Breaking Free: Why and How I Kicked My Caffeine & Aspartame Habit


I admit it. I loved my early morning ritual of a cool glass of (Energy) Crystal Light, for the caffeine as much as for the flavor.

Every morning, for the past, at least 15 years, I have started my morning with a glass of Wild Strawberry Crystal Light – each glass containing 60 mg of caffeine (about 2/3’s of what a cup of coffee contains). To be completely transparent,  I admit to typically having 2 glasses every day over the past year. And even 3 on a few days.

I’m not a coffee drinker, except for a cup with so much syrup and whipped cream that you can barely taste the coffee. So, the zero-calorie Crystal Light was a good alternative for me and has been my go-to morning kick-starter for years. In addition to caffeine, it also has the artificial sweetener, Aspartame.

Over the past year, I’ve experienced increasing digestion issues.

I suspected that the caffeine and Aspartame were the culprit for my increased symptoms, but I really didn’t want to believe it.

I tried eliminating various foods, adding other foods, trying medications recommended by my doctor, and eliminating all but essential over-the-counter supplements. I just didn’t want to face the truth….I needed to stop my intake of caffeine and Aspartame.

Three weeks ago, I spent several hours reading about how caffeine and  Aspartame affect the body, my body especially. And it’s not good.

I finally decided to “just do it.” Stop drinking Crystal Light and avoid any products that contain caffeine and Aspartame.

I packed up all of my Crystal Light packs and got rid of them. I kept saying to myself, “This is poison for me.” That helped. 🙂

I started drinking plain water in the morning but did miss having a drink with flavor, which sent me on a search for something zero/low calorie, no caffeine, and no Aspartame. I won’t list every product I have tried, but it’s a long list.  I’ve pretty much settled on Poppi as a replacement drink when I feel the desire for something other than water. It’s flavorful and meets my other nutrition requirements.  (I remember seeing this product being pitched on Shark Tank back in 2018. How fun to see that they have become a super successful business.)

And here’s another funny thing… the more water I drank, the more I don’t really mind it.

It can be hard to break a habit, but once I accepted that my health was being impacted by my choices, breaking the habit became easier.

Do you have habits that you have broken? What made you take that step and break the habit?


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