Your alarm sounds at 7 a.m.
You grunt, smash the snooze button, and turn over.
Ten minutes later, your alarm sounds again.
You smash snooze.
And repeat another five times.
Eventually, you reach for your phone with a sigh and scroll through social media.
An hour later, you drag your first foot out of bed, then the second, and somehow make it downstairs for your morning coffee.
You feel comforted as the hot liquid runs down your throat.
Soon your mind awakens.
Or does it?
You spend the next few hours trying to get through tasks while feeling exhausted. Your body doesn’t feel great. It’s like you’re carrying a heavy bag of sand.
A couple of hours later, you make your next coffee. You’re desperate for your next caffeine fix so you can briefly feel awake.
A couple of hours after your fix, you crash. Exhaustion overwhelms every part of you.
Day after day after day is the same.
This was my exact routine for far too long after my multiple sclerosis diagnosis.
After making a straightforward switch, my life is very different. My body feels so much better. I’m less tingly, I have less pain, I’m a lot less stressed, and I have fewer headaches.
Want to know what the change was?
I got all these results by switching to decaf tea and coffee.
Don’t get me wrong, I hated it at first. So many other things contain caffeine, such as soda and chocolate.
“Coffee is the only thing that clears my brain fog!” I used to say.
As time went on, though, decaf became a great substitute. I still get the comforting feeling of having a morning coffee, but it feels so much better on my body.
Evidence suggests coffee is associated with a lower risk of MS because of the caffeine. However, if I drank four to six cups of coffee a day, I would not feel well at all. I’d be shaking, weak, tingling, stressed, and exhausted.
My mind feels so much clearer, and I’m a lot less stressed from drinking decaf. Yes, my brain fog still exists, but I feel slightly more awake when I have decaf because of my brain’s association with coffee. My brain fog never wholly went away with caffeine, anyway.
Now I have caffeine once in a blue moon, and it feels weird.
It’s important to note there are still small amounts of caffeine in decaf tea and coffee. If you want to cut it out completely, opt for herbal teas, such as peppermint.
I’ve now switched to mainly peppermint tea, which I never thought I’d do! I also track with my book how much water I’m drinking each day. It feels great to be in control of these things.
Psychologists say you’ll only change your actions when your beliefs and values align with that action. In other words, you have to want to make a change for a habit to stick.
What are your thoughts about caffeine? Please share in the comments below.
Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.
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