I’ve always known I have a little coffee addiction, but it was only until earlier this week when I realised I have a serious problem! The caffeine withdrawal and more specifically, the caffeine headache nearly broke me!
A couple of weeks ago, I read a blog post by Lisa Welsh explaining why she loves intermittent fasting and how she goes about it. I have dabbled in a bit of fasting in the past while I was Banting in order to get into Ketosis, but in all honesty, with little success.
While reading her post I was only too aware of the fact that my coffee addiction is my biggest downfall when it comes to fasting.
I never drank coffee as a child or young teen, in facts, I disliked the taste of it and avoided it completely. It was only during my last couple of years in high school when I started drinking coffee. After school, I went to the UK and started working in a coffee bar similar to Starbucks or Seattle. With so many options and varieties from cinnamon or hazelnut latte’s to caramel macchiatos, I soon realised that sugar only takes away from the coffee and started drinking my coffee bitter.
Even with all my emotional eating issues, I have never gone back to drinking coffee with sugar!
That said, I did give myself permission to drink as much coffee as I want to. And I have been extreme in it!
Back to Fasting
After reading Lisa’s post, I thought to myself – let’s try fasting with coffee and see how that goes.
The aim was to have my last meal before 7 pm and fast from the previous evening and last until roughly 2 pm the following day. Naturally, the fact that we are sleeping for most of the fast helps tremendously. And as a person who doesn’t usually eat breakfast, until 10/11 am, stretching myself until 2 pm wasn’t too bad.
It went spectacularly well. Fasting for 18 hours was no problem, as long as I could keep sipping on my coffee.
The results, however, weren’t nearly as spectacular.
Weighing up my options
The truth is, black coffee without sugar really isn’t all that nice. In actual fact, I would rather go without coffee than drink black coffee.
So that was exactly what I did on Monday and Tuesday this week…
I repeated what I did the previous week, however, I abstained from coffee and only drank water with lemon juice and rooibos tea. By 09:00 I had the worst headache!
Luckily on Monday I could try and sleep it off after my early morning exam, but on Tuesday, I was suffering miserably at work. Eventually, I had something to eat 13:00 on Tuesday afternoon and thinking I simply overdid the fasting by not giving myself enough time to adjust.
But food did absolutely nothing!
Only after I had a coffee my headache started to subside! That’s when I realised the impact of my caffeine withdrawal!
Verywellmind describes a caffeine headache as follows:
The hallmark caffeine withdrawal symptom is a severe headache, which bears many similarities to a migraine headache. Like migraines, it is accompanied by vasodilation — widening of the blood vessels — in the head and neck, and like migraines, it can take the form of hemicrania, or a headache on only one side of the head.
Their only advice on the matter is to take (drink) more caffeine!
I guess while I wean myself off coffee (a bit), I’ll be drinking black coffee!
Black coffee is much better than the migraine-like headache caused by a caffeine withdrawal!