way too awful to really do anything.

“Headaches, muscle pain and stiffness, lethargy, nausea, vomiting, depressed mood, and marked irritability.” These are symptoms of caffeine withdrawal according to the irrefutable wisdom of Wikipedia.

Going from two large cups (~1000ml) of coffee, which is much higher than the suggested daily safe maximum of 672ml for my weight (still far away from the lethal dose of 69.1 cups) to no coffee over a week was a battle of willpower. I didn’t have all the symptoms, but I definitely had headaches for hours, and was exhausted all day with sore muscles.

  • Day 1:  1000ml coffee
  • Day 2:  800ml
  • Day 3:  500ml
  • Day 4:  500
  • Day 5:  300
  • Day 6:  150
  • Day 7:  0

I would have a coffee in the afternoon to try and get rid of the withdrawal headache. As soon as the warm cup was in hand, before the coffee would touch my lips, I started feeling better. It has been a week since I tried to break this addiction, but with midterms and student responsibilities, I needed some more rocket fuel.

Ultimately I failed at breaking my addiction to coffee, but at least it is one serious addiction that is socially promoted. I’m keeping it in moderation now.

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