I love a good “would you rather…?” question.
In fact my friends could vouch for the fact that I probably ask far too many of them.
Would you rather lose your arm or your leg?
Would you rather give up eating fruit or vegetables?
Would you rather have a crossfit or a yoga membership?
Out of all the “would you rather” questions I ask people, my all time favorite has to be, “Would you rather give up caffeine or alcohol?”
After carefully contemplating this question myself, I decided to conduct my own experiment to figure out if it would be more difficult for me to give up my morning flat white or to go without my weekend adult refreshments.
Generally, on a normal working week schedule, I drink one coffee most weekdays and two most weekends. I also drink approximately one or two standard drinks most Thursday nights and three or four standard drinks most Fridays and Saturdays.
Therefore my consumption of alcohol and caffeine on a “drinks per weeks” basis is fairly similar—about 10 of each per week.
I began my experiment at midday on Saturday the 11th of April, following a big Friday night on the red wines and a morning coffee to bring my brain up to speed.
I gave up both alcohol and caffeine at the same time.
I will admit, the first seven days were difficult, I felt more agitated, irritable and foggy compared to normal.
Despite following a strict mediation and yoga schedule, I definitely felt the physiological, psychological and social effects of giving up these two substances.
It isn’t easy drinking soda water and lime at a bar when all of my friends are drinking pints, and eating eggs and avocado at a café isn’t the same without the delicious cup of Jo accompanying the plate.
Day seven to 14 were a little easier.
I decided to start drinking fresh lemon and honey tea every morning and I invested a great deal of time combining superfoods such as chia seeds, goji berries, maca powder, blueberries, kale and cacao to provide me with all the energy I needed on a daily basis.
However on day 15 it all came crashing down.
I was out for an afternoon stroll when I made the mistake of walking past my favorite café, when the scent of the freshly ground coffee beans all of a sudden became too difficult to resist.
I decided that I couldn’t last a moment longer without a coffee, so I ordered a flat white and gulped it down in record pace.
I was satisfied that I had absolutely and undoubtedly answered my question.
It’s currently day 16 and I don’t feel the need to have a drink.
So, to answer my original question, “Would you rather give up caffeine or alcohol?”
It’s pretty clear for me that the answer is always going to be the booze.
Author: Stuart Bracecamp
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock