For the overwhelming majority of developers, caffeine can be seen as a staple in your life, one of the cornerstones in your diet and the same could’ve been said about me. While I consider myself on the higher point of caffeine consumption, I do love my coffee from time to time. But at times it got a bit too much.
I had a cup when I woke up, another around 9am, 11 am and 2 pm when my energy inevitably started to slump, one more before gym and a few sprinkled in between when I was bored, thirsty or just wanted another... You know?
I sometimes even found myself saying things like: “Okay... Let me have a cup of coffee and then I can get started with the work!”. Oh boy...
While caffeine may have a lot of benefits, if not used in moderation there comes a point when it can be detrimental to you health and productivity. And since I’m someone who generally deals in the extremes, I decided to cut out caffeine completely!
Don’t get me wrong, the first few days sucked! I felt groggy and drained in the first few days, and even developed a headache... But once you get passed all the withdrawal, the grass is mostly greener on the other side.
Here a few benefits I’ve been experiencing.
Consistent Energy Levels
While I don’t feel as hyper as I would when I have caffeine in my system, I find that from the moment I wake up until my bed time, I always have the energy and focus to do what is demanded from me. I don’t experience any crashes or slumps, which results in more overall focus.
A Clearer Mind
I feel more clear and focused when there is a task ahead of me. I also haven’t experienced the cycle of stress and anxiety I usually go through when a deadline is peaking at me from the cracks in the floor.
My stress levels and mood has greatly improved for the most part. This is because caffeine increases the amount of cortisol you produce, which is responsible generating the fight-or-flight response.
Way Better Sleep
Sleep is a developer’s super power. There’s a lot of evidence that shows an increase in performance with tasks that demand a lot of cognitive energy (brain power).
Removing caffeine has not only made me fall asleep faster, but has also improved my overall quality of sleep as I’ve found that I feel well rested the next morning. This has really improved my work rate and ability.
While I certainly miss the taste of a cappuccino and want that rush you get after the espresso kicks in, drinking less of caffeine has actually had a super positive impact on my life. Hopefully you try it and see if it works for you. Would be keen to know what your relationship with caffeine is.
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