UNDERSTANDING………..A CAFFEINE ADDICTION
I'd like to thank Joe, who contacted me here on my website. Thanks Joe for your interesting and candid answers:
1. Were you aware that you were addicted to caffeine?
No. I just used to drink coffee because I preferred it to tea and I worked in an office where quite frequently someone would make a round of drinks. When I was out on the road I’d buy Coke and the occasional Red Bull.
2. What effect did caffeine have on your body?
I didn’t really notice any beneficial effect. If I’d not had a drink with caffeine for a few hours I’d get a headache which at first I didn’t associate to caffeine withdrawal. My blood pressure is back to being normal now whereas before it was high.
3. Which were your preferred caffeinated drinks?
I didn’t really have a preferred caffeine drink. It’s just that I had too many drinks which contained caffeine.
4. Did you find you needed more and more caffeine as time went on?
No I don’t think my need for caffeine increased, it’s that the drinks I liked contained caffeine.
5. What happened if you were not able to obtain any caffeinated drinks for any length of time?
Due to the withdrawal symptoms I’d get a headache and feel tired.
6. Did you find de-caffeinated tea and coffee a good substitute?
I don’t believe the de-caff tea and coffee are completely caffeine free. Personally I don’t like the taste of de-caff coffee.
7. What made you decide to give up caffeine?
I was made to realise that my frequent headaches were the result of too much coffee.
8. What happened when you tried to give up caffeine?
I had headaches on and off for several months which eventually subsided.
9. Can you drink the odd cup of tea or coffee now without any ill-effects?
I prefer not to, because a drink containing caffeine will result in a caffeine rush followed by the inevitable headache.
10. What helped you during your withdrawal from caffeine?
My wife, without whom I’d probably be dead by now.
11. Do you feel more energised without caffeine or more tired?
Without the highs and lows of caffeine everything is now on a constant level. I wouldn’t say I feel more energised without caffeine but I don’t get the tiredness I used to after a few hours without it. I think people who say they need a coffee in the mornings to help the wake up or get going are simply suffering caffeine withdrawal and are likely addicted. Without the caffeine and the subsequent withdrawal they’ll feel much better and more alert in the mornings.
12. Can you concentrate better now without caffeine?
I don’t know if my concentration is better now without the caffeine but it is easier to concentrate without a constant headache.
13. What do you prefer to drink now as an alternative to caffeinated drinks?
Hot drinks I now have fruit flavoured or green teas, and cold drinks I’ll have water.