Monday, October 27, 2014

Life without Caffeine

We have been heavy coffee drinkers for over 40 years and always believed that we could not function without our daily mega-dose of caffeine. That changed this summer when we started taking supplements of iodine in the form of Lugols Solution.  The iodine gave us so much energy that we had to cut back on our morning coffee to keep from being too hyper. Even our daily square of dark chocolate ritual started feeling uncomfortable from the caffeine and sugar rush.  We were astonished that we no longer needed caffeine to get out of bed and keep going during the day.  We drank less and less every week and after a couple of months the coffee started tasting awful, so we stopped drinking it entirely.  Now we are living without caffeine.

Life is very different without caffeine.  The days used to rush by us so fast that we could not keep up.  Now it feels like everything has slowed down and is in slow motion.   We notice everything; the sun rise, the wind, the saturation of colors in the ocean, and the changes in the spectrum of light during the day.  Caffeine constricts the blood flow to the brain and causes people to focus on more immediate tasks.  The extra blood flow we are getting is making us more aware of our environment.

Our daily coffee kept us going but it also made us jumpy, nervous and hyper.  Caffeine increases the stress hormone cortisol in the body.  All that cortisol made the news  much more upsetting. We are more calm.  We are focused on our own life and not as distracted by the global conflicts.  It is wonderful to have our minds working on making good things happen and not focused on how bad things might go.

Our workouts in the gym are easier.  Caffeine constricts the blood to the muscles. With the additional blood flow, weights feel lighter.  Caffeine can also prevent you from building muscle and although we may be imagining it, it does feel like we are getting stronger.

At night, we really notice the lack of caffeine.  We used to be hyped up in the evening and drank wine to help us unwind and relax.  Now, when the sun goes down we feel ourselves winding down quickly.  We used to struggle to get up in the morning and now we wake up early, before sun rise. 

We would have never have guessed that life without caffeine was possible let alone so enjoyable!


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