November 18, 2015

Try Your Own Detox: Tips for Kicking Caffeine and Sugar

I spent two months detoxing from caffeine and sugar. It wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t always pretty, but the reasons I did it may sound familiar to you.  Here’s the scenario that played out at my house daily:

Each morning I would wake up groggy. I’d stumble downstairs and hit the “brew” button on the coffeemaker. The first cup was just to clear my brain fog, the second was to get me energized and out the door. The rest of the morning was fine, but by mid-afternoon I felt like a zombie again: no energy, feeling lethargic and in a haze.

I’d been riding the caffeine roller coaster for a long time, but it wasn’t just caffeine that I was using to perk me up out of my energy slumps. I also relied on sugar for quick, feel-good pick-me-ups too many times a day. I’d get a double shot latte with a little nibble of something sweet around 3 or 4 o’clock every afternoon not only for an energy jolt, but a little morale boost as well. Problem was, I was increasingly aware that these little pick-me-ups were becoming more and more necessary to get me through my day.

I started to realize that I was self-medicating with caffeine and sugar. They helped me manage my symptoms (low energy, lethargy), but at a high price (dependency, rebound headaches, high-calorie, nutrient-poor food choices).

I did some research on therapeutic, natural energizers and came up with this recipe for Metabolic Detox Tea. It’s loaded with ginger, turmeric and cayenne, so it’s got some kick to it. As for sugar, I allowed Stevia, honey and pure maple syrup in small amounts but weaned myself off of all refined sugars like white table sugar or powdered sugar. Honestly, I don’t even miss it! My new evening treat is a couple of Medjool dates with a half a pecan in the middle. So sweet, so fantastic!

The first few days were the toughest, especially with the caffeine withdrawal. But now I feel more in control, and my energy level is stable throughout the day. If there’s an energy crisis in your life, you may find it’s worth the time and effort to look for a natural solution.

Two quick bits of advice if you decide to try your own detox:

  • Be gentle with yourself. You may slip up. Shrug it off and get back on.
  • You will probably feel worse before you feel better.


Marilyn McKenna speaks publicly and writes about fitness and weight loss. After being morbidly obese for decades, Marilyn lost 120 lbs., transforming her body and her life. She now brings hope to others who are struggling with an approach that is both relative and real.

Marilyn is a guest blogger partnering with The Hartford to share her stories. All opinions are those of Marilyn and do not reflect the opinions of The Hartford. The Hartford does not endorse or have any association with the products and/or services referenced. Always consult your doctor before changing your diet or starting a new exercise regimen.

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