Why I Stopped Drinking Coffee

Photo: Puuikibeach/Flickr .

A couple of months ago, I asked you should we drink coffee? Since then, I've had a book to finish, and six weeks before I needed to send it over to the publisher, both of my girls came down this really bad cough that lasts six weeks. Oh fun. My nights became very, very interrupted.

Becoming a Coffee Drinker

I decided that under the circumstances, that I should drink coffee to help myself stay awake and finish the project. At the time, it seemed to help. Compared to a serious coffee drinker, my intake was still fairly low, but it was a lot more coffee than I have ever consumed. (I only started drinking coffee in the last year or so.)

So I was honestly grateful for coffee, because it helped me get through the last six weeks. But a few days after I sent in my book, I tried to go out for a jog. My knees literally felt like they had been transplanted from a 100-year-old woman. It was too painful to jog.

I still don’t understand what prompted the sudden change. My knees seem to be a kind of “idiot light.” If I eat too much sugar, they get achy and sore, for example. But I hadn’t had sugar, so what was the deal? I happened to see on Facebook that someone mentioned they loved coffee but every time they drank it, it made their knees get really achy. A quick Google search turned up a couple of forums in which other people shared the same problem.

Quitting Coffee

I had been planning to take a coffee break anyway, and with my knees so sore, I decided to just do it! Day one off of coffee was not very fun. I got the typical headache, but more than that, I felt depressed and extremely fatigued. I almost gave in and drank coffee! But I decided I needed to give it at least three days. Day two was much better, and I took a nap. Day three, I was only a little tired (which I felt while I was on coffee anyway) and it seemed like my knees were starting to improve.

Now it's day five — only day five — and I have noticed a big difference. My knees really don’t hurt at all. But more than that, I’ve really noticed that I feel happier and more even keeled without coffee. In those six weeks of drinking coffee ( several cups a day), I was really starting to feel sad and discouraged about different things. It may be true that for some people, there is a link between coffee and not getting depressed; it's also true that I feel an initial “happy lift” after drinking coffee, but it doesn’t last for me. I feel so much happier without it. I have had insomnia issues since I was a preteen, and I think I sleep better if I don’t drink coffee at all (even in the morning). I even think my energy has overall improved without coffee!

In the end, the only thing I miss is the taste. After I give my coffee break a bit more time to catch on, I am going to test out a water-processed decaf, just because I like the taste. I am curious if it was simply the high caffeine content that bothered my knees or some other aspect of coffee.

All in all, I am five days in and already thankful for a coffee-free life. I am not sure what the issues are with my knees. The coffee might just aggravate a deeper issue, but regardless, coffee doesn’t seem to be worth it for me.

What about you? Do you drink coffee and would you be able to give it up?