I know this may sound strange, but I am a 23 something-year-old who doesn’t drink coffee. I don’t like the taste, I don’t like what it does to my body, and I don’t like the addiction. So, like any normal human being ever, I decided to ignore everything my body was telling me, and I started drinking coffee daily for a week. This is my 7-day diary:
Disclaimer: I did have coffee before. Mostly a sip here and there as a kid, or before an important exam in college but never a full cup of coffee all for myself every day, and definitely not more.
Day 1: The Lies
I prepared myself the night before. I woke up, went to the kitchen, and made a standard cup of coffee, the way I saw my parents do it.
I had everything laid out. My breakfast was ready, and I had my very first cup of coffee! My initial thought was that it tasted delicious, almost like a dessert. Perhaps I put too much sugar, or maybe this is what started the Starbucks addiction. I wouldn’t know at this point, but I did enjoy it nonetheless.
Less than 30 minutes later, I get this weird and harrowing sound in my stomach, the type of noise your stomach makes to warn you that you made a big mistake. And I still had six more days to go!
I spent the rest of the day like I usually do, despite the stomach pain. What truly surprised me was that by the time I to go to sleep regularly, I was three seasons deep on “How to Get Away With Murder,” and I was still going! It was way past my normal bedtime, and I ended up tossing and turning all night.
Day: 2 The Mind Games
After very little hours of sleep and some dark circles, I woke up that morning feeling moody and tired. My body was immediately demanding caffeine while my mind was sending me warning signals that this wasn’t going to end well. I desperately prepared my morning coffee, and it wasn’t until I finished my cup that the headache went away, and I felt human again. I guess this is what drinking coffee daily is really like.
This was only day two, and my day was already ruined. I felt tired moody and still had that weird stomach reaction. A true nightmare!
Later that evening is when I believe the caffeine has worn off because a full wave of exhaustion hit me. I couldn’t open my eyes any longer, so I ended up napping for four hours, which also eventually ruined my bedtime once again. Perfect.
Day 3: S.O.S.
After two full days of ruining my sleep cycle and not knowing what day this was, I woke up craving one thing, that delicious sweet cup of coffee. As I was getting up, I was already thinking about how I’d prepare my third cup this week. Should I add some vanilla? Maybe some pumpkin spice? What is happening to me?
This day was an actual high. I have never felt more concentrated, more awake, or more energized in my whole life. Almost to a point where it was a bit painful! I got so much done in one day that I wouldn’t have finished in a week, and I still had more energy to spare. I forgot to eat that day, and did I mention the stomach ache AGAIN?
This went on all day and all night since I couldn’t get myself to fall asleep again. I found myself in bed thinking of every life decision I have ever made, which turned very sad, very fast, and no matter what I did, I couldn’t fall asleep. Help!
Day 4: This is My Life Now
I have strangely grown into this morning routine, torturing myself all night and waking up craving a black liquid to feel normal. Yeah, sure, sounds good to me. Again, I tried to have a very normal day. I got a lot of things done, which I was proud of. Still, the stomach ache, diarrhea, and the excessive heart palpitations weren’t doing me a favor. I started shaking uncontrollably, and my heart rate was very high from the caffeine. Like I mentioned before, this was my first time, so my body was not used to this. But hey, I could finish an entire novel and not eat once, who needs to eat anyway, right?
Day 5: The Intervention
The same drill as every other single day. Waking up super tired, having my cup of rocket fuel and experiencing a mini seizure until the caffeine wears off.
At this point, I have gotten so much done in my life that I started getting into other people’s business to focus all that excess energy towards something and not go completely insane. I was, however, able to concentrate much better then I used to and had an excellent memory and better memory retention, which I was pleased with. The shaking hands and heart palpitations were making me a little worried. More than the stomach aches for sure.
That’s when I realized that maybe I could reduce the coffee amount a day and see what happens. But at this point, my body was craving even more caffeine than before!
Day 6: The Changes
Once again, after my daily dose of caffeine, I managed to run all my chores and be very productive. But I took some time to read more about coffee and what it does to the body, to try and explain my weird symptoms more scientifically.
I then learned that my stomach aches and weird bowel movements were caused by the coffee stimulating my stomach acid. That the heart palpitations and dizziness were also caused by excessive caffeine consumption and that coffee had a natural laxative compound, which was very intolerable for my body.
I was also able to explain why I couldn’t fall asleep all night long. It turns out coffee can stay in your system for more than 5 hours. Crazy, right?
Day 7: The Finale to Drinking Coffee Daily
Today was my last day. I woke up both grateful and relatively sad that I had to stop. I’ve grown accustomed to the smell and taste of a fresh brew every morning, making me feel active and productive too.
What I wasn’t going to miss was the constant feeling of both energy and exhaustion, feeling both unhealthy and very zombie-like. Although a very active zombie, I would admit. I would have run fast and eaten all the brains… see, too much coffee. This is not what we’re here to discuss, is it?
The bottom line is, although coffee may make life a lot easier, especially if you’re always working, the short term effects can be annoying, and the long term effects can be even worse. I mean, besides the headaches, insomnia, depression, and high blood pressure, you’re giving up a normal and healthy lifestyle where you’re allowing your mind to relax, and to be able to eat healthier and sleep better.
This whole experience has taught me the importance of mental health, good quality sleep, and listening to your body and its needs. This may not have been a very traditional post, given that most people around the world are coffee drinkers. Still, I truly wanted to live, as a newbie, the fully caffeinated experience, and it mostly just gave me an even bigger reason not to drink coffee ever again.