BREAKING: I am giving up coffee for three months

By October 22, 2017 Lifestyle

By Brian Canty

I haven´t done a blog in a while and Lee´s mutterings and monologues are in danger of overwhelming the Eat Sleep Cycle website, so it´s my turn.

I started today with the notion of writing one so I opened up a blank document…but it stayed blank, the cursor blinking at me.

So I did what I always do when I need to get thoughts and ideas flowing; I rode. Correction. I drank a coffee and then I rode.

And not long into the ride, in time-honoured fashion, the thoughts came thick and fast until one consumed me: Coffee. I´m going off it. For three months, starting November 1st. 

I´ve been tempted to quit drinking it a few times over the years but I never succeeded, or really made a concerted effort to be honest.

Now, I want a fresh challenge and I want to do an experiment to see a) can I actually do it and b) will it actually improve my health and/or performance on a bike and in the office in any way.

When I got home from my ride I did some research and incredibly, I came across an article written on US publication OutsideOnline last month about a guy called Brendan Leonard who did similarly and the results were astonishing.

Some of those ´findings´included how he:

  • Functioned for 18-20 hours on three hours of sleep the previous night
  • Stayed awake for 42 hours (while in constant human-powered motion for 36 hours)
  • Drove a car for more than eight hours straight
  • Got out of bed at 1 a.m. to climb mountains and actually got to the summit
  • Stayed up until 2 a.m. editing video
  • Continued to write/create for a living
  • Still had insomnia induced by anxiety (dammit)
  • Ate three ounces of dark chocolate (an entire bar) almost every day, which gave me somewhere between 30 and 100 milligrams of caffeine every day

So I want in on this. I want to know will I have problems with dehydration during races and long training rides. I want to know will the headaches I get when I don´t have coffee for a day disappear when I just push through it, will I save money, will I achieve any of what Brendan achieved?

I want to race well next year, but not as much as I want to work long hours so Eat Sleep Cycle can become the best bike tour operator in Europe. Both are very achievable but one of the things I know will hinder this is how alert I am to make the necessary decisions.

I like a coffee boost as much as the next person but I like other things too and I know I can get caffeine elsewhere, like chocolate!

What will make this test even harder is the fact I can smell and hear the finest coffee being brewed in Girona from where I work.

Espresso Mafia and La Fabrica are two of the most popular places on this earth for cyclists looking for a caffeine fix, but from now on, it will be decaf for me.

So, I have 9 days of coffee drinking left until I wake up on November 1st. And I will not drink a coffee until March 1st. F***…..

I´m excited and a little nervous, exactly how one should be before big challenges!

I´ll keep you posted on how the mood swings go…

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