Quitting Caffeine

This topic contains 41 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Onel 7 years, 6 months ago.

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  • I’m not sure this will be a popular topic as the forum seems full of people drinking black coffee and the book talks about drinking it a lot too !

    Anyway… I am concerned about my caffeine use – it doesn’t make me feel great and I’ve heard that it may hamper weight loss by boosting cortisol.

    I’d like to give it up for a while and see if it makes a difference. Has anyone given up coffee/caffeine and if so do you have any tips on how best to do it ?

    I’d also be interested to know how you feel off it – better or worse ?

    Last year I’ve quit (start: 3 strong cups / day) by replacing it in a few weeks with decaffeinated instant coffee (end: 1 cup decaf, not daily). Caffeine replacement: 25% every 1-2 weeks. I felt better.
    Now I am drinking again (long list of excuses), but I want to quit again, for the similar reasons: cortisol, gastritis, do not feel well.

    But for sure you can quit faster. I just do not want withdrawal symptoms.

    Good luck!

    Hi Rob,

    Giving up too many things at once can be really difficult and IMHO you should give up the sugary junk first. I can guarantee that once you get over the withdrawal from that you’ll feel a lot better and you’ll have a more accurate idea of how much caffeine is contributing (or not) to the way you feel.

    Amazon, thanks for the input. The problem I find with caffeine is that when I drink it, it seems to make me crave sweet things – maybe it reduces blood sugar ? I was in Starbucks the other day and noticed that the majority of the food they sell is high sugar – caffeine and sugar do seem to go hand in hand.

    Just a little theory I’m developing….

    The question is, does the caffeine really make you crave sweet things or do you just associate a muffin/cake/biscuit with a cuppa? I have my doubts that caffeine is the culprit as your body is addicted to sugar and will do everything it can to ensure you keep on eating it and if you want to succeed you need to break the habit. Develop your theory by blaming the real culprit and not hanging it on the caffeine.

    I love cakes and pastries but I can no longer eat them unless they come from a really good bakery/patisserie or I make them myself, and if I make them myself I use less sugar than the recipe states or I find them too sweet!
    The thought of one of those stodgy muffins full of sugar and additives now makes me feel sick, as does the sugary smell when I walk into places like coffee shops. I also found out that most of them contain at least 400 calories and some almost twice as much 😮

    When I do have something I enjoy it far more than I did before.

    Another thing I’ve learnt doing 5:2 is that losing weight and changing my eating habits in order to keep the weight off and improve my health didn’t mean I had to eat boring food or give up anything I really like, I just needed to change the amount and the balance as my tastes and appetite changed.

    Amazon, here here! I have noticed my tastes change too. Food is so much more tasty after a fast day too.

    Rob I think the caffeine and sugar thing might be because they both give you a hit at the same time. For the same reason as I crave a cigarette when I go out for a drink. It could also be to do with the surroundings and associations as Amazon says, there has been some research done into how decor and colour can affect our choices of food etc.

    I’m pretty sure caffeine increases my cravings for sweet things and sugar generally.

    I guess the way to test the theory and find out is to give up ! It’s a hard one though, given that it’s a drug and we become addicted to it – at least I am addicted, I really can’t function without that morning coffee.

    That’s why I started the post – has anyone given up and if so, what tips or recommendations do you have for doing it ?

    Hi Rob

    I was a big coffee drinker some years ago, but went cold turkey and suffered the headaches one holiday until I got through it. Gradually weening yourself off is probably a better approach and mixing it with decaffeinated. Taylors ground decaffeinated coffee is a good one to look for.

    Although I have gone back to drinking coffee again, I limit it to one big cup at breakfast which I make half with caffeine and half without. Interesting enough once I gave up coffee and got over the withdrawal symptoms, I then noticed that a cup was a really good way of getting rid of a headache. Odd that, but they do add it to paracetamol.

    Thanks Kathieannie. Whenever I miss my coffee or try to go without it I realise what a powerful drug caffeine is.

    I find it amazing that on every high street in the country there are multiple branches of coffee chains and independent shops all essentially selling a powerful, central nervous system stimulating drug.

    Meant to add that I think you’re right – weaning may be more sensible than going cold turkey.

    Yes you are right Rob, they are matched by the number of places selling alcohol! But don’t tell the government or they might introduce a caffeine tax!

    I find it amazing that so many doctors, scientists and health experts are in denial that huge amounts of sugar and processed carbs are the reason for worldwide increases in obesity and type 2 diabetes and the fact that the food industry is devious enough to use several different names for sugar in order to disguise how much is in certain foods.

    I guess if you are giving up caffeine you’ll be giving up chocolate too…..

    Amazon, I started the thread to talk about caffeine not sugar. That’s not to say sugar isn’t a problem, it’s just not the topic of discussion here.

    And yes, I am planning to stop chocolate. Drugs are drugs, no matter what source they come from.

    I thought that I was addicted to caffeine since I was drinking 5-6 large cups per day. I was concerned about my sugar intake (each cup have 2 teaspoons of sugar). I started slowly reducing the amount of sugar in coffee. It took me about 6 month to eliminate sugar in my coffee. To my surprise, I noticed that my cravings for coffee fell down from 5-6 cups to 1 or 2 cups per day. I realized that my cravings for coffee were actually Sugar cravings. Now I drink only black unsweetened coffee, and some days I barely finish one cup.
    I hope my experience could help in some similar situations. 🙂

    Thanks cold pizza. I’ve never taken sugar in my coffee (nor milk, only black), but I understand that a lot of people do.

    Hi Rob,

    I realise that caffeine is the subject, I was suggesting that giving up sugary foods would be much more beneficial from a health point of view and that it may be that sugar addiction causes your cravings for sweet things rather than drinking coffee.

    Good luck with giving up caffeine, in my experience it is really difficult and I suffered agonising headaches for almost two weeks. It made no discernable difference to anything so I’m happily drinking proper coffee again.

    Hi Rob,

    I have had a severe caffeine problem in the past. I was fine for years, not a heavy coffee, tea, coke drinker and not a big chocolate eater, so my caffeine intake was not large. You don’t need the story, suffice to say I became quite ill from the caffeine. On testing the caffeine as a possible cause I had profound changes beginning 36 hrs after not having caffeine. I had a migraine headache for 3weeks afterwards as withdrawal. I switched to peppermint tea, roobois tea, occasionally decaf tea, decaf coffee 1 per week. I experimented a bit and even a slice of chocolate cake would leave me with a withdrawal headache that started 2hrs after eating. Green tea also has caffeine. I also have a challenge with codeine, but don’t know if it’s related.

    My father, a heavy coffee drinking developed adverse changes in his heart beat from caffeine also.

    Rob – you don’t need coffee to do 5:2. I haven’t noticed it’s promenance in the book or on the forum.
    Best way to give it up? I did it cold turkey, and the migraine eased quite a bit in the 3rd weak, but my case was a severe reaction. A headache is probably inevitable whichever way you decide on. The headache is withdrawal, then if you have more caffeine the headache will go away, and it will repeat. If you think caffeine is having a bad effect on you then I would recommend you give it up. Just find out the different sources of caffeine in your life, and possible sources you haven’t thought of.

    Good luck,

    I don’t think there is any easy way of giving up coffee. You will experience withdrawal symptoms for a few weeks. Take a headache tablet, drink lots of water and after a few weeks the symptoms will go away. Good luck.

    Blimey, thanks for your responses and sharing of your experience. It sounds like there’s no easy way, although if something makes you feel that bad when you stop using it, surely it can’t be doing us any good !?

    I’ll let you know how I get on…..

    Rob, basically caffeine is a drug. No way around that. The reason people drink coffee and tea, coke, and so called energy drinks like Mother, Red Bull, the last having large amounts of caffeine, is because they are addicted to caffeine. It makes us feel better, and when we feel a bit down, slow tired, whatever it may be, we have another and so on. As an addictive drug when you go off it you have withdrawal. People just don’t think of it as a drug so it can come as a shock when they find the withdrawal a challenge. For me, when I became quite ill from the caffeine my body got to a point where it didn’t tolerate the caffeine any longer, and then I went downhill rapidly, and the cause was a bit inexplicable till we chanced on something that pointed to caffeine as a possible cause. I’m so glad we found that it was caffeine. If you already think caffeine is causing you some challenges then I’d suggest you don’t wait, and just get off it as quick as you can.

    Just a little more info – look at the list of ingredients in things you’ll see caffeine listed but you’ll also see guarana (sp?) as a separated ingredient. That’s caffeine too, just in a slightly different form. The manufacturers will just split the caffeine and guarana amounts so that you think you’re getting less caffeine.

    Good luck

    Thanks Merryme, yes I feel I may be having a similar reaction to caffeine to you. I am caught in a bit of a catch 22 situation – if I don’t drink it I feel awful and can’t function very well, but when I do drink it I have a brief period of feeling OK, then move on to feeling pretty awful too. I feel like I’ve been poisoned – foggy headed, yucky and exhausted. Not at all the perky, lively feeling you’d expect caffeine to give you.

    It’s really getting me down too – I seem to spend my days listless and dragging around.

    It may be a stupid question, but I presume you feel better off it ? How long is it now ?


    Do you have low blood pressure? With those symptoms, I would also make a detailed blood check – it might be something else.

    Nice soak in hot bath for 15-20 minutes could help to get toxins out of the body thru skin. That might be useful for withdrawal symptoms.

    Thank you for sharing your story, it was very informative.

    Hi Rob and cold pizza,

    That brief feeling of feeling OK is the good bit, then the yuck stuff is withdrawal. Maybe a bit more explanation is needed.

    I’m now in mid 60’s and the caffeine dominated year of my life I was mid 30’s. I have a history of multiple food and chemical intolerances, and some allergies. I’d had several children and a couple of operations in the preceding years, so was fairly physically exhausted at that point, not much sleep etc. Physically, symptoms of the rapid downturn started with my hands shaking if I went to pick up something small. This developed over months. Emotionally, episodes of depression, headache and anger increased in frequency and severity till I was unable to do many things. The depression and headache was understandable – young children, little sleep etc. The anger had no explanation – no reason to be so. We were searching for an answer as it was becoming disabling, and we had 3 small children, so urgently in need of an answer. My children were also showing some signs of food intolerance/allergies, so we were looking in the food area. Fortuitously, a friend lent me a book called “Not All In The Mind” by Stuart(?) Mackarness. Turned out to be a different topic than I expected – delayed reaction food intolerance – but gave me clues to my situation re the shaking and unexplainable anger. The author gave clues to finding out what might be causing a problem, and suggesting trialling separately each food that seemed to give a delayed reaction pattern. The most obvious for me was caffeine. I drank only 2 cups of tea a day, and cafe coffee 1/week. There was a pattern discernible, the worst being after the cafe coffee which has double the caffeine of instant, and I didn’t drink coke or eat chocolate. So caffeine was the first thing I tried.

    Began by not having tea in the evening, none the next day, then the next morning I woke up feeling like a different person. The depression and anger were gone, and I could look back and see that I had been slowly declining for the previous 3 yrs before the rapid descent of the previous 6months. I had a headache, yes, but not a migraine that day. I remember it as a joyous day. I don’t recall if the shaking stopped then or a bit further on, because I was just so relieved to be rid of the depression and anger. The headache worsened into a migraine but I wasn’t at the point of throwing up and having to be laying down in a darkened room. I remember the headache but I knew it was withdrawal and would pass, and I was just so relieved to be rid of the other symptoms, I just thought of it as something to get through.

    That was over 30yrs ago now, and periodically I would test things with small amounts of caffeine. MSure enough I would get a headache after a couple of hours and it would last for 24hrs. Not as bad as the 3week one though. Now in my senior yrs my life is much less stressed, and in the last 2yrs I have started drinking 1 cup of very, very, weak Earl Grey tea a day. I can tolerate small amounts of chocolate, and a piece of chocolate cake (birthdays and special occasions). Occasionally I can even tolerate a cafe coffee, though I have to be very mindful that caffeine is addictive and keep away from it. A doctor told me that if you make a cup of tea, pour it out and make a second from the same teabag, that most of the caffeine is in the first cup, but I don’t know if that’s true. Originally I drank peppermint tea and roobois tea for a hot drink, and kept totally off chocolate for at least 20yrs. Decaf tea and coffee are water filtered and have almost no caffeine. There are normal teas that claim to be low caffeine, but I still reacted to them.

    I don’t know if it’s useful for you, but I later went on to do full elimination testing with a hospital dietitian, and discovered I was intolerant to many natural foods and chemical additives and preservatives. So… I don’t know if the caffeine intolerance was part of my wider medical profile or not, but quite possibly.

    Rob, it is well worth the relief of not having caffeine. Just fruit your teeth and go for it. It will be over quickly and life will be much better. If necessary I will carry a peppermint teabag or decaf coffee satchet with me if I know I’m going some where where nothing else will be available.


    LOL – just fruit your teeth! Intuitive text!!! Just grit your teeth, was what I wrote! Sometimes spell check and intuitive text make me grit my teeth.

    Thanks Merryme, your story is fascinating, you seem to have had a real rough ride with caffeine. I think my intake is slightly higher – I had 4 mugs of “proper” black coffee yesterday – but I can identify with how it made you feel. I did some research on how best to get off it and have a taper plan to reduce over time – I’m starting today and will take just over a week (reducing by about half a cup a day). Hopefully this will minimise withdrawal and allow me to be productive at work.

    I’ve never been tested for an allergy to caffeine (is there a test ?), but it seems to affect me differently to other people I know. While they seem to get energised and more productive when they drink it, it has the opposite effect on me. I feel tense and anxious and become paralysed – a bit like a rabbit in the headlights, I end up getting nothing done. It’s not good. I also feel bad physically, particularly with stomach distress.

    Assuming I can get off it, I think I’ll stay off it in all forms – tea, chocolate etc. Trying to use a little bit here and there feels a bit like trying to keep a wild animal as a pet !

    Rob, I’m confident you will be able to get off it. It’s not nearly as bad as getting off other things. For me, it was only that 2 nights and the day in between when I first went off it,mwhen I could have had more, and because I replaced it with other hot drinks I found it relatively easy. Way easier than getting off cigarettes, alcohol etc. not even in the same ballpark. Although the withdrawal migraine/headache was not nice, I never felt like I wanted more tea/coffee/caffeine, and wasn’t fighting any desire for it at all.

    Re allergy testing. I don’t really know. It’s a long time since I was fully tested for allergies and did the extensive elimination testing for all foods and substances, so things may have changed. When I was allergy tested I did not show up as allergic to caffeine, though I did to other things. Then again, I don’t know if caffeine was even tested. (My life was so full on through those years that I didn’t follow through on details like finding out if the caffeine thing was allergy or intolerance. Basically an allergy is an immune system response. An intolerance is gut related although the symptoms are many and varied across physical, emotional and cognitive dysfunctions of various types. I tend to think that my challenge with caffeine is an intolerance because now, 30yrs later I can tolerate a very small amount which is a distinct change. Intolerances have a threshold level which will go up and down with a persons stress levels and physical condition.

    Even if it is an intolerance, if I am in a social situation or buying a drink I say I have an allergy to caffeine. If I use the word ‘intolerance’ people don’t get it and push me to have stuff I’ve said no to or, I have had the situation where someone in a cafe has made me a normal coffee and pretended it was decaffeinated. I knew because I had the reaction 2hrs later that lasted 24hrs. So, I learnt to say it was an allergy and then people acquiesced to my need for decaf or non caffeinated drink without any problems. They understand ‘allergy’, they don’t understand ‘intolerance’.

    Over the years, and through various situations I’ve discovered I do not tolerate codeine and several other medically used drugs. 1is a strong painkiller which actually makes pain worse for me. Just telling you these added things re food and medical drugs in case your caffeine problem ends up being part of bigger problems for you as well. Hope not though.

    I’m glad you’ve got a plan to get off the caffeine. Let me know how you get on. I’ll keep this thread ticked so I get your posts. I’m not on here at the same time each day at the present time, but I’ll check in each day as much as possible.


    Re my father: my father would have been late 50’s to early 60’s when he started having problems with disruption to his heartbeat caused by his 10-12 cups of strong coffee a day. It was instant coffee but he’d put 2 heaped tea spoonfuls in a mug. Then 10 a 12 of those. His doctor read him the riot act and he cut it down a lot. Went back to single smaller tea spoonfuls and about 3-4 a day. This made a big difference and his heartbeat went back to normal for someone his age. He didn’t have an intolerance/allergy situation, he just had way too much of it over many years and wouldn’t follow advice to cut it back till he had a big problem.


    Merry, thanks very much for the information and encouragement, it’s much appreciated. I have a history of alcohol addiction, although I haven’t drunk alcohol now for nearly 24 years. I guess it may be contentious, but my belief is that some people are pre-disposed to addiction – i.e. they are “addicts” – and so are more likely to become addicted to any drugs they use. I think this is the case with me – caffeine is seen as ubiquitous and harmless (everyone drinks it….) but for me it’s become a compulsion that is having harmful effects on my health. That’s why I’m keen to get off it, but like all addictions it’s not easy to stop. I’ve tried (and failed) many times to go cold turkey, but withdrawal symptoms quickly drive me back to it. I’m hoping tapering is a more intelligent approach and will prove more successful.

    To reference some of the earlier posts on this thread, sugar is certainly another problem. Again it may be contentious, but many argue that sugar is a drug (or has “drug like” effects). Certainly those I know in recovery from drug and alcohol addictions tend to be big consumers of both caffeine and sugar.

    Anyway, I’m going to try and tackle one at a time. Caffeine is the bigger problem for me as it produces the biggest negative effects, so I’ll work on it first. Then I think I’ll have to have a good look at sugar….

    Hi Rob,

    Thanks for your explanation. Congratulations on your sobriety Rob. Well done! It explains the sugar thing too. It explains my father’s situation also . He was a dry addict. I know he switched to a lot of sugar when he went dry, and continued to have a sweet tooth. I have always been aware I had to be careful about possible addictions as a child of one . Interestingly, grandchildren are even more at risk. I think my problem with caffeine came from a different genetic inheritance of food problems from my other side. Whichever, I’m so grateful to have found the cause of the caffeine problem. I was very lucky to have a friend who helped look after me and my children during that time and an OH who did much overtime at home. The relief for all of us was amazing.

    Good to hear you have a plan to taper. I think Dad cut it down by reducing the amount in each cup first then cut back the number of cups but I don’t really know for sure. He quit 2 addictions cold turkey, so he may have done that too. Whichever, he was very happy also to get his heart working normally again. No such thing as decaf in those days, and no substitutes or herbal teas so he did pretty well I have always admired him for what he achieved being sober and doing it long term. Kudos to you too Rob.


    Thanks Merry. My father was an alcoholic too, he stopped drinking but never got any kind of treatment. He replaced alcohol with sugar and being grumpy ! I go to AA which helps a lot, but one thing AA doesn’t really address is the nutritional treatment of alcoholism. It was started in the mid-1930s and much of the literature (and thinking) hasn’t progressed since then. Interestingly the “Big Book” in AA (the basic text) recommends you carry something sweet with you at all times when you first stop drinking. If you crave alcohol eat it, and you’ll find the craving will diminish or go away – it works. I’ve not had much exposure to drugs, but I’ve heard that heroin addicts who can’t get the drug will eat huge quantities of sugar to stave off withdrawal. My guess is that sugar does something to dopamine and other “feel good” chemicals in the brain.

    The same is probably true of caffeine – it is a drug after all, even if it has been domesticated and glamorised.

    Anyway, thanks again for your help and advice. It’s the weekend so I’m thinking I may have to take it, bite the bullet and quit. Tapering is an appealing idea but it doesn’t really work with me in reality. I’m a bit all or nothing. Ha.

    Interesting about the carrying lollies with you. I think dad did that. I remember reading in a book on characteristics of adult children of alcoholics that sugar cravings were common. I’d got the idea that alcohol was basically a ‘sugar’ or broke down into sugars in the body, or something like that, and that going off alcohol meant the body looked for other sugars. Just did a quick google scan, as you do, crossing fingers the info will be largely accurate, and come up with a susceptibility in those with lower levels of neurotransmitters going looking for substances that help increase those -enter alcohol, sugar, caffeine, pot, nicotine, etc. Many women have a thing about chocolate – sugar, caffeine, tryptophan (?) and various other chemicals, and some will even joke about 2.30-3pm being ‘chocolate o’clock’. The late night carb binge is another.

    In my opinion I’d rather be using sugar than alcohol or caffeine. I’ve been on 5:2 for almost 2 yrs and I’ve still had sugar occasionally, usually on special occasions. Other than that I’ve used a very small amount of stevia, and do use low cal jellies for evening cravings if they arrive, then I get as far away from the kitchen as possible. I’m almost at goal weight, and I figure I’ll fight 1battle at a time. Getting the weight off, put on through ill health caused by a nasty virus, was my main aim. Once I get to maintenance I aim to stay on 5:2 indefinitely and work on fine-tuning my food/drink profile.

    Hope the weekend goes well Rob. I’ll be thinking of you. Keep in touch.


    I have not read this whole thread, but I wanted to add that I truly wish I could give up coffee as my body is addicted and I hate it. The days I go without coffee I feel so sleepy and sluggish and by evening I get headaches. I have been drinking coffee for so many many years that I am worried that the effects on my brain are now permanent and that my brain will always miss the coffee, even though I may not notice it. This causes a slight depression in your receptors.

    Hi PinkQueen,

    Yep, it’s yuck. My brain was a lot better once I gave it up. The sluggish, headachy thing is withdrawal, which is short lived. You don’t stay like that and pretty soon you have your real brain back. The lift from caffeine is deceptive because we’re trying to get a lift from a withdrawal state not a normal state. Finish reading the thread and see how you are thinking about it.



    A lot of the long lasting affects could be the brain, and not physical. For example, I quit smoking almost 30 years ago (next January will be 30 years) and still every once in a while will get a craving for a cigarette. The physical withdrawal is long gone but I still have some mental desire on occasion. What’s weird is when I pass by someone who’s been smoking the smell makes me sick and I’ll NEVER smoke again, but boy that desire can be a powerful thing.

    As for coffee, I don’t think I’ll be giving that up. I only have 1 cup a day and enjoy the flavor.

    I wish you great success with your goals and hope your withdrawal symptoms go away quickly.


    Hi Merryme,

    I have recently discovered I have a problem with caffeine as well. The last couple of years I have had heart palpitations occasionally (heart been checked and all ok) and shaky hands (getting worse lately) with just drinking 2 cups of tea a day.

    I gave up coffee about 30 years ago because of the palps but only started with the shakiness in the last couple of years. I am 62 by the way. I also have intolerances to some foods which again has only been an issue in the last couple of years.

    I get a headache almost every day but did not even think that is was related to just my 2 cups of tea a day!….didn’t cross my mind. Just the other day I had my normal cups of tea but also had a Pepsi Max (one off) and was taking a Green Tea Supplement for about 3 days (aids weight loss apparently) but then woke up yesterday with the heart palps and felt awful all day!

    I would say my caffeine sensitivity is obviously getting worse and it looks like I’m going to have to go off my tea and try herbal/decaf for a while to see if there is a difference. I am sure there will be but just not sure how I’m going to go giving up my Twinings! :)…..haven’t tried decaf tea before so not sure if the taste will change much?

    Is is comforting to know that others out there have had the same issues and reading your advice has helped me greatly!


    Hi ghart,

    Sorry to hear you’re another one , but good to hear our discussion and experience is helping you to get a handle on your own situation. I hope you’re able to get off it and be headache free.

    I don’t find drinking decaf coffee/tea difficult – there’s the good, mediocre and very ordinary like the real thing. There doesn’t seem to be much decaf black tea where I live now, but I do drink a really good peppermint tea, which is a peppermint /spearmint blend by T2. You will discover some teas that you really like, and good quality ones too. With my intolerances I can’t drink all the herbal blends that are out there because of a lot of the flower type ingredients, hibiscus flowers, jasmine, camomile, and a few others. I do OK with citrus ingredients, peppermint and lemongrass is nice, roobois tea, which I think is an acquired taste, and several different no caffeine blends from T2. Re decaf coffee from cafes etc, if they keep the decaf in the fridge it’s usually good. If not it can be bitter.

    I’ve been re- looking at my own consumption during this conversation with Rob, and I can see how little bits of caffeine are creeping back in more than I thought, so I’m back to being totally caffeine free again.

    Let us know how you get on ghart,

    Good to read all your replies and as others have said, it’s good to know I’m not alone – caffeine is a powerful drug that affects some of us very negatively. Unfortunately it’s also addictive and it certainly affects me negatively if I don’t have it – a bit of a classic catch-22 !

    I’ve decided I need to bite the bullet and just quit. Tapering is an appealing concept, but it doesn’t seem to work for me, I just keep on going.

    So today is hopefully my last caffeinated day, from tomorrow I’m going to quit. Hopefully it’ll be OK but I may post here looking for moral support, so please be gentle with me !

    Thanks Merryme for the encouragement and advice. I had a headache all day yesterday (I am an Aussie from Sydney so it was the 12th) the only caffeine I had were 2 cups of tea in the morning. One at breakfast and the other later in the day for morning tea. Took headache tablets but they didn’t get rid of it.

    So on the way home from work I stopped into buy some decaf tea and found Twinings Decaf and Tetley Decaf. I was interested to see if I would like it some made a cup of Twinings Decaf and it was nice. Very surprised! I will try the Tetley Decaf this morning.

    Hopefully I will won’t suffer too much in withdrawals from caffeine but am willing to give it go as I am fed up with how I am feeling…..headaches and shaky hands mostly.

    Good luck to you Rob In Recovery – I hope you don’t have too many problems giving it up either – perservere 🙂

    Thanks again Merryme


    Well it’s the end of my 6th day without caffeine and I have to say it’s been rough. I reached a point on Saturday last week when I just thought I’ve had enough, this has to stop. I’d been Googling endlessly about how to stop, whether to quit cold turkey or taper off etc. but in the end I just stopped. As they say, the way to stop doing something is to just stop it !

    The first 3 days were all mental – headaches, feeling foggy, no energy, unable to focus and desperate to sleep all the time. Days 4 onwards have added the pleasure of physical pain – muscle cramps, mainly in my back and legs. Last night I had to get up to take painkillers so I could sleep.

    I’ve done this before so I know what to expect, but it always amazes me how powerful the withdrawal effect is from a ubiquitous, supposedly benign substance that the vast majority of people ingest multiple times every day. Maybe it’s just me, perhaps I’m unusual and most people don’t feel like this ? I’m not sure, but I really hope I’ve learned my lesson and stay off it this time.

    I’m also interested to see what effect it has on my diet. As I’ve said before, I’m sure coffee does something to blood sugar (or whatever) that makes me crave sweet things. So far this week my sugar intake has gone down a lot, although it’s only been a few days. Partly that’s due to not eating chocolate (contains caffeine and other drugs), but generally I just don’t fancy sweet stuff as much.

    Anyway, all part of the adventure……

    My doctor said I needed to stop having caffeine because of a medical condition I have. Because I could really see the importance of stopping, and the problems if I didn’t, it became pretty easy. And the lack of any real choice took away many of the psychological barriers.

    So I’d be thinking that being crystal clear on why we want to change is the starting point in making the change.

    I now have herbal teas instead.

    Thanks Onel. Yes, I agree, motivation and having a strong reason to change are key, particularly when dealing with something addictive like caffeine that produces withdrawal symptoms.

    The day I stopped I remember thinking really clearly that I just don’t want to be an addict any more. I’m sick of depending on something to be able to function normally.

    Since my last post it’s got alot better. I don’t think about drinking coffee at all and am beginning to feel better – mentally clearer, more energy, thinking and sleeping better.

    Great to hear that Rob.

    I sort of look at this fasting process as a recovery from addiction too – a glucose/insulin addiction. I’d have some bread, which satisfied the urge. Then I’d be hungry again and have some more bread. Then I’d be hungry again and …

    Like the caffeine dependency, I was sick of being dependent on food to get rid of the feeling of hunger. And now I’ve found the hunger passes anyway when I don’t eat. Which is quite empowering.

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