Plasmic-Turtle wrote:People who are giving up caffeine! I want to join that group.
I've drunken caffeine in various forms since I was about 16 or so (so, for about a decade). It began as instant coffee with milk and sugar, moved to instant coffee without milk or sugar, progressed up to plunger coffee, and now has moved on to home-machine coffee. (There were lots of V and red-bull cans in the weeks leading to my thesis hand-in, and a glass or two of coke a day when I had a job at Subway and staff had free access to the fizzy drink, but besides that coffee's been the main form).
I never noticed any issues with withdrawal until the last year or so. Even though I really didn't think I was consuming much coke at my Subway job, I started to notice that if I didn't have any on a shift I'd feel tired and out of it and useless. I tried to give it a miss and found myself being considerably more physically clumsy amongst other things. I can't remember whether it was back then with the coke that I got my first headache from withdrawal, or whether that was since I moved in to the house with the coffee machine. I have one coffee per morning from the home coffee machine. I don't have it in the evenings because I'll have trouble getting to sleep. If I have my morning coffee then I won't have any coffee for the rest of the day, though I may have a number of cups of tea.
A few months ago I started to notice that if I accidentally missed my morning coffee (or we'd run out, or I deliberately didn't have one, or I didn't have time for one), then within the next 6-24 hrs I would get a HORRIBLE piercing headache. Horrible. I'm someone who generally very rarely gets headaches, too, even when I'm sick, so it was a bit of a shock to the system. It made me angry at this evil drug that possessed my body like that and gave me withdrawals, so I've tried a couple of times to quit, but then caved due to missing the taste or smell, or just feeling so super-tired and useless in the morning that I couldn't imagine how I'd get through the day without it. Not to de-rail the thread (you can even PM me!) but I'd be super-interested to hear stories from those who've given up caffeine, even just for periods of a month or so. Does getting up in the morning and starting work go back to something that feels as OK (or better?) than when you were on caffeine? And if so how long does it take? What positives/negatives were there with quitting?
Any drug works because it replicates a chemical already produced in the brain. When you regularly consume the drug, the faculty producing the chemical shuts down. If you quit 'cold turkey', the withdrawl effects are caused because the chemical is not available. Thus, I would recommend an incremental approach:
1. Map your current consumption for a week, making special note of the size and additives.
2. Week 1-2: maintain consumption, but start reducing the amount of additives (cream and sugar) so that you wean yourself off of the sugar high as well as making the coffee as bad tasting as possible.
3. Week 3-4: start reducing the size of coffees you drink from large to medium, from medium to small. Also, take a longer time to drink the coffee to maximize the amount of time of caffeine absorption. Given that the taste has gone from good to horrific, that shouldn't be a problem.
4. Week 5-6: start eliminating 20% of your coffees from your schedule until you're down to 1 per week. If necessary, replace with a caffeine-free hot drink. By this time, your body should have taken up the slack in producing caffeine itself. Studiously avoid replacing coffee with colas or teas.
Anyone have any improvements to this strategy?
5. Week 6+: embrace your caffeine free lifestyle.