A few months ago, in the beginning of May, I started having crazy chest pains. It felt like there was something sitting on my chest and every breath was a sharp sensation in the center of my chest. I went to the ER/urgent care more than a handful of times, even 3 times in one weekend. The doctors did EKGs, listened to my heart beat, checked if I was pregnant (most certainly not), and did a handful of other tests. My primary care physician had been busy with conferences/being on-call, so I saw other doctors. They couldn’t really pinpoint my problem on anything but stress and caffeine. It was a million problems all adding up.
I understand the stress factor, because AP/SAT/ACT exams were right around the corner, but even after those finished and I felt relaxed, I was and am still having those pains. My primary care physician pinned it on panic/anxiety attacks but I’m skeptical of that. He did suggest one thing though, to stop drinking caffeine.
That’s so drastic, I even italicized it. If you know me, you know I’ve been drinking coffee since I was a kid. During freshman and sophomore years of high school, I’d walk to the library to study and get a Dunkin Donuts coffee everyday. I never slept because I was always trying to study and do school work. So obviously, coffee has and always will be my go-to. An iced caramel latte at Dunkins is the best thing in to ever exist.
Seriously. I need one of those babies everyday, sometimes with a turbo shot or even a pump of coconut if I’m feeling extra jazzy. It tastes so good.
After hearing my doctor say caffeine might be the problem, I went cold turkey. I’m not even kidding when I say life without coffee is not a life I want to continue living, but I’m managing. I still really miss it though. However I have noticed a few benefits to no coffee intake.
1. No Coffee Stained Teeth
I know this is a bit TMI and probably not something you want to/care to read about, but I’m not even kidding. I’ve never had the perfect #FFFFFF teeth and drinking so much coffee for such a long time makes it hard to achieve those pearly whites. But ever since I stopped drinking coffee, I’ve noticed that my teeth have gotten whiter and my smile is 1000x better.
2. Consistent Energy
The greatest thing I noticed when I stopped drinking coffee was that my schedule started to become regular. Regardless of what time I went to bed, whether it be 11pm or 4am, when I woke up at 6am for school, I’d last all day without needing a nap. I used to stay up until 2am every night and nap from 4pm-7pm when I got home from school, but without caffeine in my system, I was able to stay up for 14-18 hours without any hindrance.
3. Clear(er) Skin
I’ve always had acne and all the side effects that came along with it (hyperpigmentation, redness, scarring, etc). Ever since I’ve been on birth control to regulate my acne (hormones), it’s improved slightly. When I stopped my caffeine intake, I noticed my skin became noticeably clearer and my skin tone was way more even. Some of it may have been due to my new skin care regimen, but going cold turkey on coffee definitely impacted it in one way or another.
4. Constant and Consistent Feel-Good Energy
Without caffeinated crashes or needing to have coffee to keep me awake in math class, I always felt better. I had less anxiety, stress, and negative energy. I definitely always feel more positive now and don’t have a roller coaster of emotions. I noticed though that when I do get upset, it’s less extreme. I was livid earlier today and I probably could have punched someone out, but I was more logical and patient with my emotions that I would have been with coffee. Someone even noted that I’ve been much sweeter and calmer lately. I’ll thank my lack of caffeine for that.
It’s been about 2 months since my last coffee…it’s not too bad living a decaf life. I haven’t even taken a whiff of the stuff since and I don’t plan to. My chest pains, anxiety/stress levels, and mood swings are significantly less, but a lot of factors can contribute to each of those factors. Either way, I think it’s something to consider. I do miss the robust and acidic taste of coffee though. Someday, I’ll return to Dunkins and order my favorite….