Monday, October 19, 2009

A Zippy Caffeine Free Life!

Quitting caffeine was tougher than I first imagined. A few factors worked against me:

1. The social aspect of buying coffee seemed to be as big a driver, if not the biggest, of my coffee consumption. I'll admit that I liked the banter with some of the baristas, especially the cute ones. Why? Because I'm a guy and just about every guy I know enjoys being spoken to by attractive women. This became glaringly obvious when I was the 7th car in a long line at the local drive-thru coffee stand and I noticed every car had males in them. I honestly couldn't remember the last time I witnessed a female patron at my fave coffee stand...and no, it's not one of those naughty latte stands where the baristas dress like hookers. I have standards! Anyhoo, starting my day off with a quick conversation with a 20 something year old barista has it's appeal...until you realize you are a brainless pig spending money on a product that leaves you feeling queasy.

2. After a couple of days of blinding headaches, I finally broke through my need for caffeine. Breaking free of caffeine's demon talons was difficult enough when it becomes a social habit, but combining that with the physical symptoms of kicking it cold turkey had my sympathizing with smokers that can't get off the nicotine. Smokers almost always seem to be smoking in packs on their breaks, so the social aspect is there as well as the physical need to nic out. Same went for me with coffee...I had a physical desire for the caffeine, but also a social habit to break. Not good times.

3. Peer pressure was tough to work around as well, especially when you are the one that used to rally the troops for a Starbucks run. Your peers have a tough time adjusting to your change in lifestyle (and again, my sympathy to smokers that are trying to quit) and will continue to ask you to join them. I had to be honest and tell my coffee group that I was 'off the coffee'. Everyone is fine with it now, and I'll sometimes join them for the walk across the street to Starbucks, but I don't buy anything anymore.

4. Having 3 kids equates to never getting more than 6 hours of sleep in one stretch, so there are days that I am dragging. Avoiding coffee on those days has been tough....

So, what have I done when tired and needing something to kick start the day or afternoon? I've switched over to Zipfizz. I don't get the jitters or dehydration I did with coffee and it doesn't interfere with my running because I'm not cramping, it is a much more sustained boost and doesn't make my heart race or skip beats the way caffeine used to impact me. I'm not a big fan of the grape flavored Zipfizz, but I do like the orange soda stuff.

While I will always love the process of buying coffee, and do miss the taste of a well made americano, I just can't deal with the downside anymore...

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