One of my 101 challenges is to go a week drinking decaffeinated coffee……..Don’t ask.
We started of Sunday, it wasn’t exactly planned. A while ago Jo’s habit of buying anything that has gone whoops resulted in her coming home with (amongst other things) a pack of decaffeinated Espresso coffee. On Saturday we ran out of regular (delicious, flavoursome, tasty stuff that it is) coffee, so Sunday morning saw the coffee machine filled with unleaded coffee grounds and the start of my caffeine reduced week.
It started well, the decaffeinated Espresso actually tasted quite nice….but…I was a little confused. decaffeinated – as in all the caffeine removed. Espresso – as in a small shot of really strong, heavily caffeinated coffee. So decaffeinated Espresso – is a really strong coffee that doesn’t do anything for you.
Sunday passed easily, the tricky part came on Monday. I drink instant coffee at work, so I had to stop off and buy some decaffeinated coffee. I was impressed by the selection at my local supermarket, all the big names were there, so I plumped for the coffee I normally drink, Douwe Egberts. I got to work and made myself a nice hot steaming mug of decaffeinated coffee. I tasted it. I added more decaffeinated coffee. I tasted it. I added more coffee. It still tasted bland with a hint of bitterness as an aftertaste. I was not impressed.
So lunchtime I headed back to the supermarket, time to try a different brand. Carte Noire or Kenco? I don’t speak much French, but I know Noire means black, sounded promising. So another jar of coffee bought I headed back to work and tried again. This time it was just 2 spoonfuls of coffee, and there was a hint of flavour, albeit the kind of flavour you would expect from a jar of Netto own brand economy coffee.
I did however make a discovery, a spoonful of each combined makes a cup of coffee that has a bit of flavour, and a hint of bitterness…. not quite coffee, but close enough…..for a week.
So I’m half way through my caffeine free week, “how are things going?” I hear you ask.
Well I’ve noticed a few things, they may or may not be connected to the lack of caffeine. Firstly I am tired, all the time I am tired. I know caffeine is a stimulant, but this is more than just missing a little kick, I think it may be to do with one of the other changes I have noticed. I’m not sleeping very well. Since Sunday, every night, I have had strange dreams, causing restless sleep, resulting in tiredness the next day.
I am also hungry. Very hungry. All the time. I’m not just talking about being peckish here, I mean proper hungry. Today for instance, I had a cereal bar in the morning, then a baked apple grain type bar when I got to work. A caramel waffle with my coffee. A bag of crisps about 11. By midday I was hungry and so started on my lunch of a triple pack of sandwiches (BLT, chicken Salad and Ham and Cheese) by half one I was hungry again and had to nip out for an emergency bag of chips. That saw me through till I got home, where I had Corned beef hash and pancakes, 3 thick ones, and second helpings. I’ve had a another bag of crisps since and I’m considering snackages again.
That is a lot of food, even for me. I don’t normally eat that much and I have been like this since Monday, oddly just after starting on the Decaf. I know caffeine can act as an appetite suppressant, and quite often if I’m feeling peckish I’ll have a coffee instead of something to eat, and that works for me.
The other thing is not so much something that has changed, but something that hasn’t. The theory is that drinking decaf will chill you out, make you relax and not be so manic, and that’s exactly what happened last time I switched to decaf, but I was on about 10 to 15 mugs of proper coffee a day and went cold turkey, I was rather stressed at the time and cutting the decaf helped. Now however, I’m nowhere near as stressed, I’m happy. Things are going good, I’m around people I love, and they i turn love me back, I have a job I enjoy and I have an iPhone 4 ;o). So cutting caffeine seems to have no noticeable effect. I still have mini rants at the fools on the motorway on the way to work,
In summary, I’m drinking awful tasting coffee, I’m not sleeping well, I’m constantly tried, I’m always hungry and I’m not totally chilled out.
Still, only 2 more days to go.