Experiential Paper : Giving Up on Caffeine Drinks for 72 Hours

Part One

            I am always fascinated about consuming caffeine drinks like tea, coffee, and cola drinks now and then. In the morning, I always prepare a cup of tea before I start my daily routines, and as such, I still find it amazing and essential to cheer me up in the earlier hours of the day. I got interested in drinking such drinks when I read an article that suggested caffeinated drinks cut-throat and mouth cancer by 30%, reduces the risks of getting a stroke by 22%, and coffee reduces the risk of getting diabetes type 2 in people (DiNicolantonio, O’Keefe & Lavie, 2014). This was a relief for me as I fear to contact any form of diabetes and cancer.

            I have decided to give up on caffeinated drinks for 72 hours and experience the changes that I would experience within the three days of abstinence. I knew it was not going to be a walk in the park as I have been obsessed with coffee, tea, and cola drinks for a very long time. I felt as if I was giving up my life. I knew I would experience withdrawal symptoms that might interrupt my way of doing things and daily routine in general. As such, I was prepared to face the reality which was sooner or later kicking in. I knew I would be tempted to cook and drink some tea or coffee and therefore removed every stock I had from my vicinity and my room. This was a prevention mechanism as I wanted to go for the whole time without drinking or taking any form of a drink. I also ensured that I did not receive any extra money with me whenever going out to avoid buying cola drinks at the store. I knew it was not an easy task because I was abstaining from something that I have been drinking for a very long time and have come to love it and find relief in it

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Part Two: Chronological Account

Day 1

5:30 am. I always wake up at 5:30 in the morning and prepare a cup of tea. However, the concept has really changed, and I have to wake up and concentrate on doing other things like cleaning, washing, and preparing for work. I find this quite hard, as it is not the norm. I have been having headaches and have been dizzy throughout the morning hours. When the time to take morning coffee with my friends came, I did not leave the compound but told them I was reading an exciting novel and had received my attention. I did not want them to know I was under 72 hour’s withdrawal from drinking any drink with caffeine. At 10 am, I only took some cake and juice, something that I have not been practicing for long. I have been having mild headaches and cravings to make coffee or cola.

1:30 pm: I have been experiencing withdrawal symptoms like fatigue, headaches, low energy, poor concentration, anxiety, and irritability. I noticed today that I was losing attention when I was reading a novel and found myself daydreaming without any apparent reason. I was thinking about how I would drop the challenge as I was finding it hard for me to even concentrate a bit. I had low energy than usual. My friends noticed that I was not as jovial as usual and had to explain to them what was going on. Some found it intriguing and even suggested that they would undertake the challenge while others sympathized with me, particularly when I told them of the headaches and fatigue. They offered to buy me coffee once the problem was over.

4:30 pm: While going home, I was tempted to buy my favorite drink, Monster Energy. However, I decided to drop the idea as it contains caffeine, and a lot of it, 36 mg to be precise. I had been told by my friend that there was Monster Unleaded that was caffeine-free. I decided to look for it at the store but did not find it. I took them to a joint where we enjoy the best coffee in downtown. However, again, I had to order for cold water and look at my friends while they were enjoying coffee and some tea. I felt oppressed but was willing to finish my challenge, and therefore I bid them farewell and headed home.

7:00 pm: before beginning my evening routine, I must make a cup of tea. However, today I started preparing supper and did not bother about drinking coffee or tea. At this moment, I felt fatigued and did not have the morale even to watch an episode of Game of Thrones that I have been waiting for. I made a quick bite and headed to bed. I had headaches, and as such, I took pain killers and rested ready for day two of my challenge.

Midnight: I had to wake up in the middle of the night as I had a strong headache. I had been drinking more than 100 mg of caffeinated drinks for a very long time, and upon researching online, I noticed that detoxing was not an easy task bearing in mind that I drink regularly. I did not take any more medicine but had water and sat on my bed and watched an episode of Game of Thrones, and later slept. I was woken by my alarm at 530 am the next morning.

Day 2

5:30 am: in the morning, and I did not hesitate to remember that I had not prepared my coffee. I took a shower and headed to work. I felt distressed and fatigued. I took lemon water to try and ease the pressure. I have to say I felt relieved and refreshed for some time. I arrived to work and sat at my desk, drinking hot water while my colleagues were having coffee and some tea. One employee, in particular, was cracking jokes saying that if I drank coffee, he would offer to buy for me for a week. I told him I was not willing, and he found that funny.

10:00 am: I was taking a lot of water as I believed staying hydrated was essential during the moment. By now, I was having headaches and feeling distressed and emotional. I felt I was missing something in my life. I was craving to even have a cup, and I was triggered to buy a cup of coffee when I saw all my friends having coffee during the breaks. I, however, decided that I would finish the challenge and decided to take it easy as I had at most one more day remaining. I took warm water and continued with my daily routine.

1:00 pm: at lunch break, every Tuesday, my friends and I ensure we have tea, and in a chilly day, we can even have two. However, after eating, my friends ordered their routine cup. I was tempted to ask for one but decided to forego. The waiter even offered to buy for me as he thought I had not money to buy. I explained to him what I was doing, and he said it was intriguing that I was not being tempted to take some amidst my friends who were cunning, saying that it was one of the best tea the restaurant has ever made. This was triggering me to break my detoxing challenge and have a cup despite having one day remaining. I instead ordered water and a cup of mango juice. I took some painkillers as my head was burning too. I understood that detoxing was not an easy task with the experiences I was going through. Withdrawal symptoms were kicking in, and I was feeling distressed, questioning why I took the challenge.

4:30 pm: I decided not to accompany my friends to the point where we take coffee or tea after work and instead headed home to try and relax as I watch another episode of Game of Thrones. I decided to research and understand what happened when I stayed for long without taking coffee. I read that without taking much coffee, my body was being deprived of dopamine and adrenaline, which are hormones that ensured I stayed awake. My body was having high flows of adenosine, which is the hormone responsible for tiredness and rest. When the hormone rushed in the head, it resulted in a headache.

7:00 pm: by now, I had already accepted that I was not going to make more coffee for the remaining part of the night and the day. I cooked noodles and blended some juice, listened to music, watched the series, and headed to bed. I was fatigued, and although I was craving to prepare a specialty cup of tea that I enjoy at the moment in the night, I did not bother to prepare. I had disposed of all cola drinks in my fridge and therefore ensured that I did not have any reach of any drink that contained caffeine. I did not have severe headaches like the previous day, and as such, I slept peacefully until my alarm signaled the next morning.

Day 3

5:30 am: I woke up with a mild headache, took a shower, and headed to work. I understood that it was the last day of the experiment and, as such, did not bother much with the cravings. I filled my thermal flask bottle with hot lemon water and headed to work. I was already adapting to the change and was finding it quite intriguing that I was not having any bad headaches or cravings like the previous days. I arrived at work, feeling a little bit dizzy and tired. I was, however, jovial and talked with my colleagues about my experience during the past three days, which they found interesting. Some even decided to take up the challenge in the coming weeks and see what they would experience.

10:00 am: I took my friends for a coffee break, chatted with them as they took their coffee, and explained to them what I had learned the previous day on coffee addiction and withdrawal effects and how they would expect to experience if they undertook the challenge.

1:00 pm: I again accompanied my friends for a lunch break, had a sandwich with tuna salad and bananas. My friends had a cup of tea but did not bother. I noticed I did not crave for the drinks like the past two days. I took a cup of water to keep the body hydrated and moved back to the work premises. We had a small chat with a friend who wanted to understand how the experience and experiment was. He was willing to take the challenge in a week’s time and thought it would be great if he asked me.

4:30 pm: I joined my friends while taking daily coffee after work. I was excited that I would be taking coffee the next day and had not a reason to have cravings at the moment. I was having mild headaches and felt fatigued, though. I excused myself and headed to the store, found that they had brought in the Monster Unleaded, bought a six-pack, and headed home. I found the drinks to be as good as the caffeinated ones and therefore took two cans. I was extremely relieved. I prepared supper and headed to bed. I was craving more energy drinks, and as such, I took one more can and slept. I was still having mild headaches and felt fatigued.

            This was the last day for giving up drinking any drinks that were caffeinated. I had an experience different from what I expected. I decided to reduce coffee, tea, and tea uptake to ensure that I did not have any withdrawal symptoms in the future. I decided to be taking Monster Unleaded instead of the average Monster energy that had a lot of caffeine. I also decided that I would be taking coffee in the morning, lunch, and at four after work, which will help me alleviate the effects of taking too many caffeinated drinks.

Reference

DiNicolantonio, J. J., O’Keefe, J. H., & Lavie, C. J. (2014). Reply effects of habitual coffee consumption on vascular function. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 63(6), 607.