For most people who use the Daniel Fast for their method of fasting, giving up caffeine is the greatest challenge. The only beverage on the Daniel Fast is water (see Daniel 1:12). And since our bodies can become addicted to caffeine, not consuming it can cause painful and bothersome withdrawals.
I admit, this is my biggest “sacrifice” during the fast. I’m a Seattle-girl, the home of Starbucks. It’s almost our civic duty to consume mass quantities of coffee while we’re reading our books (we also are the home of Amazon) to keep the local economy going! So giving up coffee is a big one for me. But I do it . . . and tapering off the substance to avoid the withdrawals is a must.
The withdrawals can last up to seven days and actually can be debilitating. To avoid them, I strongly encourage you to taper off all forms of caffeine before you begin the Daniel Fast.
It’s best to take these steps over a week prior to your fast. Start by cutting back on caffeinated beverages and adding more decaf to your cup. Begin with 75 percent caffeinated and 25% decaf. Keep adding more and more decaf until you finally are only drinking decaf coffee, tea, or energy drinks.
At the same time, increase the amount of water you’re drinking, which will help you flush your system and aid the withdrawals. You want to get to the point that you’re drinking no tea, no coffee, no energy drinks, or consuming any caffeinated substances (i.e. chocolate). By the first day of your fast, you’re totally off the caffeine and you’ve avoided the debilitating headaches, leg cramps, fatigue, and other symptoms.
I like to drink a lot of hot water with lemon to start my day while I’m fasting. It’s a hot beverage for the cold days (tomorrow our low is 1 degree!) where I now live (about 100 miles east of Seattle).
So do yourself a favor! Taper off caffeine. Flush your system. And prepare your body for the Daniel Fast. You will be very happy you did!