Author Topic: Quitting Coffee?  (Read 12180 times)

JackieTreehorn

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Quitting Coffee?
« on: August 02, 2016, 07:54:22 AM »
There are things I love about coffee...the taste, the little caffeine jolt, the ritual my wife and I have of drinking it in the morning, etc.  I have also done a few quick google searches that indicate the health benefits are a net positive.  Who knows if that's true, but makes me feel a little better about my habit.  I currently drink about 2-3 cups per day.

On the downside, I don't love the feeling an hour or so after I'm done with my morning cups.  I kinda feel like it messes with my energy levels or something and I feel groggy around noon time or after lunch in the afternoon.  I also think it contributes to the mild acid reflux that I have (a long with the fact that I probably drink a little too much alcohol and need to work on my diet).  It is a mild addition to our household budget as well, probably around $2/day or so since we mostly make and drink it at home.

Anyway, I think I want to quit. Despite the fact that my love for it probably outweighs the negatives, I believe it will be better for me in the long term.  It won't be easy since my wife has no plans to quit and has told me I'll be on my own on this one.  Anyone out there quit?  Were they happy they did it?  How difficult was it?  Similar situation to me where their spouse had no intentions of quitting?

Thanks!

rubybeth

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2016, 08:31:21 AM »
My husband has given up coffee twice now for Lent (40 days). He doesn't give up caffeine, so he drinks tea or sometimes soda (we rarely buy soda), or if we go out to a coffee shop during that time, he gets a chai tea latte or something similar. The first week has historically been the most rough, but he notices a significant change in himself after that. His ability to concentrate and focus is different when off of coffee. He sleeps better when he's off of it, too. I still brew a pot for myself in the morning, and he just ignores it and makes himself a cup of tea (or has iced tea from the fridge).

I think it's definitely worthwhile to attempt to give it up, at least for a month or so.

Roland of Gilead

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2016, 08:37:56 AM »
Sorry but that is just stupid talk :-)

When and if I am 90 and in the hospital, the IV better have a coffee drip.

abhe8

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2016, 09:02:13 AM »
How about slowly switching to decaff? It has 5% the caffeine if regular coffee. It's my understanding the health benefits are not from the caffeine itself, while the side effects usually are.

JackieTreehorn

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2016, 09:08:11 AM »
Yeah currently doing Half and Half, regular and decaf.  I guess I could try transitioning to 100% decaf at some point.

swick

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2016, 09:11:07 AM »
What are you putting IN your coffee? It might be sugar that is causing your dips in energy. Also as far as the acid reflux, it is worth trying different types and strengths of coffee, and how you prepare it. They are not all the same.

That being said, quitting is good too. I have done so myself - multiple times ;)

I usually end up going back to it though, I appreciate the little caffine jolt and I don't use sugar and keep it to one cup a day. The bonus is if you are drinking less you can splurge on a slightly higher quality coffee.

snogirl

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2016, 09:14:26 AM »
Back 35 years ago when I was spry, young 20 year old I quit coffee.
I felt pretty good.  But then again, I was a young, spry 20 year old.
Now I absolutely love to drink good coffee and have a friend who does small roast batches.
His decaf is divine though I like the caffeine versions too.
I never buy corporate brands of coffee, ie. starbuckies, DD, though will do Tim Horton's when in PQ.
One or maybe two cups a day.
The half / half route is good way.
Since I do not drink, smoke, have TV, the internet at home, indulge in soft drinks etc. coffee is my luxury.
So good luck in your quest especially if it makes you feel better.

neo von retorch

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2016, 09:19:22 AM »
I've struggled with this question off and on. Right now, K-cups are free to consume at work, and I usually have 3 cups, sometimes 4. At my last job, you paid $0.50 for k-cups, and I would almost never use those - I started using my AeroPress and thermos every single day, and I was essentially limited to 16 oz. I'd drink 8 o'clock original, fresh ground in the morning. Good stuff. I think this K-cup stuff is definitely worse for brain fog. (Aside: I put nothing in my coffee. You heathens!)

I think about quitting sometimes, but then I think about my Saturday mornings on our deck, overlooking the back yard, sipping Italian Espresso with my wife. Could I give it up during the week, and just have my occasional delight? I just don't know...

JackieTreehorn

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2016, 09:20:25 AM »
I do put either whole milk or half and half in my coffee but no sugar.  Once in a great while I'll do an iced coffee with milk and sugar, but never sugar in hot coffee as I think it tastes gross.

Our go-to beans are the Costco (French roast maybe? or dark roast? I forget) brand as it's just so much cheaper to buy it in bulk and I think it tastes pretty good.  We prepare it American Filter style, typically, although my wife does have a fancy pants Saeco machine that we use once in a while for single cup servings.  Not exactly sure how that is prepared as it's done internally in the machine, but it does taste somewhat different.


south of 61

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2016, 09:29:58 AM »
I quit for a year in my mid-twenties. I can still vividly remember the headaches the first few days - they were so brutal, but once I got through that I felt better. I found a real (unexpected) difficulty was the 'social' aspect of coffee - I had a lot of meetings with clients in coffee shops - or meetups with friends - and felt oddly left out when they were all enjoying a coffee (maybe how a non-drinker feels in a bar). I quit because I realized that I was addicted (sure it was only a  cup a day but I didn't like that it 'controlled' me) and I wanted to prove that I could control it.

More recently I gave up for 2 years in my 30s (pregnant/nursing). Now that I have a toddler, I'm back to my one-cup a day (sometimes on the weekends I'll have two cups). Maybe when the kid's in college I'll be ready to give up again!



Rubic

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2016, 09:30:37 AM »
Only tangentially related to your question, but I thought I'd share ...

When I was ultracycling (distances of 400K - 1200K) I would typically begin the year by removing all the caffeine out of my diet -- no coffee, tea, sodas, or even a number of food products of which caffeine is slowly creeping into the ingredients.  It was important to flush all the caffeine out of my system, so when I really needed it to ride through the night, it would be effective.  Otherwise, for a normal coffee drinker, a double espresso at 10:00 pm has very little effect.  After my big ride, usually a 1200K in July or August, I would resume my normal coffee habit.

For some people it's necessary to slowly wean themselves from caffeine or they develop headaches, but aside from a day or two of feeling lethargic, I've never had a problem going cold turkey.

When I'm completely weaned off caffeine, even half a can of Coca-cola -- which I rarely drink -- is enough to keep me wired until the sun rises.  When riding the ultras, I found caffeinated chewing gum to be a quick and easy delivery system.

AlwaysLearningToSave

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2016, 09:50:46 AM »
My advice is to figure out what part of your coffee habit you desire and then figure out a non-coffee way to satisfy that desire. 

I used to drink 3 - 5 cups a day.  Then a few years ago I got a case of the stomach flu and was laid up for a few days.  I didn't feel like I could handle coffee so I didn't drink it-- which resulted in me going through caffeine withdrawal on top of my stomach flu symptoms.  It sucked and I began to think, why do I do this to myself?  It can't be good for me to be dependent on a drug that makes me feel that bad when I don't get my fix.  After a few days, though, I was over the worst of the withdrawal symptoms.  The timing of this ordeal happened to coincide with the beginning of Lent, so I decided to make no coffee a Lenten commitment. 

It felt good to abstain from coffee.  My head felt clearer, I felt like I had a more consistent energy level and ability to focus, and I enjoyed not having to play the balancing act of needing more caffeine only to end up with jitters and needing to eat something to tone it back down.  I also figure it was better for my oral hygiene.  But I missed coffee.  I missed having a hot drink and I missed the aroma and taste of coffee.  My wife missed having coffee with me. 

Since then I have settled on a one small cup a day routine, which I like.  I get to enjoy the taste and get a small caffeine kick, but nothing that causes me withdrawal symptoms if I miss my morning cup.  It's not enough to cause me jitters unless I drink it and go all morning without eating.  During the winters I will find that I sometimes have an urge to get a second cup but I realized that-- at least for me-- the urge to get a second cup of coffee actually often isn't a desire for coffee but a desire for a hot drink.  My desire for the flavor and aroma has already been satisfied by the first cup.  So I learned to satisfy that desire in non-coffee ways.  Sometimes I'll get a cup of tea (preferably non-caffeinated), a cup of hot cocoa, or just a plain cup of hot water from the hot water spigot on the side of the office's coffee machine.  If it is cold/flu season, sometimes I'll mix Airborne or Emergen-C in a cup of hot water.  I've actually come to enjoy the plain cup of hot water the most because it is just pure water with no added calories, teeth-staining ingredients, artificial sweeteners, caffeine or anything.  And I can satisfy the social desire to "have coffee" with someone while drinking any hot beverage. 
« Last Edit: August 02, 2016, 09:57:50 AM by AlwaysLearningToSave »

little_brown_dog

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2016, 10:02:09 AM »
Tea!

I am a huge tea lover. It is also very healthy and has the same comforts of coffee but with less caffeine. You can get bold black teas with more flavor if you prefer a stronger taste. You can make your own spice brews like chai at home too. Tea is the 2nd most popular beverage in the world after water for a reason :)

When your wife has her coffee, you can have your tea. The lower caffeine dose means you can enjoy multiple cups of it throughout the day without going into a buzzy overload. I think simply replacing coffee with tea, while leaving everything else the same, will probably make the transition easier.

JackieTreehorn

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2016, 10:04:29 AM »
Yeah I think a lot of commenters have touched on another issue I forgot to mention which is the control issue.  I don't love the idea of being addicted to something, even if it's somewhat benign which I think coffee is.  I don't like having to think "how am I gonna get my coffee" when we stay with someone who is a non-coffee drinker.  It feels like less like a want and more like a need, which I don't like.  Another thing I don't like about it is how it makes me have to pee.  There are those situations where you know bathroom access is going to be minimal (usually when traveling somewhere) and you have to choose between skipping coffee or having a potentially uncomfortable situation an hour later. 

Good point about the oral hygiene as well I'm sure I don't have amazing breath right now as I sip my third cup (this one's 100% decaf, thanks to this thread).

ChairmanKaga

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2016, 10:11:56 AM »
My wife had acid reflux from coffee until we switched to cold brewed.
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2009/08/18/coffees-dirty-little-secret.html

I bought a Toddy kit from Amazon and make my own using whole beans from Costco, but you can also get ready-made concentrated cold brew. Store a week's worth in a carafe in the fridge, add boiling water to a few ounces, and you're good to go. I should add it's also a MAJOR time saver in the morning.

It's also easy to modify the strength of the coffee just by using less coffee concentrate, adding more water, or even ice. I've also found I like the taste of plain black cold brew as-is, so no need to add sweetener or milk. It's noticeably smoother, less bitter, and less acidic than drip coffee.

The caffeine concentration is higher in cold brew, however, although again you can dilute the coffee base a bit to match your metabolism.

Syonpsis: Try cold brew coffee and see if it helps.

TreeTired

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2016, 10:41:41 AM »
Back in April we switched to 2 scoops regular,  3 scoops decaf, and it has made a huge difference in my life!  I have had occasional rapid heartbeats my entire life, and the symptoms have been getting more frequent as I age.  This switch has reduced the incidence dramatically, and when I do get the rapid heartbeats I revert to normal much quicker. 

We try to buy the Starbucks 12 oz bags on sale, recently they have been $5.99  which works out to $7.99/lb! pretty cheap for Starbucks. 

lizzzi

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2016, 10:51:51 AM »
I drink one cup of regular coffee every morning (Aldi's French Vanilla usually), and add one tablespoon of Half and Half. Enjoy it, not addicted to it, just a simple pleasure. Made in a Mr. Coffee, nothing fancy. In the afternoon sometime between 3:30 and 4, I'll have a cup of black tea with some whole milk in it--enjoy Barry's Gold Blend or Yorkshire Gold, but I've found that Tetley's Classic blend (think they used to call it "British blend") is fine, and  easier to access in the grocery--don't have to order from 'Zon.

If I'm a houseguest somewhere where I think they may not be coffee or tea drinkers, I'll usually take a couple tea bags or those coffee singles that look like tea bags, except they are coffee. A small jar of instant coffee might be useful, too--hey, sometimes we have to operate under field conditions. Some of my relatives only drink decaf, but have a coffeemaker. In that case, I would just take my bag of Aldi regular coffee and brew a cup or two for myself or other visitors who are not such purists.

Another loose rule of thumb that I use: If in America, drink the coffee. If in the U.K. or Ireland, drink the tea.

Fishindude

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2016, 10:59:53 AM »
Sheesh !    This is coffee, not a heroin addiction.

If you like the stuff, drink it. 
It's not like coffee is a horribly expensive or harmful product.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #18 on: August 02, 2016, 12:16:52 PM »
And for the acid reflux, have you tried going really low carb for a week, just out see what happens?  I went low-carb for other reasons (consistent high blood sugar) and found my GERD disappeared.  I had been taking Nexium for years, now it is years since I stopped taking it.  Acid reflux lessening or disappearing is a common side benefit of cutting out sugar and nutrient-poor starches. 

I still have my one cup of regular coffee every morning, the rest of the day is caffeine free or tea.

GuitarStv

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #19 on: August 02, 2016, 12:29:01 PM »
Through the four years of engineering classes at university (and during a time of regular sleep deprivation juggling jamming and studying) I upped my coffee intake to a peak of about a pot and a half a day.  Eventually it became obvious that this was unhealthy . . . I'd developed some weird shaking in my hands, and was starting to have problems concentrating and sleeping.  It took a week of miserable headaches and terrible exhaustion before I started feeling remotely normal again.  It's not heroin addiction, but I don't ever want to go through that again.  I abstained from all forms of caffeine for a couple years afterwards.

These days I'll have a caffeinated beverage (coffee, espresso, or coke) once every couple weeks . . . and usually only before a 4+ hr bike ride.  The tremendous and long lasting amount of energy that I get from the drink on these bike rides really drives home the need to be careful with this sort of drug.

b4laura

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #20 on: August 02, 2016, 12:42:59 PM »
It's a hard change.  I did it, because much like you, I was having energy high and lows... plus I'd catch myself drinking too much and getting shaky.  It is very very very hard to stop.  After nearly 7 days of brutal headaches and needing endless sleep I felt the best I had in years.  My appetite was better, sweat less, steady energy rather than up and down. 

I'd recommend it, but at 2-3 cups per day you'll have to be committed or your just signing up for pain and quitting. 

In all, if there is anything that your body is so addicted to that it has a 7 day detox period you probably don't need it. 

Lovelife

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #21 on: August 02, 2016, 12:49:08 PM »
I skimmed most of the comments so this may have already been mentioned, but you might want to try some coffee alternatives while you quit. Obviously there's the caffeine withdrawal that some people get headaches from (obviously showing the physical addictiveness of caffeine imo) which I think usually a gradual lessening over a few days fixes. But for comfort/habit of drinking it if you want a coffee-like flavor without the caffeine or actual coffee then maybe try something like Dandy Blend or Teeccino. I think there are other brands now too.

I'm a tea drinker so I can't really say that it's exactly like coffee, but the Dandy Blend does taste similar to me. I was never able to find Teeccino where I live so I haven't tried it, but they're all online if you wanted to try. It wouldn't help with the cost lowering of stopping coffee since they aren't cheaper, but maybe as a transition it might be worth it. :)

Rural

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #22 on: August 02, 2016, 07:13:13 PM »
Celestial Seasonings makes a coffee-like tea blend (heavy on the chicory). It might make a good taste substitute.


Me, I'll be drinking my coffee unless we all have to go back on war rations or something, in which case I'll be roasting dandelion roots. But then I don't have any energy swings.

Melisande

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #23 on: August 02, 2016, 07:38:30 PM »
This coffee/caffeine addict quit for good about 16 months ago. There were times before when I made the switch from regular to decaf coffee or from coffee to tea, but I always just wound up going back to coffee. But 16 months ago, I made the momentous decision to eliminate all caffeine from my life forever. Now I am an herbal tea totaler. I do not drink coffee, tea, decaf coffee, decaf tea, chocolate, sodas with caffeine, kombucha, or use pain relievers with caffeine.

I used to adore coffee (and still love the smell), but for whatever reason, I started to get violent withdrawal symptoms if I even went one day without the good stuff.  Not just a terrible headache, but also continuous vomitting to the point of dry heaves as well as physical shaking. (And I wasn't even drinking that much per day -- only 1 latte if I recall correctly.) For a while I just tried to be really good about never missing a day (actually it was a terrific excuse to get the coffee I craved). But then, of course, there came a day when I couldn't actually get coffee/tea when I needed it and of course I got violently ill again. That's when I said: "OK this is just not for me".

I weaned myself off very slowly. And it was hard for a while, but I've totally adjusted now and feel just as energetic as ever. I have adopted a replacement beverage -- unsweetened, herbal mint tea. It's a mild stimulant and I like the taste, but if I can't have it for breakfast one day, it's no biggie. It's nice not being physically dependent on it.

205guy

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #24 on: August 02, 2016, 08:19:43 PM »
In my 20's and early 30's, I drank 1-to-3 espressos from the machine at work every day. It wasn't so much an additction, but just being social and taking breaks. Then I couldn't figure out why I had headaches almost every Sunday evening after going hiking or camping. I used to think it was dehydration or something--took me a while to figure out it was caffeine withdrawal.

Later, my dad had prostate issues, and his doctor suggested cutting out caffeine. I noticed I also had slower urination and decided I needed to cut down the caffeine for health reasons. After a few headaches, I had to down to once a week--that didn't seem to trigger the addiction, and my headaches and urination problems cleared up. Sometimes I'll have my one cup on Friday to celebrate the last day of the work week, sometimes I'll save it for a lazy Sunday morning with my wife. She still drinks coffee several times a week, not every day, and I'll either take a big whiff or sometimes a little sip of hers. It's easier to self-limit when I'm thinking of my health.

I also reduced all other forms of caffeine (black tea, green tea, maté, cola, etc) to one or two cups a week, and the rest of the time, I drink herbal teas. I tried some of the chicory coffee substitutes, the Cafix brand was my preferred one, but in the end decided to not substitute and just drink the herbal teas. I get a lot of different loose leaf herbals, such as lemon verbena, linden flower+leaf, and rooibos, so the variety keeps me satisfied.

I really do look forward to my weekly coffee, but it's not a habit or addiction anymore. The other thing I do is not drink that one coffee of other caffeine beverage if I didn't get enough sleep--I don't want my body to think there is a chemical substitute for going to bed too late: suck it up today and next time go to bed earlier.

Long story short: men, watch your health, but you don't have to go cold turkey. Cut the chemical addiction but then enjoy a bit in moderation.

kenaces

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #25 on: August 02, 2016, 11:46:28 PM »
If the acid is an issue I am pretty sure I read somewhere that black coffee is better, and my favorite coffee also happens to be lower acid.  So just have a black cup of Wicked Joe's Sumatra.  If you can get the whole beans and grind it fresh each morning - It is worth the effort!

I have had other whole bean sumatras that were almost as good and also low acid.

ahoy

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #26 on: August 03, 2016, 03:29:19 AM »
I was drinking 3 cups of coffee before 8 am, two yrs ago I quit.  The withdrawal wasn't too bad, by day 3 I was okay.

 I use to think that I needed coffee to clear my head in the mornings as I would wake up with a heavy/foggy head.   After quitting I realized that it was the coffee making me foggy.  Now my head is clear when I get up.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #27 on: August 03, 2016, 07:13:56 AM »
I was up to 6 cups of coffee a day during a particularly stressful time at work many years ago.  Cut way back (2/day regular, then decaf or substitutes) when I realized the coffee was giving me a hand tremor.  Definite withdrawal headache, I felt like someone hit the back of my  head with a sledgehammer.  Recently I have cut back even more - one regular coffee or black tea, then decaf/decaf tea/ herbal tea/hot lemon water.  I never have any caffeine after noon or I have trouble sleeping, but I am finding my digestive system is happier with less caffeine.

One hidden issue - depending on how they drink their coffee, some people may also be getting a lot of sugar, and cutting back may also trigger a sugar craving.

Pigeon

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #28 on: August 03, 2016, 07:18:02 AM »
My husband quit last year because of his acid reflux. He switched to tea but would go back to coffee in a heartbeat if his reflux wasn't an issue.

I embrace my coffee addiction and feel great pity for him.

Jouer

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #29 on: August 03, 2016, 08:17:41 AM »
How much water do you drink? I suggest drinking your morning coffee and then replacing the rest of your daily coffee with glasses of water. Then double your water intake - I predict you'll feel much better.

My wife quit her one coffee a day habit for a while - best to do it during vacation time but it can be done. (I don't drink coffee - my brain doesn't work well when agitated from the caffeine.)


JackieTreehorn

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #30 on: August 03, 2016, 08:29:05 AM »
Only one cup of decaf so far today...we'll see how it goes :-)

I do drink a lot of water so I don't think that's the issue.  Thanks everyone for your input.

ChairmanKaga

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #31 on: August 03, 2016, 08:41:02 AM »
My husband quit last year because of his acid reflux. He switched to tea but would go back to coffee in a heartbeat if his reflux wasn't an issue.

I embrace my coffee addiction and feel great pity for him.

Seriously, have him try cold brew.
http://www.today.com/id/5728227/ns/today-today_food/t/my-coffee-cold/

Tyler

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #32 on: August 03, 2016, 08:53:54 AM »
On the downside, I don't love the feeling an hour or so after I'm done with my morning cups.  I kinda feel like it messes with my energy levels or something and I feel groggy around noon time or after lunch in the afternoon.  I also think it contributes to the mild acid reflux that I have (a long with the fact that I probably drink a little too much alcohol and need to work on my diet). 

Taking up coffee was my way of quitting soda.  I'll take that trade.  ;)

The energy issue is a caffeine problem, not a coffee problem.  Try decaf.  Or simply a different brand -- I've found that some make me cloudy-headed while others are just fine.

I also battled terrible acid reflux recently.  Watching what I ate and drank definitely helped, and I thought for a while I'd have to permanently quit coffee along with a ton of other things.  But FWIW, probiotics helped me a lot.  While I try not to go overboard, I'm back to drinking coffee with no worries. 

FLBiker

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #33 on: August 03, 2016, 09:14:01 AM »
Yeah I think a lot of commenters have touched on another issue I forgot to mention which is the control issue.  I don't love the idea of being addicted to something, even if it's somewhat benign which I think coffee is.  I don't like having to think "how am I gonna get my coffee" when we stay with someone who is a non-coffee drinker.  It feels like less like a want and more like a need, which I don't like.  Another thing I don't like about it is how it makes me have to pee.  There are those situations where you know bathroom access is going to be minimal (usually when traveling somewhere) and you have to choose between skipping coffee or having a potentially uncomfortable situation an hour later.

I appreciate the honesty here!  I think you really nailed it.

As both a coffee drinker and a sober alcoholic, I agree that it isn't about the action so much as the mental stuff surrounding it.  I drink a cup of coffee most mornings, but I have literally never thought about how I was going to get my coffee if I was somewhere it wasn't available.  Booze, on the other hand... :)

That's the pain of addiction, in a nutshell -- it's the lack of freedom, regardless of what the attachment is to.  At the same time, of course, some objects of addiction are way more destructive than others.

Duchess of Stratosphear

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #34 on: August 03, 2016, 09:58:32 AM »
I've been thinking about quitting coffee (again!) lately, so this thread is timely. The first time I quit was after a trip where I had a hard time getting enough caffeine and felt groggy the whole time. So I weaned myself off before going on another trip just in case. I always seem to go back, though. Because I'm a fucking junkie, I guess. It's amazing how addictive that stuff is, and then your whole day can't start until you've had your fix.

When I was off coffee, I felt okay, but I did miss that almost instant clear headed feeling. I don't really remember feeling that much better. Do you all think you actually felt better or was it more about disliking the addiction and/or other health concerns?

BlueMR2

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #35 on: August 03, 2016, 10:19:33 AM »
I quit.  Several times actually.  :-)  This last time I've been off for several years, so it appears I've finally succeeded.

It's hard.  It hurts the first few months.  Just one slipup and you're addicted again.

Quitting is totally worth it though.  My energy level is a lot more consistent.  All the benefits I thought I was getting turned out to be false.  I thought I was getting more energy and being more productive.  However, not only did the valleys wipe out the mountains of energy, the work I did when buzzing along on caffeine is demonstrably worse quality.

Quit.  It's the best thing you can do for yourself!

snacky

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #36 on: August 03, 2016, 10:36:39 AM »
I quit when needed, based on circumstances. The time that I quit and felt the best was when I switched to green tea. It was lame for the fist while - it didn't have the creaminess or substance of coffee, but once I adapted it evened out the highs and lows that come with coffee drinking, and made me feel really healthy. Maybe try it for a couple of weeks and see if you feel a difference? It's worth a shot.

There is a roasted rice green tea that blows me away. it's called Genmaicha.

GuitarStv

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #37 on: August 03, 2016, 11:11:33 AM »
When I was off coffee, I felt okay, but I did miss that almost instant clear headed feeling. I don't really remember feeling that much better. Do you all think you actually felt better or was it more about disliking the addiction and/or other health concerns?

When regularly drinking coffee, I was exhausted in the morning until I got my fix.  Now, I feel awake in the morning just by getting out of bed.  Seems better to me.

Samuel

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #38 on: August 03, 2016, 11:13:13 AM »
My body decided this for me. Had some significant anxiety issues around 10 years ago and quitting caffeine was key to getting the symptoms under control. To this day I still regard coffee as liquid worry, but I have been able to slowly bring back the occasional cup (or less) of green tea if I'm having to function on less than 4 hours sleep or have a particularly bad headache. A bonus: when you don't regularly drink caffeine the stuff really works when you need it to!

Like others, I find my energy levels much more stable and my mental "startup time" in the morning greatly reduced. It's just a way better way of life (for me).

I do sometimes miss the taste and ritual of it (for years I drank decaf every morning) but even that's mostly gone now.



mxt0133

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #39 on: August 03, 2016, 11:24:02 AM »
Do it.  The freedom of simplying your life is pretty awesome.  Something as simple as not having to have coffee snowballs into other areas, such as alchohol, eating out, and other habits that you thought you needed to be happy.

That's how I started.  I would fast and just have water for 2-3 days and it was amazing to realize that I didn't need all the stuff I was putting in my mouth.  One day I decided to stop drinking coffee and see how long I can go, it's been 3 years.  Even if I have a cup in the future at least I know that it's something I can stop at will.

Tyson

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #40 on: August 03, 2016, 11:27:45 AM »
If you drink alcohol at night, it will disrupt your sleep.  Then when you get up in the morning, you'll need coffee to "get going".  To be effective, you really need to address both things.  I was really bad about both for a number of years.  But been off alcohol for a couple of years now, and finally quit coffee this year too.  I sleep a lot better and daily tasks no longer seem like Herculean efforts.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #41 on: August 03, 2016, 02:16:27 PM »
^  Very true, and it doesn't take much.  A glass of wine with dinner will do it. I basically didn't drink on week nights (i.e. Sunday - Thursday) when I was working.

JackieTreehorn

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #42 on: August 03, 2016, 04:17:43 PM »
Yup alcohol is an issue for me as well.  Not like an addiction issue I wouldn't say, but as I get older (mid 30's now) I find I really can't handle it well anymore.  Vicious hangovers and I really don't like who I am when I drink.  Also contributes to the acid reflux issues I'm sure.  I dunno if I'm up for quitting both coffee and alcohol completely at the same time, but I would really like to reduce the intake of both significantly.  Going to try to start with coffee.  Got through today with only 2 cups of decaf (ok...both had like 1/10th of a cup of regular in them...nothing like wasting the company k-cups) maybe tomorrow I'll try for nothing at all.

Exhale

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #43 on: August 03, 2016, 04:59:16 PM »
I've quit a couple times, but then had to go back. What it made clear to me is that my coffee habit is directly tied to working more hours/week than is right for me (when I worked part-time, I didn't need the coffee to make the morning bearable). This is compounded by grey winters which really get me down. However, coffee isn't a good fit for my body. Therefore, as soon as I FIRE, I'm getting off of it for good. I can't wait!

Tyson

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #44 on: August 03, 2016, 05:13:48 PM »
Yup alcohol is an issue for me as well.  Not like an addiction issue I wouldn't say, but as I get older (mid 30's now) I find I really can't handle it well anymore.  Vicious hangovers and I really don't like who I am when I drink.  Also contributes to the acid reflux issues I'm sure.  I dunno if I'm up for quitting both coffee and alcohol completely at the same time, but I would really like to reduce the intake of both significantly.  Going to try to start with coffee.  Got through today with only 2 cups of decaf (ok...both had like 1/10th of a cup of regular in them...nothing like wasting the company k-cups) maybe tomorrow I'll try for nothing at all.

Why not start with the alcohol first and see if you sleep better, then getting off coffee will be a lot easier.

Zoot Allures

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #45 on: August 03, 2016, 06:10:27 PM »
Yeah I think a lot of commenters have touched on another issue I forgot to mention which is the control issue.  I don't love the idea of being addicted to something, even if it's somewhat benign which I think coffee is. 

I read an astute observation once about this control issue with coffee relative to tea. It was something like, "You can have tea, but coffee has you."

I personally am happy to be had by coffee. But sometimes I feel like my gut needs a break from it, so I switch to tea for a few days. But I always go back to coffee. God damn I love coffee.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2016, 06:12:13 PM by Zoot Allures »

kimmarg

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #46 on: August 03, 2016, 06:35:17 PM »
Appropriate thread as I go to make another pot at 9pm before night shift.

I realized a lot of my morning craving was "hold something hot and gradually wake up". Switched to 50/50 decaf and did fine. Also have chai tea sometimes. I still haul out the full strength for night shift. Just need that jolt. I"m now on 1-2 cups 50/50 in the morning and 1 cup full strength for shift. As others have said when you cut back it really makes the caffine work when you need it. I had started drinking close to 3 cups full strength and at that point coffee couldn't keep me up and I was drinking energy drinks at night. Then I tried one of the energy drinks one late afternoon (someone gave me a new flavor so I decided to try it on a sleepy afternoon) I literally had my heart pounding. scared the @$% out of me. I've never had energy drinks since. Instead I cut back the coffee so I can have it when I need it. Like now.

csprof

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #47 on: August 03, 2016, 09:00:31 PM »
Through the four years of engineering classes at university (and during a time of regular sleep deprivation juggling jamming and studying) I upped my coffee intake to a peak of about a pot and a half a day.  Eventually it became obvious that this was unhealthy . . . I'd developed some weird shaking in my hands, and was starting to have problems concentrating and sleeping.  It took a week of miserable headaches and terrible exhaustion before I started feeling remotely normal again.  It's not heroin addiction, but I don't ever want to go through that again.  I abstained from all forms of caffeine for a couple years afterwards.

These days I'll have a caffeinated beverage (coffee, espresso, or coke) once every couple weeks . . . and usually only before a 4+ hr bike ride.  The tremendous and long lasting amount of energy that I get from the drink on these bike rides really drives home the need to be careful with this sort of drug.

If you ever try it again (and for others):  Weaning yourself off slowly is straightforward.  I do it yearly (don't want to deal with the hassle of bringing along coffee on our yearly backpacking trip, and also to not risk confusing an altitude headache with a caffeine headache).  If you take a period of something like 3 weeks going down 1 cup per week, and then a few days of 1 cup of half-caff, it's painless.

It can be tricky to stick to the schedule, of course, because most of us have seriously ingrained habits relating to coffee.  I find it easiest to slowly switch over to increasing fractions of decaf -- it's easy to measure and you're not changing both the caffeine *and* your daily routines.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #48 on: August 04, 2016, 07:29:29 AM »
I realized a lot of my morning craving was "hold something hot and gradually wake up".
This.  I'm thirsty more than hungry first thing in the morning.  Now that first hot drink is a bit of sweetener and a squirt of RealLemon* and hot water in a mug.  Tart enough to wake me up, but no caffeine.  The coffee is for after breakfast (as I sit here at the computer with that morning mug of coffee).


*Costco makes this affordable, I go through a lot of lemon concentrate.

Duchess of Stratosphear

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Re: Quitting Coffee?
« Reply #49 on: August 09, 2016, 08:09:37 AM »
^  Very true, and it doesn't take much.  A glass of wine with dinner will do it. I basically didn't drink on week nights (i.e. Sunday - Thursday) when I was working.

So true. I don't drink very much anymore and that has been a huge life improvement (and saves me quite a bit of money).

I'm quitting coffee really slowly. I'm down to about two cups in the morning (from three). The next two weeks at work will be nuts, so I don't want to do anything drastic right now, but I aim to be weened off by the time this bag of beans is gone! Not sure what I will do to sub for it in the morning. Last time I quit, I drank yerba mate instead of coffee for awhile. Then I started dating a dude who loved coffee and I let myself be seduced back into drinking it. We'll see how long I can stay on the wagon this time.