In a coffee-obsessed world, I dared to give it up.

With a Starbucks or cafe on every corner, and coffee ready at a moment’s notice, it’s easy to see why the world has an addiction to coffee. So why would I, your average twenty-something professional, decide to forgo coffee in a world that seems to run on it?

From movies and television to books, whenever someone is looking for that morning jolt or afternoon pick-me-up, they always seems to reach for a good ol’ cup of joe. From an early age, I remember my parents waking up and brewing a fresh pot of coffee. That wonderful aroma of freshly brewed coffee tickles your olfactory senses, and you look forward to taking that first beautiful sip to help you wake up in the morning. As a child I equated coffee to mean energy, which clearly carried over into my adult life.

For the first three years of my adult working life, my morning routine consisted of pouring myself a cup of freshly brewed coffee at work. That morning jolt would help kick start my morning productivity and also act as a replacement for the fact I often skipped breakfast. It wasn’t until I decided to cut out caffeine in an attempt to be healthier that I realized I didn’t need the caffeine at all.

In fact, by cutting out the coffee I was sleeping earlier and better, and I was much less agitated overall. After cutting out coffee for a week and consuming a cup, I felt my heart was racing a mile a minute and was very jittery. It wasn’t until I lay awake in my bed at one am unable to sleep even though I felt physically tired, that it dawned on me this was my body’s way of telling me that I should cut out the caffeine.

This was a case of much easier said than done, as you might assume. I slowly transitioned myself to black tea in the mornings and worked my way to green tea.

It didn’t take me long realize that this obsession with coffee I had was not because of the caffeine, but because I just really loved the taste of coffee. To curb my coffee cravings, I switched all my drinks to decaf, and to help with my self-diagnosed caffeine sensitivity, I limited myself to one or two cups only on the weekends.

During my journey to a life free from the chains of caffeine, I learned a lot about caffeine content to figure out which drinks were the best for me.

According to the Mayo Clinic the average cup of brewed coffee has anywhere from 95-200 mg. These numbers alone meant very little to me, but compared to the average decaf coffee, which has anywhere from 2-12 mg of caffeine, I could see that clearly just by switching to decaf I could make a serious change to the amount of caffeine I consumed daily. Even black tea, which ranges from 14-70 mg of caffeine, could provide me with more caffeine that a cup of decaf coffee.

So how much has my life changed now that it is caffeine free? Surprisingly not that much, but it has changed my habits for the better. In fact, I probably get more sleep because I know I cannot rely on caffeine for that extra morning jolt. The necessary addition of caffeine in the morning became superfluous once I had already attained the proper amount of sleep and your body has been fully rested. My bank account can also thank me for cutting out coffee out of my daily routine. Those regular $3-4 cups of coffee really add up in no time.

So are you ready to take the challenge and go caffeine free? Or is coffee the only thing that makes it bearable to get out of bed in the mornings? Whichever one of those camps you fall in, just let your body tell you how much caffeine you should or should not be drinking and maybe make one of your regular lattes a decaf every once in awhile.

READ MORE  Why Self-Care Isn't A Waste Of Time