Author Topic: Quitting coffee, and caffeine  (Read 4003 times)

sonofsven

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Quitting coffee, and caffeine
« on: December 18, 2022, 09:10:46 AM »
I've been a long time coffee drinker, and not just *a cup*, but more like a french press full daily. Sometimes more. I always joked it was my Scandinavian heritage. Also working outside a lot, in crap weather, building houses and such, it just fit.
Now in my mid fifties I've decided to stop drinking coffee daily, and stop caffeine intake too, for health/diet reasons.
In the past when I've missed my daily dose I've gotten a raging headache by 11am, so I started three months ago to wean myself off caffeine by drinking less each month until last week when I stopped altogether.
No headache ;-)
I switched to herbal tea, and since I have some old guy friends that sometimes visit and expect their cup of coffee I got some instant decaf (for me). It's actually not bad: Tastle is the brand.
Anyone else quit the bean, or wishing to join in?
I'm four days in, not sure at this point if this will be a forever change or not.

Advice and anecdotes welcome.

Also, I'm not saving money since I'm spending more on the tea than I did on the coffee!

Dicey

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Re: Quitting coffee, and caffeine
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2022, 10:15:43 AM »
I don't do coffee, but I'm not giving up chocolate, so Hot Chocolate or Decaf Mochas are still in rotation. I love spicy teas. Tazo's "Passion'", Good Earth, Celestial Seasonings Cranberry Vanilla Wonderland, and almost any Rooibos, are my go-tos. Celestial Seasonings website has lots of flavorful herbal offerings.

Related rant: I hate when you ask for a Decaf (or herbal) tea and all they have is Chamomile. Fortunately,  I don't eat out much, so easy to remedy at home.

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Re: Quitting coffee, and caffeine
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2022, 10:32:57 AM »
I recently made a similar change. Instead of withdrawing by month increments, I withdrew during six day increments (6 days of full French press, 6 days of two cups, etc). That said I did have one day of a headache.

People often ask why I quit caffeine. The main reason is that I am much more quick to anger when drinking it. Also, caffeine affects my sleep regardless of how early I drink it.

I have "quit" caffeine several times before. I start drinking caffeine again for two reasons: 1) it is convenient, (eg my friend doesn't have decaf for our brunch). 2) I drink alcohol at night, sleep poorly, and feel sluggish the next morning so I reach for coffee as a pick me up.

So this time I am cutting back on alcohol at the same time.

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Re: Quitting coffee, and caffeine
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2022, 01:46:53 PM »
I always had 2 big mugs of coffee every day. My automatic machine would have it ready for me when I got up, and I'd have some right away and more a bit later.

If I went 2 days without my coffee I'd get a terrible headache. So I made sure to always get my coffee.

Out of curiosity and a desire to economize I tried using less ground coffee in the maker. That seemed to be fine. A few days later I tried using even less. That worked too. After a few weeks I was using a bit less than half the amount I had formerly used. It was still fine.

Then as I gradually decreased the amount I found I was drinking hot brown water that smelled like coffee. I was happy with that. I was using maybe 1/8 of the original amount of ground coffee.

After a few weeks of that I got up one morning and forgot to drink my coffee. I drank it later, but only one mug.  The next day I forgot again. And again.

So I was no longer a coffee drinker. That wasn't my plan but it worked out that way, and I haven't had a cup of coffee in years. I do occasionally have coffee flavored candy or ice cream. And no headaches. Ever.

Dicey

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Re: Quitting coffee, and caffeine
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2022, 02:55:27 PM »
I always had 2 big mugs of coffee every day. My automatic machine would have it ready for me when I got up, and I'd have some right away and more a bit later.

If I went 2 days without my coffee I'd get a terrible headache. So I made sure to always get my coffee.

Out of curiosity and a desire to economize I tried using less ground coffee in the maker. That seemed to be fine. A few days later I tried using even less. That worked too. After a few weeks I was using a bit less than half the amount I had formerly used. It was still fine.

Then as I gradually decreased the amount I found I was drinking hot brown water that smelled like coffee. I was happy with that. I was using maybe 1/8 of the original amount of ground coffee.

After a few weeks of that I got up one morning and forgot to drink my coffee. I drank it later, but only one mug.  The next day I forgot again. And again.

So I was no longer a coffee drinker. That wasn't my plan but it worked out that way, and I haven't had a cup of coffee in years. I do occasionally have coffee flavored candy or ice cream. And no headaches. Ever.
Such a smart way to eat the elephant!

sonofsven

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Re: Quitting coffee, and caffeine
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2022, 12:41:27 AM »
I don't do coffee, but I'm not giving up chocolate, so Hot Chocolate or Decaf Mochas are still in rotation. I love spicy teas. Tazo's "Passion'", Good Earth, Celestial Seasonings Cranberry Vanilla Wonderland, and almost any Rooibos, are my go-tos. Celestial Seasonings website has lots of flavorful herbal offerings.

Related rant: I hate when you ask for a Decaf (or herbal) tea and all they have is Chamomile. Fortunately,  I don't eat out much, so easy to remedy at home.
I love roobois too. I had this experience at a bar recently when I asked for herbal tea, the bartender started listing the few teas they had and none were herbal (my girlfriend was just itching to tell her "those aren't herbal"), when she got to chamomile i said "great!".

sonofsven

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Re: Quitting coffee, and caffeine
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2022, 12:44:57 AM »
I always had 2 big mugs of coffee every day. My automatic machine would have it ready for me when I got up, and I'd have some right away and more a bit later.

If I went 2 days without my coffee I'd get a terrible headache. So I made sure to always get my coffee.

Out of curiosity and a desire to economize I tried using less ground coffee in the maker. That seemed to be fine. A few days later I tried using even less. That worked too. After a few weeks I was using a bit less than half the amount I had formerly used. It was still fine.

Then as I gradually decreased the amount I found I was drinking hot brown water that smelled like coffee. I was happy with that. I was using maybe 1/8 of the original amount of ground coffee.

After a few weeks of that I got up one morning and forgot to drink my coffee. I drank it later, but only one mug.  The next day I forgot again. And again.

So I was no longer a coffee drinker. That wasn't my plan but it worked out that way, and I haven't had a cup of coffee in years. I do occasionally have coffee flavored candy or ice cream. And no headaches. Ever.
Yes, that's similar to how I did it. I started drinking herbal tea in the morning first thing after two months of drinking half my normal amount of coffee, and one day I just never got around to making the coffee, and that was that.

sonofsven

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Re: Quitting coffee, and caffeine
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2022, 12:47:33 AM »
I recently made a similar change. Instead of withdrawing by month increments, I withdrew during six day increments (6 days of full French press, 6 days of two cups, etc). That said I did have one day of a headache.

People often ask why I quit caffeine. The main reason is that I am much more quick to anger when drinking it. Also, caffeine affects my sleep regardless of how early I drink it.

I have "quit" caffeine several times before. I start drinking caffeine again for two reasons: 1) it is convenient, (eg my friend doesn't have decaf for our brunch). 2) I drink alcohol at night, sleep poorly, and feel sluggish the next morning so I reach for coffee as a pick me up.

So this time I am cutting back on alcohol at the same time.
I quit drinking alcohol 12 years ago but my sleep got worse! But definitely coffee was non negotiable during my drinking days.

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Re: Quitting coffee, and caffeine
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2022, 02:20:26 AM »
All these sensible people that weaned off and didn't get headaches... I gave up 18 months ago because I was getting bad migraines and withdrawal headaches if I skipped or was late having caffeine. I got a SEVEN day headache.

I was only having one cup of coffee and one cup of tea a day. Now I have rooibos at home but will have a chai latte if I need a pick me up when I'm out or if I get a migraine since perversely caffeine helps once I have one.

GilesMM

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Re: Quitting coffee, and caffeine
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2022, 10:07:42 AM »
Quitting is the easy part. Staying quit is harder. Before long you will be faced with a situation where you really, really need a cup of caffeine to get you going. This will be the test.

GuitarStv

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Re: Quitting coffee, and caffeine
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2022, 10:20:46 AM »
I was drinking about a pot and a half a day in university.  I started to get shaky hands and stomach problems (I was drinking it black) so ended up quitting for about ten or fifteen years afterwards.  Withdrawal was pretty yucky for a week or so.  I'll only drink caffeine first thing in the morning if I'm going for a long bike ride now . . . which ends up being about once a week during the summer.  It's incredible how much energy the drug gives you when you're not abusing it every day.

Rubic

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Re: Quitting coffee, and caffeine
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2022, 01:09:04 PM »
I'll only drink caffeine first thing in the morning if I'm going for a long bike ride now . . . which ends up being about once a week during the summer.  It's incredible how much energy the drug gives you when you're not abusing it every day.

I'm now averaging about 3 cups a day with no intention of quitting, but when I trained
for long-distance cycling events, I would usually quit all caffeine in January. Then on the
evening of the actual event even a small amount of caffeine (like 1/2 can of Cola) would
be like throwing on a light switch at 1am.  Because I really enjoy good coffee, I would
resume drinking it after my last event of the year.

For training rides in autumn or early winter, we would usually pick a coffee shop as our
halfway destination, which was a nice reward/motivation to get out riding in the cold
weather.

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Re: Quitting coffee, and caffeine
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2022, 11:26:47 AM »
I want to quit too!

Not coffee for me, but Monsters. For the past few years I've had a habit of having at least once a day. During my last Iraq deployment, I was up to 3 on bad days, 2 on good days.

My version of quitting is normally letting myself run out (I'm in logistics so I usually find the cheapest price per can and stock up), then coping by taking caffeine pills (sometimes split to half the dose).

It's a true addiction though. Cutting the caffeine isn't too hard for me. The problem is that when I try to quit, I catch myself getting up and going "hunting" for sugar instead, or a soda (which can be somewhat similar to a Monster).

Haven't quite worked out the solution on how to quit. Probably tied to my discipline muscle and ability to exercise self-denial.

sonofsven

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Re: Quitting coffee, and caffeine
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2023, 10:22:09 AM »
So far so good, still off the caffeine. I haven't had any real withdrawal issues.
I have missed the act of driving with my coffee but I just fill my go cup with a strong ginger/honey/lemon tea instead.
The real test will be when I start fishing next month. Getting up at 4am and launching in the dark and sitting in a boat in the cold without coffee??

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Re: Quitting coffee, and caffeine
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2023, 12:43:07 PM »
I've gone at least a month without coffe now for two reasons: brighten my teeth and avoid accidentally undermining my sleep schedule.  Coffee is great with cigarettes so its been a difficult thing to avoid.

getsorted

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Re: Quitting coffee, and caffeine
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2023, 01:39:49 PM »
I've been working on cutting down on coffee, with the objective of not drinking it at all on a daily basis within the next several weeks. First was cutting down from 2 pots a day to 1. Now I'm down to 4 cups a day. Next week, three cups. 

After that, I'm whitening my teeth, haha.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Quitting coffee, and caffeine
« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2023, 01:49:53 PM »
I went without for two months recently. I drink a single latte at home every morning, and very sparingly (1x/month or so) a tea in the afternoon. What breaks me is jet lag. I went to Dubai & immediately had two lattes/day to get over the jet lag. Got home, was jet lagged. Just started to wean myself off, and went to Tokyo last week for work. Double lattes again. I'm back to one latte at home/day.

I will say, I track my goals really carefully (fitness, productivity, etc). The two months without caffeine were my least productive months I've had in years. There are likely other causes, but I definitely notice a pretty sharp productivity increase with just the single coffee a day. At this point, I'm comfortable being back.

GuitarStv

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Re: Quitting coffee, and caffeine
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2023, 01:56:23 PM »
The two months without caffeine were my least productive months I've had in years.

Once it takes over your life it's a hell of a drug to kick for this reason.

getsorted

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Re: Quitting coffee, and caffeine
« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2023, 02:12:28 PM »
I went without for two months recently. I drink a single latte at home every morning, and very sparingly (1x/month or so) a tea in the afternoon. What breaks me is jet lag. I went to Dubai & immediately had two lattes/day to get over the jet lag. Got home, was jet lagged. Just started to wean myself off, and went to Tokyo last week for work. Double lattes again. I'm back to one latte at home/day.

I will say, I track my goals really carefully (fitness, productivity, etc). The two months without caffeine were my least productive months I've had in years. There are likely other causes, but I definitely notice a pretty sharp productivity increase with just the single coffee a day. At this point, I'm comfortable being back.

Have you ever tried the fasting trick for jet lag? I find it works amazingly. You basically want to time your meal so that you have breakfast at breakfast time in your destination, and nothing at all for 16 hours before. I swear by it, but it doesn't seem to work as well for everyone.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Quitting coffee, and caffeine
« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2023, 02:14:31 PM »
I went without for two months recently. I drink a single latte at home every morning, and very sparingly (1x/month or so) a tea in the afternoon. What breaks me is jet lag. I went to Dubai & immediately had two lattes/day to get over the jet lag. Got home, was jet lagged. Just started to wean myself off, and went to Tokyo last week for work. Double lattes again. I'm back to one latte at home/day.

I will say, I track my goals really carefully (fitness, productivity, etc). The two months without caffeine were my least productive months I've had in years. There are likely other causes, but I definitely notice a pretty sharp productivity increase with just the single coffee a day. At this point, I'm comfortable being back.

Have you ever tried the fasting trick for jet lag? I find it works amazingly. You basically want to time your meal so that you have breakfast at breakfast time in your destination, and nothing at all for 16 hours before. I swear by it, but it doesn't seem to work as well for everyone.

@sadiesortsitout - have tried it, with limited results. What works best for me is working out as soon as we land, and trying to adjust. I also attempt to skip all food on the flight, which has the carryon effect of what you describe. When I land, I'm then ready for whatever meal is being served. I don't sleep on flights, so there's no getting around missing a night of sleep.

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Re: Quitting coffee, and caffeine
« Reply #20 on: May 24, 2023, 02:19:05 PM »
I was drinking about a pot and a half a day in university.  I started to get shaky hands and stomach problems (I was drinking it black) so ended up quitting for about ten or fifteen years afterwards.  Withdrawal was pretty yucky for a week or so.  I'll only drink caffeine first thing in the morning if I'm going for a long bike ride now . . . which ends up being about once a week during the summer.  It's incredible how much energy the drug gives you when you're not abusing it every day.

I'll echo this. I drank coffee for the boost it gave me. Then I realized...it's not giving me much of a boost at all. I was drinking it every day. Since then, I scale back to one cup a week with one extra cup maybe once a month or so when I'm really tired in a random morning. It works great when it's not overused!

getsorted

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Re: Quitting coffee, and caffeine
« Reply #21 on: May 24, 2023, 02:51:04 PM »
I went without for two months recently. I drink a single latte at home every morning, and very sparingly (1x/month or so) a tea in the afternoon. What breaks me is jet lag. I went to Dubai & immediately had two lattes/day to get over the jet lag. Got home, was jet lagged. Just started to wean myself off, and went to Tokyo last week for work. Double lattes again. I'm back to one latte at home/day.

I will say, I track my goals really carefully (fitness, productivity, etc). The two months without caffeine were my least productive months I've had in years. There are likely other causes, but I definitely notice a pretty sharp productivity increase with just the single coffee a day. At this point, I'm comfortable being back.

Have you ever tried the fasting trick for jet lag? I find it works amazingly. You basically want to time your meal so that you have breakfast at breakfast time in your destination, and nothing at all for 16 hours before. I swear by it, but it doesn't seem to work as well for everyone.

@sadiesortsitout - have tried it, with limited results. What works best for me is working out as soon as we land, and trying to adjust. I also attempt to skip all food on the flight, which has the carryon effect of what you describe. When I land, I'm then ready for whatever meal is being served. I don't sleep on flights, so there's no getting around missing a night of sleep.

Yeah, the one time it failed me was when I took an 8-hour redeye flight with a toddler who didn't sleep the whole time! No sleep is no sleep, unfortunately.

Weisass

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Re: Quitting coffee, and caffeine
« Reply #22 on: May 24, 2023, 03:01:49 PM »
I don't do coffee, but I'm not giving up chocolate, so Hot Chocolate or Decaf Mochas are still in rotation. I love spicy teas. Tazo's "Passion'", Good Earth, Celestial Seasonings Cranberry Vanilla Wonderland, and almost any Rooibos, are my go-tos. Celestial Seasonings website has lots of flavorful herbal offerings.

Related rant: I hate when you ask for a Decaf (or herbal) tea and all they have is Chamomile. Fortunately,  I don't eat out much, so easy to remedy at home.

I used to buy my teas at a lovely place downtown called Steap. I remember asking the owner/proprietor if she sold any decaf, and she scoffed at me. Then she proceeded to demonstrate for me that you can effectively make ANY tea a decaf by steaping for 30 seconds, throwing out that water, and then resteaping immediately. Most caffeine is released in the first few seconds of tea steaping. It changed my world.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2023, 03:07:41 PM by Weisass »

MoneyTree

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Re: Quitting coffee, and caffeine
« Reply #23 on: May 24, 2023, 03:57:20 PM »
Yes! I did this recently, but more as a reset because I knew I would need coffee when my newborn came along. I didn't want to start off dependent. So basically i quit using the gradual dilution method described earlier, and then re-introduced instant coffee into my life just to get through the first few months of having a newborn.

Now that she is sleeping through the night, I think I'm going to try to quit again.


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Re: Quitting coffee, and caffeine
« Reply #24 on: May 24, 2023, 06:28:18 PM »
I more or less quit coffee last summer after contracting covid. Being sick got me through caffeine withdrawal, and I decided to enjoy the fruits of that unexpected experience. On the other side, my biggest issue has been that I love a warm drink in the morning. So I drink Decaf, much less than I used to drink, but it is warm and cozy.

sonofsven

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Re: Quitting coffee, and caffeine
« Reply #25 on: May 24, 2023, 08:09:49 PM »
I'm still off caffeine and doing great. I made it through the dark cold months of fishing from o dark thirty with no problems.
My go to in my 16 oz go cup is diced fresh ginger in a diffuser, one teaspoon of honey, and a tea bag of roobois.
It's really good! I haven't once felt such a strong desire for coffee that I had decaf, either.
Thanks for sharing all your coffee stories

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Re: Quitting coffee, and caffeine
« Reply #26 on: May 25, 2023, 04:16:40 AM »
I want to quit too!

Not coffee for me, but Monsters. For the past few years I've had a habit of having at least once a day. During my last Iraq deployment, I was up to 3 on bad days, 2 on good days.

My version of quitting is normally letting myself run out (I'm in logistics so I usually find the cheapest price per can and stock up), then coping by taking caffeine pills (sometimes split to half the dose).

It's a true addiction though. Cutting the caffeine isn't too hard for me. The problem is that when I try to quit, I catch myself getting up and going "hunting" for sugar instead, or a soda (which can be somewhat similar to a Monster).

Haven't quite worked out the solution on how to quit. Probably tied to my discipline muscle and ability to exercise self-denial.

I used to be a Monster junky too. The price of them has really gotten out of hand. It's not too bad if you buy multipacks at Walmart or warehouse clubs, but I'll be god damned if i pay $3 or more for a 16oz. can of fancy soda pop at a gas station mini mart.

You might want to switch to diet caffeinated soda until you can quit completely. I weened myself off of energy drinks back in 2016 when I realized how much I was spending and not actually getting much enjoyment from them. I usually have a can of Diet Mountain Dew or Diet Dr. Thunder (Walmart's Dr. Pepper knockoff) in the morning with breakfast to avoid withdrawal headaches. I still have a Monster on occasion, but only when I see a new flavor introduced.

I'm considering weening myself off of caffeine entirely too. Even the cheap pop is almost double what it was pre-pandemic. Diet pop also isn't great for you. It still has a ton of acid which is bad for your teeth.

getsorted

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Re: Quitting coffee, and caffeine
« Reply #27 on: May 30, 2023, 06:04:03 PM »
Down to two cups a day! I'm cranky, but I'm getting there.

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Re: Quitting coffee, and caffeine
« Reply #28 on: July 15, 2023, 08:29:24 PM »
I drank crazy levels of Mountain Dew as a teen, but gave it up when I graduated. I would say I bounced back pretty well because of my youth, and I'll never go back to that. Water is my one and only now, well plus a few beers. And congratulations on your progress!

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Re: Quitting coffee, and caffeine
« Reply #29 on: July 15, 2023, 09:17:19 PM »
Coffee is more a ritual than anything for us so I am not sure I am ready to give up on this small pleasure. But we did reduce our consumption significantly to one cup per day, from several during our working years. Our only cup of the day is for breakfast, one cappuccino with almonds and a piece of dark chocolate. In the afternoon, we replaced coffee with Capomo also known as Mayan coffee, a coffee substitute from a tree nut native to Mexico that tastes like a mix of coffee and chocolate that we discovered when we toured the little coffee plantation where we buy our beans. Capomo has been used for centuries by the Maya and other Indigenous groups and is still used to this day in many parts of Mexico and Central America. It does not contain caffeine but it does give you an energy boost and contains a good dose of anti-oxidants, Amino acids, potassium, fiber, calcium, tryptophan, iron, zinc, and vitamins A, B, C, and E. We get both our roasted coffee beans and capomo from a small producer a few kilometers from our place. The owner told us they eat the leaves, much like spinach, the seeds can be eaten boiled like potatoes, and they are delicious with honey. The juice is also very sweet. We only get the ground roasted nut and drink it like coffee but we plan to experiment with the rest of the plant.

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Re: Quitting coffee, and caffeine
« Reply #30 on: July 17, 2023, 01:34:16 PM »
I used to drink 3-4 double espressos throughout the day thanks to an awesome Jura machine at work.

I was told to cut it in half due to EOE, so I did. Didn't love it, but I did it over a few months.

Then when COVID hit, I was WFH and using my own espresso maker. Pretty good, but not as good. I got an additional diagnosis and my doc said to go to "low caffeine" and we determined that that's one half-caf latte. I lucked out, finding a wonderful decaf espresso so I could still have two lattes in the morning, but each is a quarter-caf. I buy online organic caf and decaf (same company) and it's working out very well. I also love being able to have a great cup of decaf with an occasional dessert in the evening.

If I'm traveling or have to get up and run out of the house etc, and I miss my morning ritual, NBD because it's so little caffeine.

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Re: Quitting coffee, and caffeine
« Reply #31 on: July 19, 2023, 04:05:48 AM »
I recently stopped drinking coffee and it has really reduced my early morning anxiety. I would wake up and stress over all the work-related tasks. Then usually in the afternoon the feeling would subside somewhat.

After stopping, I feel a lot less stressed and anxious throughout the day, and I sleep better at night.

I still often think of coffee, the smell, the taste... I love it. But at least for the foreseeable future, I don't want to go back to my previous habits.

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Re: Quitting coffee, and caffeine
« Reply #32 on: July 19, 2023, 06:36:40 AM »
I quit alcohol and then wanted to quit coffee because I didn't like having a daily addiction and the feeling of withdrawal and cravings.

I quit cold turkey, had a rough couple of weeks, and then my energy levels went back to basically what they were when I was drinking coffee, just without the jitters.

I do sometimes drink a bit of black tea because I can sometimes get bouts of powerful sleepiness similar to narcolepsy and my MD wanted to prescribe powerful stimulants and I was like "n'ah, I'll try some tea instead" and it's worked just fine.

If I'm better off without coffee, I certainly don't want to be addicted to amphetamines. Lol.

 

Wow, a phone plan for fifteen bucks!