Swapping my morning joe and feeling low

Hannah Sparrow, Staff Reporter

Americans drink on average 3.2 cups of coffee per day which is approximately 304 mg of caffeine.  Caffeine has been reported to be as addicting as many illicit drugs and with such high consumption the body can become dependent on it.

Daily intake of copious amounts of caffeine can trick the body into believing that is part of your system and can oftentimes be necessary for a person to feel awake or alert. Therefore, when a person dependent on caffeine withdraws, they can undergo symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, and even an increase in anxiety.

I am a person who begins my morning with a nice hot cup of joe and continues to sip on tea and Diet Coke throughout the day. I cannot remember the last time I hadn’t had caffeine in a 24 hour period.

When I was assigned the task to immerse myself in something out of the ordinary for a certain period of time. Due to my obsession with caffeinated beverages– I decided to spend two days caffeine free.  I deprived myself of any coffee, tea, soda, and any medicine that has traces of caffeine in it.

I began my immersion on a Friday, I substituted my morning coffee with a bottle of water and my usual tea with lunch, for a juice. Throughout the next 48 hours I kept this up.

Within the first 6 hours, I began to feel a headache. I struggled with this most because when I’d have a headache, I’d typically take Excedrin however, there are traces of caffeine in the medication. Throughout day one my headache progressed.

I woke up Saturday morning with a pounding headache and a feeling of extreme fatigue. I found it really hard to focus that day. The day also resulted in me taking a nap which is pretty rare but I was just too tired not to. That day I substituted my lovely cup full of caffeine for an hour long nap; it was NOT the same!

Sunday morning my 48 hours of being deprived of my drug of choice was over but, mama didn’t raise no quitter, so I stuck it out until about 5pm that evening when I drank a large hot cup of coffee. I figured once my symptoms of caffeine deprivation turned into extreme irritability, maybe I should calm down and sip some coffee.

I am a caffeine addict.

This experiment helped me to realize that I put so much caffeine into my body without even being conscious of it. I will make a strong attempt to lower my intake of caffeine and substitute something a bit better for my body instead. Now, I’m not completely giving it up… and trust me, that’s for the betterment of those who have to be around me.

Many people struggle with caffeine dependency and I’d suggest to them to maybe put that 52 oz Polar Pop down sometime and swap it out for a bottle of water.