Before we start, we know that the thought of quitting coffee seems crazy and impossible to some. We get it! It’s a daily ritual for most – it’s how we start our morning, or it’s that little pick-me-up that we rely on during our post-lunch afternoon slump. In the lead up to Christmas, the Prae HQ team decided to quit coffee, which is especially difficult because our favourite coffee source, Stable Coffee and Kitchen, is located downstairs from our office (and they do desk delivery!) We were commonly asked why we decided to do this, and there are a few reasons that influenced us - we all felt that we were too reliant on caffeine for energy, and we found that we had recently increased our daily coffee intake. Find out how long we lasted and how we dealt with the side effects...
Bec – Founder
Typical Coffee Habit: One small latte a day
Why I quit: I wanted to feel less stressed and anxious, and help my hormones and menstrual cycles.
How Long I Lasted: 30 days (aside from one slip up).
Week One: I suffered from bad headaches and I was very tired – I was just craving the ritual of having it every morning. I also found that I was really struggling with work. I had to substitute coffee for chai lattes to get me through the first week.
Week Two: I was feeling better by week two and stopped craving coffee around day 10.
Week Three: I was feeling more energised and less dehydrated. I had a 30th birthday on this weekend and was only really craving it the morning after when I was hungover, but I stayed strong.
Week Four: I was still feeling a lot better, more energised and clearer headed. I finally felt less stressed with less anxiety. I didn’t have that scattered and wired feeling. I slipped one day and had a small coffee because I was out socialising with friends and family.
After 30 days of no coffee, all in all I think I felt better from not having it and it really made me realise how addicted I was to it, and that it actually doesn’t give me energy. I felt more energised when I wasn’t drinking it from week 3. I felt less stressed and clearer headed at work.
I started drinking coffee again due to the nature of the busy Christmas period (stress and lack of sleep got the better of me). But since then, I have cut coffee out of my everyday routine and finding it much easier this time around.
Liv – Copywriter
Typical Coffee Habit: One small latte a day
Why I quit: I just wanted to see how my body would react and how long I could last without it.
How long I lasted: Two months and going strong!
How I feel: I didn’t keep track of my progress daily or weekly, as I felt really good after the first two days.
On day one and two I definitely felt really tired and I had bad headaches from the withdrawals, but I pushed through and only felt better after that. I was definitely hungrier, as I do a workout each morning and I feel like my morning coffee used to suppress my appetite.
It might seem crazy, but I don’t even miss coffee. Don’t get me wrong, when I go out for breakfast with my friends and they’re all drinking coffee I am tempted to have one, but I honestly just feel that the effects are so short lived, it’s not really worth having one. I’ve been substituting my usual one latte a day with a tea because I still crave a warm drink when I get to work. I also tried my first decaf latte after week three and it tasted exactly like real coffee, I even got a buzz from it. Overall, I’m feeling really good and I can’t see myself getting back into coffee, but never say never!
Luke – Founder
Typical Coffee Habit: Two-three long blacks a day
Why I quit: I do a coffee detox every year for 2-4 weeks when I feel like I’m drinking too much
How long I lasted: 3 weeks
Day One: I totally missed the ritual of it, otherwise I felt okay. Towards the end of the day I had a really heavy head and wished I had a coffee (or three!) Water just wasn’t cutting it.
Day Two: I was feeling less foggy and more relaxed, not craving coffee as much as yesterday. I tried to keep drinking lots of water and I had a chai latte so I was still getting some kind of fix.
Day Three: I had a really bad night sleep and was up from 3am. I definitely thought about coffee less throughout the day and felt clear minded.
Day Four: I drank some peppermint tea and had a couple of treats in the morning, as well as a block of chocolate in the afternoon. I definitely crave sweets more when I’m not drinking coffee! I felt less affected today and quite clear in the mind.
Day Five: My best day so far – I felt a lot clearer and calmer. I was still thinking about coffee, but way less than the first couple of days.
Overall, I felt awful for the first few days, but I realised that I probably don’t need coffee each day. I still love the taste of it and think I always will. I found that I was a lot hungrier – I usually just have a coffee for breakfast and fast until lunch, but I was having a full breakfast each day.
Kate – Operations
Typical Coffee Habit: One small coconut latte
Why I quit: I wanted to give my body a break and see how I felt without it. I also wanted to improve my hormones and stress levels
How long I lasted: 30 days
Day One: I woke up feeling optimistic and did an early workout. I was a little tired throughout the day, but kept having lots of water and also Beauty Chef’s Hydration.
Day Two: I had a really good sleep and slept in longer so I felt really well rested. I had a chai in the morning. I felt really good all day and a lot calmer and clearer. I had lots of energy at night which is unusual.
Day Three: I slept in until 7am and was a little tired when I was waking up, but felt fresh. I went and had breakfast at my local coffee spot, minus the coffee, but it still felt good to go as part of my morning routine and see familiar faces, without ordering coffee.
Day Four: I woke up early to teach my usual pilates class and was feeling pretty tired at first. I had a matcha in the morning and Beauty Chef Hydration. I was feeling tired by the end of the day, but a lot clearer and calmer overall.
Day Five: I had a matcha earlier in the morning and it left me feeling a bit jittery.
Weekend: I felt pretty good, but missed the ritual of a weekend morning coffee. I woke up feeling energised on Saturday and went for a morning walk, and got a turmeric latte. On Sunday I met a friend for a hot chocolate and then went for a massage at Comma – the self-care day definitely helped.
I felt really good throughout my month with no coffee.
I really didn’t notice much of a difference, but felt a little calmer and more relaxed. I had no withdrawal symptoms. I did miss the little energy hit and the ritual of having a coffee each day. I really enjoyed the alternatives of matcha and cacao, and also found that I focused on having a more nourishing and wholesome breakfast when I didn't have an alternative in the morning. I also liked the challenge of giving something up for a month and being able to stick to it. I’m back to having one coffee a day and I feel fine, but I’ve noticed that if I have more than one, I get a little shaky and more anxious. I’m aiming to just have one a day maximum, and some days none if I don’t feel like it. I don’t feel like I rely on it for energy, and I’m thinking that I will do a detox for a month or so next year, or every few months to give my body a little break.
Dani – Marketing
Typical Coffee Habit: One small oat milk latte in the morning and an occasional iced latte around 2pm after lunch for a pick-me-up
How long I lasted: 5 days
Day One: Once I got to work I couldn’t tell if I was super sleepy or super calm and by 11am the coffee cravings were lifting. I found that the post-lunch sleepies came on earlier than usual, but I also felt that I wasn’t as daunted by my long to-do list for the week, I felt calm. By the afternoon my eyes were heavy and I could have easily had a nap, which is not like me during the week. I started getting headaches – was that the start of the withdrawal process? I was well and truly tucked into bed by 8:30pm which was my earliest night in a long time. As soon as my head hit the pillow I was out like a light.
Day Two: I woke up and immediately went straight back to sleep for another 45 minutes. Once I got to work I had a slight headache, but felt calm and focused. Bec and Luke commented on how relaxed and zen I looked when they walked in. I felt quite relaxed with decision making throughout the day, and had a calm approach to big tasks. By 1pm the sugar cravings kicked in, which is earlier than usual, so I treated myself to a Loco Love chocolate and juice from Stable. By 3pm I was flagging majorly, the struggle was real! I went to bed early again and was fast asleep by 9pm.
Day Three: I had an easy wakeup at 4:45am with no alarm needed, and felt light on my feet. I went to boxing at 5:30am and it wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be without a coffee pre-workout, but by 7am I was majorly craving an iced latte. By 9am at work I felt really tired and heavy and the sugar cravings got worse throughout the day, I might have downed an entire block of chocolate... I went for a walk after work to keep my mind off coffee before dinner and then went to bed at 8pm and fell asleep instantly.
Day Four: I really needed coffee and had bad headaches by 9am, my sugar cravings were also out of control. By the afternoon I started to feel calm and was concentrating on my work more, and felt less headachey.
Day Five: I woke up at 5:30am and was feeling refreshed and ready for boxing. I started to feel sick by 7am, but I wasn’t sure if this was from boxing or coffee withdrawals. By 8:30am my eyes were heavy, my body was heavy and I really wanted an iced latte. I struggled for pretty much the whole day...
I've heard that the first week of giving up coffee is by far the hardest, and for someone who didn't think they'd struggle that much, I really found myself in a state of unrest come day 5, and was more than ready to reunite with my beloved beans. I did find that my quality of sleep had improved, however the struggle to string sentences together outweighed this benefit. All in all, I'm a better person with coffee in my life - though I hope to eventually muster up the courage to break the 5-day point and actually feel the benefits. Pinky swear!