collagen peptides

What happened when I quit coffee for 45 days

The Why

The ultimate irony, writing about giving up coffee whilst drinking this beaut of a latte.

The ultimate irony, writing about giving up coffee whilst drinking this beaut of a latte.

First, let me be 100% clear- I am not anti-coffee. In fact, by the end of this post you will realize I am in love with coffee. Actually, almost all of this post, written over the course of several days, was written under the influence of coffee. 

So why did I quit it? Well, it all started when a friend got confused and thought I was giving up coffee for lent. I had a bit of a severe reaction. It went something like, "H*ll no, I'm never giving up coffee!" And in my head I began the process of rationalizing all of the reasons I did not need to give up coffee: 

  • "But I only have a couple cups a day."
  • "I'm not addicted! Why give it up?"
  • "It's actually healthy in the amount that I drink it! I need the anti-oxidants." 
  • "It will affect my productivity – it's not good for business."

Somewhere around "I'm not addicted," I realized it was something I needed to do. I was too emotionally invested in coffee. 


    The Experience

    To replace coffee I alternated between drinking matcha and black tea. The deets:

    • I used Vital Proteins Matcha Collagen*. Sometimes I made a Bulletproof version, adding Brain Octane Oil and unsweetened almond milk. But most of the time I just added a bit of raw honey to eliminate the bitterness. If you want more information on collagen, I wrote a post about it a few months ago. 
    • I used a variety of brands of black tea depending of where I was. I mostly drank English Breakfast. Sometimes Earl Grey. Sometimes Chai. Always with unsweetened vanilla almond milk. Never any added sugar. 
    To be fair had to show my strong and worthy subs! Vital Proteins Matcha Collagen above

    To be fair had to show my strong and worthy subs! Vital Proteins Matcha Collagen above

    In London, mostly stuck with English Breakfast, for breakfast. :) 

    In London, mostly stuck with English Breakfast, for breakfast. :) 

    I did enjoy the flavor and taste of both options. They were warming, and gave me a dose of caffeine to start my day. It definitely helped with the morning ritual component for sure. 

    Despite having good substitutes on hand, the first day was rough. Physically, I did not have as much energy as usual. Mentally, it was challenging. It was harder getting up in the morning without my morning cuppa to look forward to. 

    After the first day, I didn't notice a difference in my energy levels. This is probably because I was still getting my caffeine, just in lower doses. My body adjusted quickly to the lower amount of caffeine. I also think it's possible that I was not physically addicted to the caffeine, but emotionally. 

    Caffeine Average Per 8oz Serving

    Note: these can vary significantly depending on brew style, length, etc. I took the averages. Also, most people consume more than 8oz. My everyday brew before this experience was drip coffee. I alternated between Vital Proteins Matcha Collagen and Black Tea during this 45 day period.

    What I did notice was that I truly felt like a less happy person. FOR ALMOST THE ENTIRE TIME. It was very noticeable. I didn't quite have the "joie de vivre" that I typically experience in my day to day life. Apparently, I source great amounts of joy from my coffee in the morning. You would think that having a warm cup of tea in the morning would replace the ritual, but for me, it wasn't enough. I proceeded with my life. I did my work. I continued with my social commitments, but I found I did it all without any pep in my step. It was fine, but I missed my upbeat self. 

    This led me to do some research- is there actually a correlation between coffee and mood? Well, some studies say yes! The findings of one study show an association between coffee and mood — researchers know that caffeine works by binding to receptors for brain chemicals associated with mood. This particular study even determined that 2-4 cups of coffee a day lowered risk in women for depression. A good summary article is here if you would like more information.  Bottom line: I was not imagining a decrease in my mood, cuz science. 


    Reincorporating Coffee

    My First Cup... A Cheat Day

    Isn't she a beaut? This was my bday latte. #bliss

    Isn't she a beaut? This was my bday latte. #bliss

    My birthday is always during lent, so I always grant myself dispensation from lenten resolutions on that day. I was staying in a lovely hotel in London, with a fabulous cafe. Every day I smelled the delicious scent of roasted beans, and on the morning of my birthday I was able to enjoy my very own almond milk latte. It was sheer perfection. The coffee was sublime. Have you ever heard of the "point of diminishing return"? It basically is a concept that says after the first bite or sip of something, generally speaking, enjoyment of whatever it is goes down dramatically. I can tell you with 100% confidence that every sip of that latte brought me LIFE. I loved every second of it. But I kept it to one cup for the day and that was perfect. 

    Any side effects? I definitely had a bit of a caffeine high. But no jitters, or tenseness. No anxiety. No stomach troubles. I knew I had a strong constitution for coffee, but I did think I would experience some adverse reaction after being off it for so long (this was day 34). I was pumped there wasn't! 

    Day 45

    I went back on coffee at Easter (Holy Saturday when lent is over actually), and it was in the midst of chaos. I was helping my mom prepare for 30 guests, AND we were cooking (love my large Italian clan!). I ended up drinking A LOT of coffee. I'm not even sure how many cups because we kept pouring into unfinished cups.  I fully admit this was not the best idea after being off it for so long. 

    I could definitely feel the effects. I was tense, a bit on edge, and had a stomach ache. I 100% overdid it. It was good reality check for me. While coffee is wonderful in moderation – that doesn't mean to drink bottomless cups.  After the first day of overdoing it, I have tried to go back to my one cup in the morning, sometimes venturing for a second. I haven't experienced the negative side effects since.  

    Another noticeable difference in myself is that my palate has become more discerning. While before this experiment I was coffee "snobbish," I used to be able to get away with buying a big tub of beans at Trader Joe's. Right now, it is not doing it for me. I'm really into a more robust roast like Intelligentsia or Dark Matter.

    My mood has returned to it's normal sunny disposition. :) For the record, it's fine to not feel happy all of the time, but my normal self is set on default to "upbeat". While I have learned this is definitely partially induced by my coffee consumption, I didn't care for the "new normal" I was experiencing.

    I clearly have not broken my emotional attachment to those lovely beans, but I do know I can exist in a life without coffee. :)


    An unbiased bit of education

    While this post is about my own personal experience, I want to make sure that y'all know about all the awesome benefits coffee can bring, and the drawbacks. There are quite a few reasons to drink coffee, and quite a few reasons not to. Every person is different and can process coffee and caffeine differently. While I often sound like a coffee spokesperson, I really want you to do what feels right for your body. Have a read below to decide if you want caffeine as a part of your routine – and as always, listen to your body! 

    Caffeine Health Benefits coffee elimination
    Caffeine Health Hindrances coffee
    caffeine benefits and negative side effects references

    My Key Takeaways

    I'm happy to be reunited with my first true love. <3

    I'm happy to be reunited with my first true love. <3

    I know relying on any substance for happiness is not healthy. While 45 days without coffee did not seem to break my emotional tie with it, I do know that the world will not end if I ever decide we need some time apart. While I won't be giving up coffee permanently, I will definitely try to change things up every once in a while. I've learned my lesson, 2 cups a day is my limit! And I will definitely will keep my matcha and black tea in the rotation!

    Do you drink coffee? Have you ever tried giving it up? I would love to hear if you had a similar experience. Leave a comment below or tell me on the 'gram! 

    Bottoms Up! 


      *Vital Proteins provided the Matcha Collagen. If you purchase through the links in the post, I will earn a commission at no cost to you. But to be clear, this post was not paid for by Vital Proteins and my opinions are all my own. 

      So what's up with collagen?

      If you have followed any wellness gurus or influencers at all for at least the past 6 months, you will know that drinking collagen has been a hot topic. I woke up one day and the only thing I saw was collagen, everywhere! On my insta feed, every wellness 'grammer was posting about it. I went to the Cubs game, they were sponsored by Vital Proteins. An athlete friend of mine was all of a suddenly repping them. I couldn't escape! 

      Then I began to think, "Is this stuff magical? Could it change my life? Is this something brides should be into? Eh, probs just an excellent marketing team." Either way, it was worth trying. 

      So what is collagen? Why should we drink it? What are the supposed benefits? It seems like there are a million products out there, which one do I try? Where does it come from? I'll try to catch you up on my learnings. 

      What is collagen and why should i take it? 

      Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. Why take it? Because the intake of collagen ensures the cohesion, elasticity and regeneration of skin, hair, tendon, cartilage, bones and joints. It has been proven to: 

      1. Promote younger looking skin
      2. Improve skin moisture level and suppleness
      3. Improve skin smoothness
      4. Prevent the formation of deep wrinkles
      5. Help protect connective tissues & restore muscles
      6. Replenish moisture levels in hair
      7. Support nail growth
      8. Aid in gut health (digestion, healing the gut lining, and more!)

      Um, this stuff is sounding very intriguing to me. As I turned 30 this year, I have become a bit obsessed with my skin. This is honestly my primary motivation in trying collagen. Is this going to make me glow? I'm also super into the gut health perks. 

      Which product to try and where it comes from

      I decided to try Vital Proteins. They seem to be the industry front runner (and from Chi! holla!)  and while also being up to my animal product standards. They are sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised bovine hides from Brazil. The pasture size for each animal is one animal per 2.67 acres which is in alignment with the Global Animal Partnership 5-step animal welfare rating standards.

      I try to make my life easier not harder- the product fit the specs on my first try- I didn't see the need to keep searching. There are definitely other collagens out there, but I have not tried them, so cannot speak to their qualities. I'm sure there are a lot of other great options and would love to hear about any other brands you have tried! 

      My personal experience

      I ended up buying the 10oz canister of Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides to test it out. The canister lasted me about a month. I put one scoop in my coffee every day. Technically, the serving is two scoops, but one seemed enough initially. I tend to slowly work my way to the full amounts suggested. It dissolves beautifully into warm liquid. You can mix it in hot, cold, or even put it in sauces or baked goods. I haven't tried anything but my coffee.

      I have a really hard time eating immediately when I wake up, and it's a really easy way to get my first dose of protein in before I even eat breakfast. When I ran out, I actually missed it in my coffee. For an addition that is flavorless, I was a bit perplexed by that observation. I think it just added a more satiating component by adding protein with the coffee. Maybe I should try bulletproof coffee next?  

      My nails and hair are growing awkwardly fast. I've always had really strong nails, but I'm actually having to cut them all the time. My hair is the same (the ROOTS! :() My skin has been looking really good, and dare I say, "supple"?  (Sans an awful stress pimple on my left cheek of course.) Did I achieve a "glow"? Eh, I'm going to say that is a stretch. Did I notice a change in my digestive health? Not really. Overall though, I could see and feel a difference. 

      So who knows, is it placebo? Could be. Did I miss taking it when I ran out? Yeah, I did. Would I say I recommend it? Yep, I would. 

      In fact, because I liked taking it so much, I decided to become an affiliate for Vital Proteins. That means that if you click on any of the links (affiliate links) in this post, at no cost to you, I will earn commission if you click through and make a purchase. But to be clear, this review was not paid for by Vital Proteins and my opinions are all my own. 


      I'm really into the idea of collagen. My skin obsession is just getting worse with age, and I like being able to fight the aging process from the inside out. I personally noticed improvements to my skin, nails, and hair. It is an easy addition to my routine without any fuss. I would give it a 9/10. It would get a 10/10 if it was slightly more economically accessible. 

      I've only tried the original collagen peptides but I'm really excited about trying the matcha and the creamers. What do you guys think? Will you give it a shot?  I would love to hear what you think of it! Leave me a note in the comments or on insta!

      To learn more or to buy click here.

      Other thoughts

      When doing Shed I encourage plant based protein powders. Why are collagen peptides okay and other non plant-based protein powders aren't #shedapproved? 

      I encourage plant-based proteins because the more we source our foods from plants, the better we all will be. That being said, I am not currently a vegan. My body does not thrive when I eat exclusively plant-based foods. Also, one of the more common form of protein powders is whey protein. I do not encourage taking whey protein because whey is a form of dairy and dairy causes inflammation in the body. While collagen peptides are definitively animal products- they are not dairy.