Why I Gave Up Coffee…My Struggle with Adrenal Fatigue

I gave up coffee on All Saints Day (Nov 1) 2011 because I struggled with adrenal fatigue.

I’m already a pretty hyperactive and busy guy. Coffee pushes me over the edge in a bad way.

Graduate School + Large Family + Coffee = Disaster

From 2007 to 2011, I was a full time PhD student, we had 4 children, then 5 children, then 6 children, and I was working full time as a teacher and sometimes adjunct college instructor at the University of Dallas. Those were difficult days.

I was pretty tuckered out!

Coffee kept me going. By 2011, I was up to about 8-10 cups per day. If coffee were crack-rock, I had become a crack-daddy.

In 2011 I was trying to finish up my PhD dissertation. That was the hardest year of my life.

Adrenal Fatigue and Coffee

I was physically fatigued and Joy forced me to see our family physician. The doctor wasn’t happy with what he saw, and he diagnosed me with many problems, but one problem was adrenal fatigue. All that work and all the caffeine had taken its toll on my body.

By the way, here are the common symptoms of adrenal fatigue. Is this you?

  1. black under your eyes
  2. can’t wake up in morning (even with caffeine)
  3. exhausted after work out or exercise
  4. puffy
  5. sore in joints, neck
  6. gut problems
  7. feel overwhelmed by daily tasks that once were not so daunting
  8. irritable

I didn’t have all those symptoms of adrenal fatigue, but I was close. The physician said, “Taylor, you have adrenal fatigue. No more coffee. It’s over. No more.”

So I gave up coffee for good

During the first week of withdrawal, the doctor said I should only drink one cup per day for the first week and then none after that. I drank only one cup per day and it devastated me. I was sick and irritable from the withdraw. I felt like I had the flu. I was an enraged Bruce Banner with extra gamma rays.

hulk smash

Hulk smash!

During week 2 of withdrawal, I just felt tired all day. During week 3 of withdrawal, I felt like a new man!

Sleeping like a baby: caffeine free

My life became so much better after I quit the coffee. I slept better than I had in months, maybe even years. I woke up more chipper and ready to go. I had more energy into the afternoons. It was great.

The doctor was right, I had adrenal fatigue and the caffeine was literally killing me. I’ve been coffee free since 2011 – although I had one cup of coffee once at 3am during a hog hunt because I needed to stay awake. That’s the only time I’ve fallen off the wagon since then.

Green Tea and Water: my new beverages

My physician recommended that I drink only one cup of green tea in the morning. There’s caffeine in green tea, but not very much. I usually have my green tea in the morning and when I miss it while traveling or whatever, I don’t notice it. There’s no addiction.

Also, lots of water. I believe drinking lots of water is one of the keys to happiness!

Score Mystic Monk Green Tea!

After years of seeing Mystic Monk coffee on Father Z’s blog, I just discovered that Mystic Monk makes green tea! Aha! I just ordered some and I’ll let you know how it is.

mystic green tea

I also bought this doubled-handed Mystic Monk mug because…well it just looks so awesome!



And if you’re still a coffee lover (my wife Joy loves her morning French Press), you can support these legit Carmelite monks by getting some of their Mystic Monk coffee here.

Question: How much caffeine (tea, soda, coffee) do you drink? Is it a help or hindrance? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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