It seemed like a practical move when I quit drinking coffee; it wasn’t for health reasons that I did it. I had no idea I was so strung out. If I had known from the beginning how caffeine withdrawal feels, I probably wouldn’t have made the switch. Come to find out Caffeine Withdrawal Is Real.
My cracked French press carafe had finally broken, buying coffee every day was costing over $40/month and I had like 3 lbs of this yerba mate stuff that someone had given me, just sitting in the cupboard. I figured it’d be like drinking coffee, which it wasnt.
First I subbed yerba mate in for coffee on the weekends, when walking to the corner cafe for a drink to enjoy at home began to seem ridiculous. After a couple weeks I took some into work and started drinking it there during the week, fully switched off coffee.
The tiredness I felt at first was expected, but I didn’t get any headaches or think that I would. Around day 3 I started developing flu-like symptoms. It could have been a very mild flu, but the sore throat and mucus never got overwhelming and I was working, working out, eating healthy, all better than normal.
At the start of week two, I experienced body aches so severe that they woke me out of my sleep. Pain bowled up and down my body between my knee and my waist, mostly on the left side and in my hips. I’d experienced something similar while fasting, which not incidentally, was the last time I’d ever abstained from coffee for more than a day or two. That passed in about 3 days.
Now I’m on week three with no coffee and am feeling much better, more alert, no aches & pains, other symptoms fully gone. I still take caffeine; some of the yerba mate I have is a blend that includes green tea, and I’ve had other teas and soda. It’s not like I’ll never have a good cup of coffee again, but now that I know how fully addicted I was, I’ll try to take it easy.
And even tho I make yerba mate wrong (through a tea strainer into a coffee cup), I look forward to learning more about it and tea in general. (I’ll just go ahead and ignore this story from Finland about coffee lowering the risk of liver cancer.)