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Muscle Maven – 25 October 2015

Damian 'The Muscle Maven' Murray (photo by snhfoto)

This week I decided to give up caffeine. It is something I have wanted to do for a while. I had tapered down the amount of drinks I have that contain caffeine to 2 cups of tea and one coffee a day (and have been drinking decaf coffee for a while). Finally decided on Tuesday that Wednesday would be the first day I went caffeine free. Wow. I was not prepared for just how s**t I would feel. Probably not the best idea to start on a day when I was attending a training course (I work in IT so a dull training course) but I stuck with it. The best way to explain how I felt was a slight ‘detachment’ to the World. Tired, bizarre headache – typical ‘come down’ feelings. However after a couple of days I felt normal again. Here I am nearly a week later and do i see any immediate benefits? Not really. So why have I done it?

I had got to the stage where I could have a strong coffee in the evening and still goto bed and goto sleep. This is not good. This is an indication of an overworked adrenal system. I could link to various studies to prove me point and at the same time you could Google to find studies to disprove it. Therefore I find it better to simply talk about how caffeine has been affecting me (or not as the case may be). There was a time when I would have a coffee, perhaps some caffeine tablets or pre-workout ad I would feel wired, alert. As time has gone on and I have abused stimulants more and more I had found that I got next to no benefit from them. Coffee no longer made me feel awake. A coffee before a workout didn’t make me any more focused – in fact I started to feel tired after a drink that contained caffeine.

This started to concern me. You should feel alert after a coffee. It should make you focused. You certainly should not be able to go to sleep after a coffee containing 4 espresso’s! I was worried about what effect this substance has had on my body over the years and what problems it could potentially cause further down the line if I continue to abuse it with chronic levels of over-consumption.

I also want those feelings back. I want to have a caffeinated drink and feel that ‘buzz’. Go into a workout with that extra ‘push’ that you can get. The fact that I felt dreadful when I knocked it on the head also confirms the dependence my body had on it. I have to admit I have certainly been able to get to sleep quicker and I also feel as though I am getting a better quality of sleep. In a few weeks I will try a coffee before a workout (might as well control the stress I put my body under to a ‘window’ of time) to see how I feel.

Perhaps you should question your own consumption. Is it because you want it or because you need it. If you can’t get going in the morning until you have had a cup of coffee (or any caffeinated drink) I would question why…

Pact Coffee

I have been getting my coffee from Pact Coffee for some time. Their coffee is great and they do fantastic decaf (organic, swiss filtered). Give them a go. You get your first bag for a pound and it is very simple to manage your account or cancel at anytime. Disclaimer – I also get cheap coffee if you use the link. If you are not happy with this then please feel free to go direct to their website.

Meat Man

We all know that everyone in fitness loves a chicken breast. Probably with rice and broccoli! Go to The Meat Man and get 5KG for £19.99.

Genetic Supplements

Genetic Supplements have an extensive array of very well designed supplements… however they currently have a sale on biltong – get 200g for £6.30 (just over £1.50 per 50G).

Damian Murray - Author