Self-experiment: Feeling Great After 2 Weeks Of No Coffee Or White Sugar

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May 29, 2013
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This isn't an attack on caffeine or white sugar, but after some recent discussion on the forum about coffee potentially being bad for people with sensitive adrenals, I decided to cut it out for a while because I have a history of high cortisol. The sugar has been ditched naturally by losing the coffee.

Luckily, I'd already started cutting it out because I was worried about the colour of my teeth lol.

The first week, my energy was up and down. Certain times of day, I really felt like I needed a coffee or else I'd have to lie down and have a nap. Emotionally felt a little up and down too.

But after a week, I really started to level out. Sustained energy, pleasant mood, and my habit for overthinking and analysing has gone. I can let thoughts or feelings go immediately, even if I encounter something stressful. This has always been a big problem for me, and I don't think I've ever managed to calm my brain as much as it is now. I've also got a lot of motivation to tick off routine tasks like the dishes, bits of gardening that need doing etc. And I also have a lot of motivation to work out. And my appetite is much, much bigger.

I'm aware of getting enough calories and nutrients when drinking caffeine, but my diet is very nutritious and I have been getting 3K+ cals for a while. For the first time, I feel like I'm getting the benefits of that.

Again, I'm not trying to attach too much meaning to this. But for me personally, so far the experience of dropping coffee and sugar has been very positive. I'll try to report back if anything changes.
 

milkboi

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Very nice. Have been wanting to do the same thing (getting off caffeine), but have exams coming soon (university won‘t tell when exactly they will be), so haven‘t started the process yet.
 

Collden

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Given up coffee many times, also feel better without it, yet always for some reason end up going back on it. I feel like the benefits of quitting are greatest in the first couple of weeks and months after the acute withdrawal has passed, then over time they taper off and I start to feel negatives creeping up.
 

redsun

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So the question to me is now: Go cold turkey or taper down slowly?

Yeh I got exams soon as well so I might try to stop coffee afterward again but if you do it, cold turkey will work better but the withdrawal will hit harder. Tapering down takes longer but not as intense. Imo its not like caffeine is a hardcore drug so if I were to do it I would do it cold. It would suck for about a week and wouldnt last more than 2 weeks but then energy should much more sustained.

In my case my energy was more sustained at a higher level and I slept less and when I had to wake up early it wasn't as hard to. Once the body stops using caffeine as a crutch for the sympathetic nervous system the SNS comes back stronger and works better on its own.
 

milkboi

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Yeh I got exams soon as well so I might try to stop coffee afterward again but if you do it, cold turkey will work better but the withdrawal will hit harder. Tapering down takes longer but not as intense. Imo its not like caffeine is a hardcore drug so if I were to do it I would do it cold. It would suck for about a week and wouldnt last more than 2 weeks but then energy should much more sustained.

In my case my energy was more sustained at a higher level and I slept less and when I had to wake up early it wasn't as hard to. Once the body stops using caffeine as a crutch for the sympathetic nervous system the SNS comes back stronger and works better on its own.

So one week, and after I should be able to function ok again? Might take a week off work for that purpose.
 

redsun

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So one week, and after I should be able to function ok again? Might take a week off work for that purpose.

You should definitely be more than functional by a week. It also depends on how much caffeine you consume as well. If its a crazy high dose daily its going to take longer. You have to wait for receptors density to change back to get full caffeine "withdrawal" i dont think there is a definite timeline for that but it starts right away as soon as withdrawal begins:

Chronic Caffeine Alters the Density of Adenosine, Adrenergic, Cholinergic, GABA, and Serotonin Receptors and Calcium Channels in Mouse Brain
 

mrchibbs

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Anecdotal but I found that different types of coffee gave me vastly different results.
I recently made the effort to buy dark roast organic fair trade beans, and I've also
implemented some techniques that Ray talked about (i.e. pouring colder water on the ground beans before pouring the boiling hot water)

Basically it's a big difference
 

metabolizm

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One small instant coffee a day is all I can handle, and I've done a lot of experimentation. I'd probably feel even better without it altogether but I love it too much, it's too hard to eliminate altogether.
 

TheSir

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It's not surprising that not using a psychoactive drug on daily basis is superior to doing so. In the long term, you can never maintain your sober baseline functionality with daily substance abuse. You will inevitably dip below it.
 

laleto12

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I've also quitted caffeine a week ago. Withdrawal symptoms lasted 3 days. my eyes felt like popping from their sockets and my head felt like its going to explode :D
But I feel better and my temps went up. I dont think coffee agrees with me.
 

nwo2012

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It's the exact opposite for me. Anytime Ive gone any prolonged periods without it, I feel like Ive lost something. Coffee relaxes me when I need it but also pre-work out it gives me the ability to get fired up. I'm not quitting it ever again.
 
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So one week, and after I should be able to function ok again? Might take a week off work for that purpose.

i get reliable migraine-type headaches after more than 2 days continous caffeine consumption and subsequent withdrawal.If it is the same for you,it is doable,but take off from work.Headache and nausea sets in after 24-36h for me.
 

Gone Peating

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Anecdotal but I found that different types of coffee gave me vastly different results.
I recently made the effort to buy dark roast organic fair trade beans, and I've also
implemented some techniques that Ray talked about (i.e. pouring colder water on the ground beans before pouring the boiling hot water)

Basically it's a big difference

What differences have you noticed?
 

mrchibbs

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What differences have you noticed?

The coffee tastes better, it feels relaxing and energizing, and I want to drink more of it and I don’t get sick of it, which is typically what happens to me, after 1-2 cups I’m done, now I want more.
 

sladerunner69

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It's not surprising that not using a psychoactive drug on daily basis is superior to doing so. In the long term, you can never maintain your sober baseline functionality with daily substance abuse. You will inevitably dip below it.

Can you define what a "psychoactive" drug is? Food itself has a stimulating effect on the brain, as do various vitamins and other compounds which are never viewed as "drugs".
 

sladerunner69

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The coffee tastes better, it feels relaxing and energizing, and I want to drink more of it and I don’t get sick of it, which is typically what happens to me, after 1-2 cups I’m done, now I want more.

How does process work exactly? And why would that make any sort of difference?
 

Collden

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I also wonder about how coffee drinking interacts with the modern environment. Coffee promotes faster thinking and enhanced absorption of information which was no doubt a boon in a less complex society where thought was slower and there was less information to begin with, but how does coffee interact with the ultra-rapid information technology which gives all of us unlimited access to constant novelty and new information to take in? I'd suspect that coffee promotes more shallow thinking and less deep processing of what we learn, resulting in the kind of unreflective ADHD culture obsessed with irrelevant minutiae that we have become.

On the other hand, some of the most thought-provoking modern thinkers and artists like Peat and David Lynch are heavy coffee drinkers, but they are also old guys so their brains may not have been molded as much by modern information technology.
 
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