Say no to a cup of joe! A guide to decaffeinating

A coffee cup and a coffee mug
Xinyu Li/File

With midterms and projects galore, drinking coffee often becomes inevitable — work piles up and so does your caffeine consumption. Soon enough, your regular cup of joe is an addiction, and your brain doesn’t work unless you’ve chugged the bean-juice down before your first morning lecture. After a couple of weeks of habitual, regular slurping, fatigue makes its way back to you, and it’s like you’re not drinking any coffee at all.

Is this you, Golden Bear? Well, now that your midterms are over and your professors are (kind of) being merciful and giving you less homework, maybe it’s time to dial it down a little. Maybe it’s time for … a caffeine cleanse.

Now, before you run away screaming, this doesn’t have to mean completely avoiding any form of caffeine. If you do it right, decaffeinating for the rest of the semester can be helpful when finals loom, decreasing your tolerance so it’ll be effective again when you go back to hitting the java for dead week. You might even reset your sleep schedule!

The only question left is how to go about it. If you’re still allowed to drink caffeine, how does this decaffeination even work?

First off, quit (caffeinated) coffee. If you really need it, decaf can (sometimes) work. It’ll be painful, and you’ll definitely regret it at first, but it’ll be worth it. Having done this last semester, I struggled for the first week or so. I didn’t touch coffee but slept early and woke up with a reasonable amount of rest. After being sluggish while adjusting to this coffee-less life, I successfully reset my sleep schedule.

Aside from quitting coffee, you can pretty much do whatever you want. Tea is significantly weaker than coffee, so go ahead and get that boba or make yourself a relaxing green tea — everyone’s allowed a cheat day. To ensure it doesn’t interfere with your sleep, try to avoid it after 4 or 5 o’clock. Beyond that, knock yourself out. Just remember: no coffee, caffeine curfew is 4 p.m., and less is more — the less you drink, the more effective decaffeinating will be.

We at the Clog hope that the decaffeination works for you and that the rest of the semester breezes by. Keep going, Golden Bear! You’re almost there.

Contact Chandini Dialani at [email protected].