I often mix coffee brands and flavors. Today I brewed Dunkin’ Donuts Hazelnut with Starbucks French Roast. I like my coffee with cream, and this morning I stirred in a small squirt of Hershey’s dark chocolate syrup, as well. When I say I drink two cups a day, I’m talking about real cups, not big mugs or tiny 6 oz mini cups. As I type this post, I am enjoying my third cup over ice, one more cup than usual.
My hubby switched to herbal tea for a good reason. He was drinking several cups of coffee a day and it increased his blood pressure. Steve is a smart guy. He made the change, and he did it wisely. Ever since the two days I substituted peppermint tea for my coffee in the morning, I think of my morning java in a less casual way. I have always believed that the small amount of coffee I drink could not constitute an addiction. After all, I don’t have to have it. I just want it, I thought. It never occurred to me that I could suffer coffee withdrawal symptoms from eliminating coffee one morning. I didn’t intend to switch from coffee to tea. I just wanted peppermint tea that day instead of coffee. Here is what happened:
The same day I substituted herbal tea for coffee, I developed a severe headache over my eyes that radiated to the back of my skull and spread to my neck. Did I suspect coffee withdrawal? No. It was a HORRID headache. I thought it might be a brain tumor. God can heal brain tumors, so I was sure it would go away overnight. I asked Steve if he thought there was any possibility that my headache could have been caused by not having my morning coffee. Certainly, he told me, it could have been caused by that. Still, I didn’t seriously believe coffee withdrawal could cause the super-bad headache I was suffering.
The next morning I brewed herbal tea again. (Yes. Believe it or not. I did.) By the end of the day I thought the brain tumor might kill me. I went to bed, but I couldn’t sleep. I got up and googled coffee withdrawal symptoms. Along with finding out that I probably was afflicted by coffee withdrawal, I read that drinking one cup of coffee might reverse the symptoms or eliminate them entirely. One cup of coffee.
What should I do, I considered. I could brew a pot of coffee at midnight and expect to be wide awake all night long from the effects of caffeine, or I could go back to bed and stay awake the entire night enduring a terrible headache. I brewed the coffee, drank one cup, and 40 minutes later the headache was completely gone. Really! I didn’t sleep well, but I felt fine. No more headache.
The moral of the story is simple. If you want to quit coffee, do it gradually. Steve did it that way and never suffered any symptoms whatsoever.