Why I Quit Coffee Cold Turkey
Early on in my life I never drank coffee, not in high school, college or early on in my career. I was able to get up everyday at 5:00 am - 6:00 am everyday without the help of an alarm clock. To me waking up at 7 am was sleeping in. So getting into coffee was basically unnecessary however when you are from New York City and work in New York City NOT drinking coffee is some kind of social oddity unknown to the work place (except the new trend of tea drinkers). Now I start drinking coffee just as a daily routine for work which often is meetings over coffee at a local boutique coffee shop.
Within a short amount of time however I became immensely dependent on it, having up to three Venti's a day from Starbucks. So this was a complete switch I went from not needing it at all in the mornings to not being able to get past 5 pm without drinking it constantly. This coffee dependency has lasted for years and honestly I never really thought about it as I progressively became more dependent on it. I even remember reading a Tony Robbins book and he mentions how coffee was poison and how he abstains from it and I thought "yeah right that's obscene". It got me thinking though over time why would Tony Robbins call something that has become an American necessity over the years a "poison"?
It wasn't over night but I started to see tiny tweaks in my personality, I would have extreme highs and extreme lows during the day. This is all compounded by being in the investment field in NYC real estate but my emotions were compounded especially to the downside. If something wasn't occurring the way I wanted it to in the time frame I wanted it to I would become furious and lash out while all the while internally feel like everything was falling apart. While the situations would correct themselves usually within a week or so. So why was I so up in arms over something that ultimately solved itself and inflicted no damage on me? I also started to realize how that even late in the day I craved coffee, but I simply thought I work hard that's why I need it. I also noticed in my routine I would schedule my routine around coffee like little things such as waiting to brush my teeth later in the day until i finished my first two coffees and going to the gym I would have to try and get to them gym first thing before a coffee because having a coffee before the gym made my work out terrible due to dehydration and causing my heart to race to fast while running. However I had trouble waking up without a coffee meaning gym was taking a backseat to coffee. I was feeling more exhausted in the morning and waking up became harder then it ever had before.
That quote by Tony Robbin kept pulling at the back of my mind, why did he call it poison? Then one morning I was running late for a flight, I had to rush out and rush through the terminal unable to grab my morning coffee and honestly I was in such a rush I didn't want to get the coffee so I didn't have to stop and use the bathroom. Then it hit me on the flight I started to feel the headache and sweats, I was just saying to myself WTF is this!? I'm not the best flier but that can't be it? It didn't hit me until I FINALLY got my coffee in the beginning of the flight. It hit me then when I felt better, I was shocked out how hard a coffee withdrawal could hit me. That was way to intense for something I thought was benign.
So now I'm REALLY thinking about what Tony Robbin said, and I start doing some research. There some great qualities to coffee and things that can help the body and I say to myself "phew I'm in the clear the last thing I want to go through is what happened to me on the plane". Not so fast though I start digging and find if overdone like anything else in life it has negative side effects such as hair loss, mood swings and obviously addiction. These were all signs I was feeling and right there I knew I had to at least cut back my intake and then I saw the Starbucks article it was how 90 coffee retailers were sued and have to put a warning label on their product that it may cause cancer because it releases a natural chemical acrylamide, a byproduct of roasting coffee beans that is present in high levels in brewed coffee.
For me this didn't mean coffee was evil but I began to not trust how these companies handled their process of roasting and if this natural chemical was released then I needed to get myself off this product. It was more of the last straw then the main catalyst for quitting coffee cold turkey. This was something I was ingesting everyday and it was causing me to be unable to wake up early on my own like I used to, have mood swings with emotional instability and possibly mishandling of the roasting process by large corporations I thought to myself, I'm done. This daily liquid wasn't doing anything for me except making me dependent on it.
A day after making my decision I quit coffee cold turkey. It wasn't easy and the more I went through the withdrawal process the more I understood what Tony Robbins was saying, it was awful I was having sweats, headaches, nausea and was exhausted by 2 pm in the afternoon. It wasn't fun but less then a week after quitting I felt better I started to feel like i did before coffee I was getting up early on my own with limited grogginess, I didn't have these emotional swings all day long and didn't feel tired by 2 in the afternoon. I felt better then I have in a long, long time.
It was odd looking back how I went from never needing something for so long then being so dependent on it I had to have 3 Venti's in a day just to get by. Realizing how this product caused these slight but very unnecessary differences in my life and ultimately controlled me and my routine is why I quit cold turkey, because nothing even something small should control my life only ourselves. That is part of the reason it is a "poison" because it controlled me and anything that can control us should be stopped.