Fueled by Caffeine…until not.

by V. Buritsch-Tompkins


Every few months I find myself going through a caffeine detox.  I’ll have had one too many coffees approximately 24hours before, and my body is gearing up for an extra one when… it doesn’t come.  I ignore it for another 24 hours.  Chills, sweats, cravings, sour stomach, severe headache, other symptoms.  The whole nine yards.  It’s frustrating.  By the time I’ve identified it, I’m halfway through.  I tell myself it will go away on its own.  And it does.

Typically it’s because I’m not at work, I don’t have access to coffee at home, and I don’t have the spare money for a latte at a moment’s notice.  It’s usually after having a coffee: then nothing.  While I’m not proud of it, it has brought some insight to me.

I find that  I provide the same quality of work with 8 hours of sleep as I do with caffeine.

I am more motivated to work with caffeine for the sake of being occupied/busy at work.  I am more motivated to work without caffeine for myself – to be a stronger person for my customers and for my child.

I find that the kind of caffeine intake I have fuels the pre-withdrawal crash differently.

  • Soda: No crash. For days on end.
  • Soda, Coffee, Soda: No crash, when well spaced.
  • Soda, Soda, Energy drink, Soda: Mild crash. (Tiredness.)
  • Coffee, Soda, Coffee: Crash. (Tiredness, less desire to do anything once I get home after dropping my son off, crawl into bed and become a ball of warmth.) Potential for Withdrawal.
  • Coffee, Nothing else for 24 hrs: Crash + Withdrawal
  • Coffee, Caffeinated Tea, Nothing else for 24 hours: Severe Withdrawal

I find that I really, REALLY miss my favorite energy drink.

Before I left St. Louis, my husband tried to get me to quit energy drinks for a year.

Beverage of choice, #quicktrip, Bring it back!!! #lastone #coldone

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Thanks to Quik-Trip, I actually pretty much did.  They discontinued my favorite energy drink, “FUEL: Orange Cream”.  It was available in a metal bottle, tasted great when chilled, didn’t taste terrible at room temperature, and was a joy.  I believe I might have even contacted the company when they were discontinuing it.

As a note: if the same thing goes on sale for a little over half-price everywhere at the same time, keep an eye out.  Ask management about it.  If it’s a closeout, it’s a closeout.  Stock up ’cause there ain’t no more.  I got a case of them and used them sparingly until they were gone.

Orange Bawls is the closest I’ve seen an energy drink get to harnessing the flavor and the power at the same time.  Different flavor, different amount of buzz.

This time, I told myself, you’ve identified the cause, what will you do to fix it?

Other than going cold turkey on coffee, I’m not sure what course to take quite yet. I have a Mountain Dew to finish.  I think I’ll take 24 hours to think about it.  Until I can promise myself 8 hrs of sleep a night, though, I think I’ll have to just carefully space out my caffeine intake and maybe get a gently used coffee machine.

You know, for emergencies.