30 Reasons to Quit Coffee

by Ann Marie Michaels on December 3, 2010

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As many of you know, I quit coffee this past summer. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done, but it was quite possibly the best thing I’ve ever done for my health. It was a miracle that I was able to quit. I have been a full-blown addict since my teen years. I always said I would never quit drinking coffee. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. ;-)

My Story – How Just One Cup Can Hurt

Before I get into the 30 reasons to quit coffee, I want to share this personal story. Things got stressful just before the Wise Traditions conference this fall. I wasn’t getting enough sleep and I was working too much. I found myself resorting to a cup of coffee here and there, and the next thing you know I was drinking a cup every day. A very slippery slope.

What happened shocked me. On just one cup of coffee a day (occasionally two — and always in the morning), my ability to sleep through the night went in the toilet. Suddenly I was sleeping only 5-6 hours a night. I’d wake up at 3 or 4 am every night, tossing and turning. It took me hours to fall back asleep. The less sleep I got, the more I craved coffee. Suddenly I was drinking a cup in the morning and another in the afternoon because I was so tired.

It wasn’t until I got back home from my trip and cut out coffee again that I saw the amazing change. In just one day after quitting coffee, I was sleeping 9-11 hours a night — effortlessly. I felt awake and alert, and had energy to burn all day.

You see, coffee is a psychoactive drug. It damages your body and your mind in a variety of ways. But it is also addictive. It makes you tired, makes you gain weight, makes you agitated and nervous, makes you depressed, and worst of all, it makes you want more of it.

Being addicted to coffee is like being married to a abusive husband. He beats you up and then hooks you and makes you afraid to leave. You never needed to be beaten — but somehow a wife beater makes you think you deserve it and it becomes normal. And worst of all, nobody can convince you to lave.

This is exactly what happens with coffee. Even just one cup a day.

Caffeine Blues

I download a fascinating book to my iPad yesterday and read almost the whole thing in just one day. It’s called Caffeine Blues: Wake Up to the Hidden Dangers of America’s #1 Drugby Stephen Cherniske.

I was literally blown away reading this well-referenced book. If you are ready to quit coffee and need some bolstering, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy. If you think you don’t need to quit coffee, you really need to read it.

What follows is a list of 30 reasons to quit coffee. There are many more reasons in the book — this is just a sampling.

30 Reasons to Quit Coffee

1. According to the author, Stephen Cherniske, “Caffeine is a biological poison used by plants as a pesticide.”

2. “Over 700 volatile substances in coffee have been identified, including more than 200 acids and an incredible array of alcohols, aromatic compounds, carbonyl compounds, esters, hydrocarbons, heterocyclic compounds, and terpenoids… Coffee often contains a raft of pesticide residues and other contaminants such as nitrosamines, solvents, and mycotoxins. These carry well-defined health risks, and some are carcinogenic.”

3. Caffeine raises blood pressure.

4. Caffeine increases homocysteine (a biochemical that damages artery walls).

5. Caffeine promotes arrythmias.

6. Caffeine constricts blood vessels leading to the heart.

7. Caffeine seems to give you energy but it is not real energy — only “chemical stimulation”. According to Cherniske, “The perceived ‘energy’ comes from the body’s struggle to adapt to increased blood levels of stress hormones.”

8. Children are the most vulnerable to caffeine because they don’t detoxify the drug as easily. “Caffeine stays in a child’s brain and bloodstream much longer than an adult’s and subsequent doses produce a cumulative increase in stress and addiction.”

9. Cutting out caffeine can reduce and even eliminate chronic pain. Pain and tension in our bodies are related to the level of stress hormones in our bodies, which caffeine increases.

10. Caffeine is a stimulant. “Using stimulants is like a whipping a horse. They work for a short time but prove disastrous when used repeatedly.” In other words, coffee may help you in the short term, but in the long term, it hurts you in myriad ways.

11. Caffeine powerfully affects stress hormones. “It takes three weeks or more after withdrawal from caffeine before stress hormones return to normal.” Cherniske recommends that you eliminate caffeine for a minimum of 60 days in order to see how you really feel without caffeine. (I can personally attest to this. I have so much more energy today — but it did take several weeks off caffeine for me to feel it.)

12. Caffeine damages the nervous system. “Human and animal data suggest that dopamine and benzodiazepine receptors are involved in hand tremor, and the condition is common in both habitual and casual coffee drinkers.”

13. Coffee, even decaf, taxes your liver. “Coffee contains a host of chemicals, not just caffeine, among them a group of extremely toxic compounds known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons… The liver also has to deal with all the aldehydes, alcohols, and sulfides found in coffee.”

14. Coffee and drugs don’t mix. (That’s because coffee is a drug!) Many prescription and over-the-counter drugs contain caffeine. Many drugs (including birth control pills and heartburn drugs like Tagamet) “interfere with the liver’s ability to detoxify the chemicals found in coffee. “Other pharmaceutical drugs have been shown to increase blood levels of caffeine by more than 600 percent.”

16. Caffeine impairs digestion. I could write a whole blog post on this one. It’s not just coffee but also decaf — the oils in decaf are damaging to the gut. (Yes, I’m quitting decaf as of today.)

17. Caffeine causes stress on the body. Stress is a factor in most diseases.

18. Caffeine lowers your stress threshold. In other words, coffee drinkers handle stress less effectively.

19. Caffeine elevates cortisol.

20. Caffeine taxes the adrenal glands, which in turn negatively affects your thyroid, sex hormones, and your metabolism.

21. Caffeine suppresses immunity. “In all, more than 150 hormones are produced by the adrenals or metabolized from adrenal hormones. One group, known as glucocorticoids (including cortisol), act as a brake on the immune system… Scientists have recently learned that excess glucocorticoid production (caused by stress and caffeine) can profoundly suppress immunity.”

22. Caffeine depletes GABA, the calming brain chemcial that makes you feel in control and centered, not overwhelmed. “Caffeine disrupts the normal metabolism of GABA. Here’s this wonderful brain biochemical that increases the ‘filter mechanism’ of the brain, helps you to step back and see clearly even under stress, and caffeine screws it up.”

23. “Caffeine has been found to shorten total sleep time… Research shows that people who consume more than 250 milligrams of caffeine per day tend to have poor sleep quality.”

24. “There is a popular notion that coffee before 3 pm can’t disturb your sleep. Caffeine at any time of the day can cause sleep problems, especially if you are under stress.”

25. Caffeine plays a role in hypoglycemia and blood sugar disorders. “As part of this (flight-or-flight stress) response, the liver rapidly raises blood sugar levels. This is felt as a ‘lift’ by the person who drank the coffee… but the body must then deal with the metabolic emergency of hyperglycemia (elevated blood sugar).

26. Coffee plays a role in malnutrition. Caffeine causes an increased loss of thiamin and other B vitamins, calcium, minerals, sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium, and zinc. “…studies showed that a single cup of coffee can reduce iron absorption from a meal by as much as 75%.”

27. Caffeine causes depression and anxiety, and can lead to panic attacks. Cherniske says that many people turn to antidepressants due to the fatigue, diminished sleep, and various mental problems they experience from drinking coffee. At the same time, SSRIs like Prozac seriously interrupt sleep patterns, which makes you feel drowsy during the day — at which point people reach for more coffee. He said (and this is one of my key takeaways from the book) that you cannot get off of an antidepressant if you are still consuming caffeine. And remember, it takes a minimum of eight weeks to truly get off caffeine.

28. Coffee can lead to stroke. “One study illustrated that a dose of 250 milligrams (approximately 15 ounces of coffee) produced approximately a 30% decrease in whole-brain cerebral blood flow. This is not only unfortunate, but it’s dangerous, because at the same time, caffeine increases blood pressure in the brain, leading to an increase risk for stroke.”

29. Coffee makes you crazy! “If a person were injected with 500 milligrams of caffeine, within about an hour he or she would exhibit symptoms of severe mental illness, among them, hallucinations, paranoia, panic, mania, and depression. But the same amount of caffeine administered over the course of a day only produces the milder forms of insanity, for which we take tranquilizers and antidepressants.”

30. Caffeine can lead to allergies, food allergies, asthma and reduced immune response. There is evidence that caffeine interferes with the secretion and immune activity of secretory IgA, and stress is once again the principal factor. As the stress hormone cortisol rises, sIgA tends to fall. This is demonstrated even in mother’s milk.”

I could keep going, guys, but I will stop there.

How to Quit Coffee

If you want to learn how I quit coffee effortlessly and painlessly, read my post on How to Quit Coffee.

Also check out the tips in Caffeine Blues: Wake Up to the Hidden Dangers of America’s #1 Drugby Stephen Cherniske.

Share Your Comments

Have you quit coffee yet? If not, what’s keeping you from quitting?

Are you still eating chocolate (which also contains caffeine) or drinking green tea?

If you have quit coffee already, please share the experiences you have had since you quit. Did you find that it helped your health?

Want to Read More Comments?

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{ 198 comments… read them below or add one }

Nellie November 20, 2012 at 1:02 PM

I cannot take your post seriously when every reason is associated with caffeine. I drink decaf. This should be ‘why to stop drinking caffeine.’

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Word of Wisdom January 21, 2013 at 2:01 AM

Most people drink coffee for the stimulative effect from caffeine. However, No.’s 13 and 16 directly address decaf.

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MARY August 29, 2013 at 9:25 AM

Decaf has enough caffeine in it to addict you for life!

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margie May 11, 2014 at 8:06 PM

you do know that decaf still has caffeine right?

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Evelyn December 1, 2012 at 2:57 PM

Ok, so here it goes : I already quit caffeine before I stumbled on your informative post. In my case I did it because of severe PMS symptoms and angry outbursts at my partner, my children and even sometimes friends. I am a pretty rational person, so I could not understand where these irrational overreactions were coming from. I blamed it on PMS most of my adult life (I am in my fourties now) and yet I began to see a link between intake of caffeine and anger. I am now convinced that caffeine causes PMS and have pretty much gone through a personality change (for the better) since quitting almost two weeks ago. I do believe now, that caffeine is a poison and should be avoided by anyone, but I must admit that I was probably more sensitive to it than most people. Sleep was a problem too. I drank coffee about once a week, most of the time I drank tea. Tea is just as bad and white tea or green tea actually have the same, if not more,caffeine than black tea. Not as much as coffee, but it all adds up if you drink it all day. I have ordered the book, but it will be a while before I get it, as I live in Australia. Can you please tell me why it takes 3 weeks or more for your stress levels to go back to normal after quitting caffeine? I would have thought that you would be ok after 48 hours, unless suffering from complete adrenal exhaustion. I had no side effects from quitting, no headaches this time (maybe due to drinking rooibos tea) and I wasn’t tired for more than 2-3 days. Can I expect any other changes now? anyway, thanks for your post, I think you are right, but a lot of people don’t want to hear the truth, because we have been so brainwashed to believe that caffeine is a harmless and pleasant social norm.

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anon December 7, 2012 at 10:47 AM

Actually, biologist Ray Peat says caffeine is a “vitamin-like nutrient or adaptogen”:
http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/caffeine.shtml

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Word of Wisdom January 21, 2013 at 2:03 AM

and Twinkies are health food. lol

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coral in bc December 11, 2012 at 9:37 PM

thanks for the book’s synopsis. i am in agreement 100% although still a coffee drinker for a while yet. stopping is a must, i know it. i gave up alcohol 3 months ago and my anxiety and sleep improved by about 50%. i know that coffee is the other 50% and it needs to go. your list of reasons to quit gave me some incentive that i didnt have yet so thank you. whats crazy is all the recent studies saying that coffee is actually good for us. i have to wonder who is funding these studies. i have always known that coffee wasnt good for ME, it was just a matter of being addicted and needing to quit, something ive done dozens of times but never to quit for good, just to give my body a break for a month. now, the time is coming to leave it behind and mean it. thanks again!

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Jenny December 18, 2012 at 9:19 AM

I really want to understand: is it necessary to quit decaf coffee as well? Is the “poison” in ALL coffee? Or just in caffeinated coffee? Coffee is so much a part of my daily routine. I can’t imagine quitting it altogether.

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Jeff December 18, 2012 at 10:55 AM

Can we really call something a poison, when the people that use this “poison” live longer that people that don’t?

http://boston.cbslocal.com/2012/05/17/study-finds-coffee-drinkers-live-longer/

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Word of Wisdom January 21, 2013 at 2:11 AM

A 25 year UCLA study concluding in 2004, showed that white Mormon men typically live 10 years longer than their white non-Mormon counterparts in California. And Mormon women 5 years longer (Mormons abstain from coffee and tea).

http://www.scientificintegrityinstitute.org/prevmed2008lifestyle&mormonmortalityenstrom.pdf

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nitro February 18, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Um they also abstain from alcohol and drugs and a lot of unhealthy habits. Attributing it to abstention from coffee and tea is a little ridiculous.

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Uaintdown February 26, 2013 at 1:13 PM

I provided a link to the study, which you obviously didn’t look at. The assumption that it is wholly attributed to coffee and tea is ridiculous (I made no such assumption), but it’s a relevant and significant part of the equation. obviously, there are many, many factors, but I mentioned the one here that relates to this article for those uninformed on the subject.

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Amanda May 10, 2013 at 8:29 AM

Yes. The study itself says those things, but in your post concerning the study you make a misleading summation of it . I believe that this is what nitro was speaking to.

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Uaintdown February 19, 2014 at 1:52 AM

Misleading? Perhaps incomplete, but not misleading. The whole point was to draw attention to the fact that abstaining from coffee and tea has positive health benefits.

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louise August 31, 2014 at 8:34 PM

Incomplete = misleading.

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Ashley March 18, 2013 at 8:48 PM

What a load of horse crap!

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Leo April 30, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Ignorance is bliss my dear! I must assume that you still smoke and drink alcohol as well! You did not put up much of an argument by taking us away from caffeine to fertilizer!

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Holly May 9, 2013 at 1:11 PM

Damn it. I know you’re right, but I love coffee.

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Mike May 30, 2013 at 3:33 AM

What is this nonsense….you start off by writing “I have been a full-blown addict since my teen years” and then write “I found myself resorting to a cup of coffee here and there, and the next thing you know I was drinking a cup every day.”

So….you were NOT an addict? Or were you?

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Coo June 2, 2013 at 3:14 PM

That confused me too.

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david June 1, 2013 at 6:48 AM

Having brutal crashes in the afternoon and evening has inspired me to try quitting.

I quit coffee cold turkey about 7 days ago. I drink 3 cups of tea a day (1 black, 2 green) in place of the 4-5 cups of coffee i used to drink every day. Even after a week the affect is painful.

I am having horrendous sleep. I’m turning more and more into a morning zombie every day. I wake up 3 or 4 times every night all the way into the morning. When I wake up in the morning without a coffee, I’m dead as if I never slept. Today when I woke up at my usual time I’ve always woken up, I felt like I had woke up at 2AM.

I have headaches that will not go away. I get very tired at random points of the day. My productivity has shot down to what feels like 10%. I’m lazy, uninspired; basically I’m depressed.

Quitting coffee is scary. If I remember this blog in 2-3 more weeks I’ll update my status. I may very well start drinking coffee again if these symptoms don’t start disappearing.

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david July 7, 2013 at 3:06 AM

I should have come back and said this sooner, but I am back on coffee and better than ever. Quitting coffee was one of the biggest mistakes I’ve ever made. I got basically nothing done in almost an entire month.

As soon as I drank my FIRST HALF CUP after a month, the results were awesome. I became superman and IMMEDIATELY picked up every project I hadn’t been able to pick up since I had a coffee. My productivity was up 500%. My morale was up 500%. My happiness was up 500%.

As long as I limit myself to 2 cups of coffee per workday, I think I’m fine. I drink coffee at 12:30PM and I still easily go to bed at 9PM and wake up at 5AM.

In short: Don’t quit coffee if you rely on it, but if you’re drinking 3+ cups then you might want to tone it down instead of quit.

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spiran May 8, 2014 at 6:45 AM

Superman junky……….pathetic

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Emily December 19, 2013 at 8:48 AM

David-

I’m pro-coffee and think this book sounds like a collaboration of bunk science, on the whole, but NEEDING coffee is never a good sign. I’ve drank 3-5 cups of black for years and suffer minimal effects (maybe a headache) on the rare day I can’t have any. I really encourage you to examine the underlying causes that are leading to that level of exhaustion. To me it says your sleep or nutrition are probably ‘off’ somehow.

A couple troubleshooting tips. Common causes of sleep problems can be:
GERD (aka persistent heartburn). In that case, there’s a decent chance you have an undiagnosed food sensitivity.
Sleep Apnea: briefly stopping breathing during the night. Symptoms include loud snoring and occasionally ‘gasping’ for air then snoring. frequently associated with extra body weight, but can be a result of structural problem of the soft palate (or in my dad’s case, getting your nose broken too much as a trouble-seeking kid). Most cases of apnea can be treated with mouth guards or CPAP machines. Some, like my dad’s require surgery. He lost 40lbs after the surgery, since he was sleeping so much better and his inflammation went down.
Veganism or very low fat diets: Fat mediates hormones and sleep cycles. Too little fat and your sleep will be all sorts of problematic. This is an insidious problem- ie, it doesn’t wake you up at night, but it lessens your time in restorative deep sleep.

Just some ideas =) Good luck on your journey to health!

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Emily December 19, 2013 at 8:51 AM

Oh, and as a follow-up : if anyone reading this thinks you or a family member has sleep apnea, PLEASE do something! It spikes blood pressure during the night and can cause a heart attack in a vulnerable individual. Further, the level on inflammation in the body resulting from the poor sleep is associated with all sorts of negative outcomes: heart disease, cancers, etc. Sleep apnea is pretty easy to diagnose and treat, but it makes a WORLD of difference.

Just my little soapbox for nursing care =) Good luck everyone!

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Riki December 19, 2013 at 11:19 AM

I think you need to research the affects of caffeine a little more emily. Caffeine throws out hormones, reduces the length of REM sleep, it’s highly acidic and is one of the causes of GERD, it also causes allergies and exacerbates existent ones and also glushes out vitamins and minerals from the body. Ever noticed how dry your skin gets or the need to keep going to the toilet? It’s a diuretic. Read the book called caffeine blues. Google on you tube ‘insects on caffeine’ the way it affects a spider’s ability to form a web is interesting… food for thought ;) it’s like when they used to say smoking was good for us… and there’s also a reason why during pregnancy it is advised to avoid it and it can cause miscarriages.. it IS a DRUG and is sold as such at a chemist as NO DOZ. I used to have this when I was a teenager.. it kept me awake until 8am and all the druggies thought I was on speed and asked me what I was taking and could they have some… I think it’s just common sense all this… given it does what it does.. look it up on wikipaedia.. its a psychoactive drug… and should be treated as such

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Riki December 19, 2013 at 11:21 AM

*flushes out vitamins and minerals

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pushkar June 3, 2013 at 10:33 PM

I have quit coffee 3 days back and im already feeling better digestion, proper motions A (after years ) better sleep and a relaxed feeling throughout the day…. my energy was a bit low on the first 2 days but much better now and expecting my energy levels to rise further

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hFaye July 6, 2013 at 6:22 PM

Another post- regarding health and wellness-referencing bogus science.

Coffee, if used wisely is very beneficial,

refer to actual peer reviewed studies

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Jamie July 17, 2013 at 8:31 PM

I find your article to be a bit harsh and exaggerated.
Quitting coffee because of abnormal sleep patterns seems kind of silly.
Then again, I can’t really empathize with you because I’m an insomniac. I get a full night’s sleep a couple times a month and typically sleep 2-6 hours a night. I drink coffee daily, sometimes 2 or 3 cups. But it calms me down a bit. I’ve only been drinking coffee like this for the past 3-4 years. People always try to tell me my sleeping problems comes from all the coffee I drink but I didn’t sleep well as a child either.
But coffee does affect people differently so I can’t really judge. You might’ve just been more sensitive to caffeine. But comparing coffee to an abusive husband is just a bit insensitive.

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Jade October 18, 2013 at 10:38 PM

I have insomnia as well- since I was very young, similar sleep schedule as you’ve described.
I’ve had my fair share of people blaming coffee/caffeine for my sleep troubles- which gets pretty old. Personally, I drink coffee for taste (never to wake up- as I’ve never felt more awake after drinking caffeine) and it’s not a daily thing. A couple times a week I get a hankering for some coffee, almost like a sweet tooth craving.

I don’t usually comment online but this article really irks me. I get that the author is highlighting points from a book- but where are the sources of this information?
The studies referenced seemed incredibly vague, and a few things in the author’s story contradicted each other.
First:
“In just one day after quitting coffee, I was sleeping 9-11 hours a night — effortlessly. I felt awake and alert, and had energy to burn all day.”
And then:
“Cherniske recommends that you eliminate caffeine for a minimum of 60 days in order to see how you really feel without caffeine. (I can personally attest to this. I have so much more energy today — but it did take several weeks off caffeine for me to feel it.)”
Granted, in the second statement came after a point referencing stress hormones- but the author’s comment mentions energy so… which is it? A one day transformation into sleeping longer and having more energy, or several weeks before a day with more energy?

Overall, all of this “information” reads a lot like largely unfounded speculation.
Sure, some people have bad reactions to caffeine. Some people are also allergic to strawberries.
Some people will break out into hives if they come into contact with animal dander.
Different bodies work differently.

And… one last thing to everyone who is raging against caffeine:
Are you also cutting chocolate out of your diet?

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Middy98 August 9, 2013 at 10:33 PM

It is my experience that coffee is detrimental, decaf included. The same goes for chocolate and soda, but it doesn’t seem to be the caffeine content, because I do not suffer any ill effects from drinking tea.

I was fighting for my life, I had become so ill. I was wasting away on the couch and so terribly upset. I’d developed high blood pressure, joint problems, vitamin deficiencies and had gained an exorbitant amount of weight.

I was constantly at the doctor’s office, but never received any answers. I started researching and taking different vitamins and probiotics, which seemed to help somewhat. I stopped drinking coffee and eating chocolate (I’d already given up soda long ago, just an occasional sip for taste now and again) when it happened…

I started feeling better. With the addition of hibiscus tea, I was able to reduce my blood pressure and my metoprolol to the very least dose (I had been on 75 following sudden spikes in my blood pressure). I missed coffee, so I had my husband order me some organic, water decaffaeinated coffee. I drank one cup and my blood pressure was high again, just like that!

Since then, I have quit coffee forever, chocolate, and even the sips of soda I sometimes indulged in when my sister was around.

I don’t know what’s in these things that causes these reactions for me, perhaps it is an allergy of some kind. What I do know is that I feel better, I’ve lost four pounds in six days and my tummy feels better. I was working out for an hour each day on my elliptical and not losing any weight for months. I quit the elliptical because I can only handle one thing at a time, so I lost that weight just cutting out coffee and chocolate with my healthy diet. I don’t believe it’s a coincidence.

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Middy98 August 9, 2013 at 10:40 PM

Ugh, I’m not sure how I ended up with an extra “a” in decaffeinated, sorry.

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Middy98 August 10, 2013 at 12:04 AM

And an extra “e”? Ugh. Decaffinated! Lol!

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Middy98 August 10, 2013 at 12:07 AM

Ah forget it! I left out the e this time. I shouldn’t do research and post late at night.

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NG August 17, 2013 at 1:12 AM

Quit coffee. Your body will thank you.

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Jason August 20, 2013 at 3:09 PM

I can certainly attest to #23 and #24. Although, I didn’t give up caffeine for any of these 30 reasons, I gave it up because it can relax the muscle that closes the top of your stomach and lead to acid reflux (which I now have).

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noneofyobeezwax September 5, 2013 at 6:48 AM

This is one of most shortsighted and ridiculous articles ive read in a long time.

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Jade October 18, 2013 at 10:43 PM

Fully agreed.

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Leo May 5, 2014 at 7:33 AM

Quit relying on articles and listen to your body instead! Sometime back, I was diagnosed gluten intolerant, and since just about everything I loved had wheat, barley or rye in it, I decided to seriously attempt going with a vegan lifestyle for the rest of my life. The transition was not as daunting as I expected until I adapted an almost completely raw mode. Like many on this blog, I had been drinking coffee since age 14.
While in the military stationed in Italy, I fell in love with the aromas and tastes of the wonderful, rich and robust dark roasted coffees of the land. I know that I was not addicted to caffeine. rather, it was the aromas and flavors that made it for me! I made a point and a rule never to ingest it after noon.
As I became closer to becoming a totally raw vegan, I began to experience many symptoms in my gut that had me thinking ulcers or ??. Without the animal fats, dairy, cheeses, etc., my alkaline body would not tolerate acid-rich caffeine, so i gave it up. I have not felt better since I was a child! I still linger a while to smell the wonderful aromas as i pass a Starbucks.
The human body is a miracle and deserves better that the junk we put in it! Oh, I’m sure that a lot of you will side with my friends and family members and think i am a crackpot……but the only thing you will find in my medicine cabinet is bandaids, I went from 228 pounds to 172, and the Levis size 32 waist look pretty good on me! Oh, did I mention, I am 80 years young! And now I am off to do a few laps in my pool
I did not write to brag, but mostly to encourage you to take care of your body as well as you care for your pets and your cars.

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Thomas September 29, 2013 at 10:06 PM

I was drinking 4-5 cups a day couple of weeks ago. I’m down to 1-2 cups now. I somehow feel a bit calmer, less acid reflux. I sometimes suffer from migraines and cutting down on coffee seems to help (although WHEN having a migraine coffee can help…).

I suppose however there is only one good way to find the definite answer to the question ‘coffee or no coffee’: try to drink coffee for several months or years. The quit coffee for several months. Then evaluate the results… Not a quick fun way to obtain an answer but most likely the only real way for the individual to find out…

I’m not certain what is best for me: 4-5 cups a day. 1-2 cups day. Or no coffee at all. I’m leaning towards that quitting coffee may be good for me. But it will really take me months of disciplined real life tests to find out.

Referring to studies etc. I’ m afraid these will not always give an answer to a specific individual.

Best,
Thomas

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John October 7, 2013 at 2:27 AM

I quit coffee and my life sucked for about a 5 weeks until I started to see the natural energy levels and libido shoot through the roof. I was pretty much dead tired all the time until that point. So it takes a while for your adrenals to bounce back depending on how damaged they got from the excess caffeine.

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paul November 9, 2013 at 4:14 PM

5 weeks – yikes. I am on my second week and look forward to the return of natural energy. The headaches are still strong and the sleep patterns are messed up. But this had to be done. Addictions suck.

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Why Quit Caffeine October 27, 2013 at 9:34 AM

Very interesting article. For 9 more reasons to quit caffeine: http://www.quitcaffeine101.com/Why-Quit-Caffeine.html

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Tania November 5, 2013 at 4:14 PM

Anybody who disagrees with this is a drug addict and is in denial.. only trying to justify their addiction. Try going without it for a month, even a week! I dare you.. then come back and tell us all you didn’t struggle.. I quit coffee and in just 3 weeks.. My cellulite disappeared.. no more ‘saddle bags’.. my stomach shrunk.. no more love handles.. my skin became smooth and clear.. no hyper-pigmentation, no little red bumps anywhere and my pale skin looked beautiful to me, not all blotchy and purpley (from decreased circulation and hydration, and toxicity).. I stopped snapping at my boyfriend (he’s extremely thankful I gave it up! And we have a better sex life now because I’m more confident and energetic) and I now sleep though the night without waking up once, except occasionally if I’ve drunk lots of liquids near bed time then I’ll get up but then drop straight back to sleep again. I also look 5 years younger and the dark circles under my eyes have disappeared.. I don’t wear nearly as much make up and now go a lot of days without it, whereas I wouldn’t have dared before… because I’d look like a…. drug addict!

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paul November 9, 2013 at 4:19 PM

I agree, it’s a drug addiction. This one is just packaged as part of our cultural. It’s big money. Of course less harmful than alcohol, cigarettes and hard drugs like cocaine but still an addiction that reduces vs enhances health and well being.

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Spookey November 9, 2013 at 4:57 PM

My 8th day giving up coffee. One evening I was traveling from Orange County to Los Angeles for a concert starring Ronnie Spector in Beyond the Beehive. I had drank two cups of coffee and on the 5 freeway north I was dying to pee and finally made it off the freeway near Ronnie’s show at the El Rey Theatre. I stopped at the first fast food joint I spotted, it was Taco Bell. I used the restroom and ordered a combo that came with a soda and thats what killed me for the next 4 to 5 hours of using the restroom atleast more than five times in a 10 minutes from each other. It was at this point that I was starting to cuss saying Son of a Bee Hive … and I was actually getting mad at Ronnie Spector because I kept repeating her show Bee Hive. That was the day I said, No more coffee. Ever. It’s been 8 days and I’m gonna keep going strong just like my friend Ronnie Spector who is a survivor.
The first few days were ok but the 6th day I was dead so I’m dealing with it but each say I celebrate my Victory. I also had bought Joyce Meyer’s new book Making Good Habits Breaking Bad Habits. Leaving coffee was the best thing I ever did.
Good luck and don’t give up or look back. You can do it !! P.S. – Don’t mix coffee with soda !! I was just plain old tired of being a Jumpin’ Bean !!

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Tania November 9, 2013 at 6:16 PM

I find what Caroline Myss said very helpful (not that I agree with everything she says, far from it, I just take the bits I find helpful).. somebody asked her how you turn a mental change (ie I know I need to quit coffee, I want to quit coffee etc) into something physical.. (not drinking coffee). She says “A perception (I need to quit coffee) doesn’t have a lot of power…if however, I said to you “I’m going to give you a perceptual implant” and I said to you “you create your own reality”… those perceptions are powerful enough to change your physiology..In order for that to happen, you have to have a quality of will that is strong enough to activate those perceptions so that they go from being something that your minds knows.. there is a lot that you know mentally that you are not strong enough to activate physiologically… A lot of people don’t heal because they put all these new perceptions in their mind but they don’t do anything about them. It doesn’t matter how much your mind knows, what matters is the journey from taking what your mind knows and forcing the rest of you to become congruent with it. If your mind says “Alright, here’s the new program” you know you need to (eg. quit coffee) and so you take that program in your mind and you put it to your will and you SHOVE it down in there! and you say “This is what you will do! You will drink water and quit coffee! I don’t care how you feel, you’re going to do it! You are not going to be addicted to negative, sabotaging thoughts, and whenever they come in you won’t use them. You’re going to give up the language of blame and stop living in the past. You are going to take these things your mind knows and FORCE yourself to live according to them, no matter how comfortable you are. And you say to yourself “comfort’s not my business, healing is. It is IRRELEVANT that you are tired, uncomfortable and exhausted. Who cares. It is irrelevant and suddenly no longer has clout. Those perceptions now have the force to activate your physiology. Until then, they are just more and more and more warehousing in your mental field”

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Spookey Esparza February 6, 2014 at 2:47 PM

Spookey’s back. It’s been 97 days since I left Coffee. How am I feeling? After day 59 I felt like myself and yes it was hell but I never looked back. I’m free from bondage. I didn’t know that after I left Coffee that I was gonna get like really hungry. I gained 10 pounds and since then have dropped it, so beware those of you leaving Coffee, be proactive and know the hunger is coming and fight, fight fight.
I’m stronger and thinking better. More kicked back and relaxed. I’m not Go Go Go Go anymore. I feel so great and just thinking about having a cup makes me sick. Like Mary Wells sings, BYE BYE BABY. Can’t wait to tell you when it’s a year !!
Spookey Esparza
Orange, CA
http://Www.chicano-magazine.com

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Evie February 16, 2014 at 10:18 AM

I quit coffee about 2 weeks ago. I’d been drinking at least a cup a day since I was 14 (20 years), often a lot more. I thought I looked haggard and older than my age and wanted to see if quitting coffee would help and whether I’d feel different in general. After quitting I went through a few days of muscle aches, headache, fatigue and crankiness, which I totally expected, but what I didn’t expect was how I feel now. I’m more cheerful and relaxed during the day, and when it gets late, instead of feeling painfully exhausted like I used to, I feel “sleepy” like a little kid. My cheeks were kind of saggy and they have lifted up (I superimposed old and new photos to check, and the difference was definitely real). I had a couple of fine lines on my forehead since I was in my 20′s, and they’re gone. My skin is smoother. When I wake up in the morning I’m still drowsy and take some time to get going, but I don’t feel “dead” or weighed down, and I don’t have a sour taste in my mouth like I used to. On the other hand… I’m less motivated. I don’t feel that “edge” of anxiety, that sense of running out of time that kept me working hard in the past. I’m going to have to work on that, but I’m definitely not going back to coffee.

Anyone who is considering it should just try it long enough to get through withdrawal and feel the benefits for themselves. A lot of what I attributed to aging was actually coffee all along.

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Jeff February 19, 2014 at 7:03 AM

Numerous studies have shown that people that drink coffee live longer than those that don’t. And the more coffee that is drank, the better.

http://authoritynutrition.com/how-coffee-makes-you-live-longer/

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Uaintdown February 24, 2014 at 2:47 PM

Coffee contains high concentrations of caffeine, which is a stimulant and it also has acids and oils that are bad for your health. Longevity is only one metric, quality of life must also be considered. You can find a study to say anything you want. There are many conflicting interests. Read Caffeine Blues: Hidden Dangers of America’s #1 Drug – by Stephen Cherniske, M.S. (peer reviewed) for example and you will learn the truth.

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Jeff February 25, 2014 at 7:36 AM

I did not “find a study to say what I wanted.” I cited one example, but there have been numerous recent massive studies that have shown the same thing. I don’t disagree that coffee may have some detrimental side effects for some people, but coffee is loaded with antioxidants, This could account for the health benefits and added longevity found in these studies.

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uaintdown February 25, 2014 at 10:15 AM

People feel better and their health improves after quitting coffee. How’s that for empirical evidence? Medical science hasn’t caught up, but it will just like it did with tabacco and cigarrettes which initially were thought to provide health benefits, which we now know is false.

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Uaintdown February 24, 2014 at 2:56 PM

Here’s a synopsis of some of the conclusions found if you don’t want to buy the book: http://www.cheap-health-revolution.com/caffeine-blues.html

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Spookey March 1, 2014 at 2:29 PM

Since November 2, 2014. It’s been 123 days that I stopped coffee and it was the best thing I ever did. I will never go back to that junk again. I gained a little weight but I ride my bike, swim, dance, walk and run so I’m not worried about being chubby like Chubby Checker.
If you are giving up coffee and are reading this site, don’t give up. You will feel alot better and stronger; you will sleep better and be relaxed. Coffee is a drug.

Spookey
Orange, CA

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Eugene March 24, 2014 at 6:52 PM

Spooky,
I am on day 11 of quitting. I had been drinking coffee and tea fo over 20 years. Suddenly out of the blues they began to give me anxiety and heart palpitations. After quitting I still feel this.
When will I start feeling better?

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Spookey March 1, 2014 at 2:31 PM

Oops. I meant Nov 2 2013.

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AL K. March 5, 2014 at 11:27 AM

Speaking for myself, I can state unequivocally that coffee / caffeine does ME more harm than good. I absolutely became genuinely addicted to the stuff. A few years ago I evolved from being an occasional coffee drinker to HAVING to start off every single morning with a cup. For almost two years I had one to two cups a day – every day. I COULD NOT START MY DAY without that god-foresaken cup. Sure I loved the energy that followed, but I started regularly having some problems that I knew were attributed to the coffee / caffeine. I won’t over-exaggerate them, but for example I would frequently have mild stomach aches for maybe two to three hours after having coffee. I also was having frequent bouts of diarrhea for no apparent reason. Also, occasionally I would feel a bit “over-buzzed” from the caffeine and would start having mild heart palpitations and / or even mild shortness of breath. I would also find myself having frequent, sudden urges to urinate during the first couple of hours after having a cup.

I also knew that as silly as it sounds, I was in fact ADDICTED to the stuff. I couldn’t start my day without it. There were nights where I would be in bed and suddenly remember that I didn’t setup the coffee pot and would HAVE to get out of bed to set it up because I knew I NEEDED to have coffee READY for me the following morning upon getting out of bed.

All in all, despite loving the energy boost (and taste of course) I felt I needed to try and back off coffee. So I eventually decided to quit cold turkey. Let me say this, for anyone who thinks you can’t get addicted to caffeine – think again. I went through withdrawal HELL the first couple of days not being on stuff. Despite knowing that I had somewhat of an addiction of sorts I HAD NO IDEA JUST HOW ADDICTED MY BODY HAD BECOME until I tried to quit. My first day off coffee, by around 2pm I was basically incapacitated. I had the worst headache of my life – felt like the claw of a viscous animal was lodged through my skull deep into my brain. And despite having had a full night’s sleep the night before I was sooooo tired I could barely keep my eyes open – yet I was restless at the same time. I was sick. My body was literally sick. Day two wasn’t as bad, but I still had a headache and energy drain. I stuck to my guns though and made it through withdrawal. The first 2 – 3 days of withdrawal were definitely the worst but I had noticeable energy drain (especially in the afternoons) for probably 3 to 4 WEEKS. Then, gradually with time, my body fully recovered. My NATURAL energy came back, the stomach problems GONE, heart palpitations and shortness of breath GONE and I could actually wake up in the morning from a descent night sleep and feel refreshed and ready to tackle the day ahead, naturally.

I’ve since talked to other friends and co-workers that I see constantly drinking coffee about my own experience with caffeine addiction and have been laughed at a few times – but I always find it funny how usually the last thing out of their mouth is something along the lines of “You can’t get addicted to coffee. I for one could stop any time – I just don’t want to…”

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Sally Brown April 17, 2014 at 8:14 AM

Very interesting article among the many other articles that point to the fact that beverages and foods that are high in caffeine are bad for you. The studies – and personal anecdotes – in connection with quitting caffeine are overwhelmingly in agreement that quitting is the right thing to do. So, I am embarking on my own experiment with it to see how I do. I have a problem with uterine fibroid tumors, and I had read somewhere that the chemicals in coffee beans – including caffeine – can mimick estrogen and also increase the body’s production of estrogen. Fibroids are reliant on estrogen to grow and get bigger… and mine definitely have grown. Now, understanding that this could also be due to going off of hormonal birth control two years ago, I know there are other environmental factors that could be causing my problems; however, I want to give myself a fighting chance in trying to get these things to be less of a bother to me (and hopefully avoid surgery!). Not only does it cause painful cramping and pressure on my bladder, it makes me bloated – which makes me feel awful and robs me of confidence. Coffee also makes the body produce cortisol, adding MORE bloating… so, really, this is a no-brainer. I have to try this and see how I do. No matter how much I love coffee, it’s worth giving up just to see.

My best friend, who is my amazing hero because he just got out of rehab for alcohol addiction, decided he was going to quit coffee with me. (Neither of us are soda drinkers or chocolate fiends – coffee was the main source of our caffeine.)

I don’t think either of us were prepared for how crappy we were going to feel the first few days after going cold turkey. Looking back on the last two weeks, we’ve both reported headaches, a “swimmy” feeling in the head, aches, and trouble sleeping. Eventually, those bad headaches went away. I am still a little sluggish, but I’m finding that exercising in the mornings helps give me energy. Also, at night, I’ve started to sleep VERY soundly. That’s nice. :) I’m not sure if it’s my imagination, but I also feel quite a bit less bloated.

I’m encouraged by reading others’ experiences. It’s helpful to know that I will be out of the woods in another six weeks or so!

For those who do not believe coffee/caffeine have adverse affects on people’s health and well-being, it might be interesting to try quitting for yourself and see what your personal results are. You really have nothing to lose by doing so – you can always go back to coffee after two months if you want to.

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Kody April 17, 2014 at 10:43 AM

I had a really hard time quitting caffeine. I tried several times through out the years with no success until I found a product called QUIT CAFF. It’s a supplement specifically for quitting caffeine. You can just search for it on google…

I didn’t realize caffeine was so addictive and everybody acts like it’s harmless. I don’t get it.

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Leah M. May 8, 2014 at 8:57 AM

Is this it Kody? Thanks!

The #1 Remedy for Quitting Caffeine: QUIT CAFF
http://www.amazon.com/The-Remedy-Quitting-Caffeine-QUIT/dp/B00AY4TY5O

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Klyde May 4, 2014 at 8:28 PM

New research shows coffee AND decaf can promote weight gain:

http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/coffee-fat-study-article-1.1357421
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/10085206/Regular-coffee-drinkers-at-increased-risk-of-weight-gain.html

More info on why decaf might be even worse:

http://www.ibuzzle.com/articles/decaffeinated-coffee.html

The following link is to an article which says Gillian Anderson had 4 cups of decaf per day and gained weight (but I couldn’t find where she said it herself on her website):

http://www.skinnysciencecoffee.com/fat.htm

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Rebecca May 6, 2014 at 7:26 PM

From Australia.
Over the last few weeks I’ve unintentionally quit coffee.
It started with wisdom teeth pain- something about black tea, milk and sugar seemed far more appealing than a coffee.
The first week I mixed it up, a tea here and a coffee there.
Eventually, I stopped drinking coffee altogether. (I used to drink at least 3-4 cups of coffee throughout the day, whether it be morning or night).
A week later, I’m going through some stress and lack of sleep due to that.. So this morning I woke up and without the energy I felt I needed to get through the day, I made myself a coffee. The same as usual, white with 2 sugars.
I managed to get through half of it, making a terrible face of disgust with each sip, and now I’m about to throw it down the sink and make myself a tea.
I can’t handle the taste of coffee anymore! After just a week without it, and 5 years or so being a ‘heavy drinker’? So strange.
But here I am researching the benefits of quitting coffee to give me a little more motivation to never have a silly idea like this morning’s ever again :-)

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Leah M. May 8, 2014 at 8:50 AM

This article has really helped in conjunction with a product I found on Amazon called QUIT CAFF. It’s used for quitting/detoxing caffeine and counter-acts caffeine withdrawal symptoms… Thanks for the good read :)

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Leo May 8, 2014 at 12:52 PM

For anyone who may be having trouble with lethargy, low energy and down, You might search information on the benefit of “Spirulina” (green algae) and might also consider taking vitamin B-12. During the fist few days, both helped me tremendously. Good luck, and the best to you all!

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Terri May 25, 2014 at 8:15 AM

I decided to stop drinking coffee about a month ago because I noticed that it just made me feel sick (headaches, nausea). I feel so much better now, but I also noticed that I’ve been losing weight, but I’m not doing anything differently. I decided to read up and see if there is a link (coffee with a splash of low fat milk was my usual). So I do believe that coffee is not that good for you and maybe has a lot more side effects than we realise.

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Tracey Fallon June 5, 2014 at 7:13 PM

I don’t drink coffee, alcohol, soft drinks….
My body isn’t a rubbish bin ;)

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Jeff June 6, 2014 at 4:02 AM

I”m with you on soda. I’ve never read one good thing about it. But people that drink coffee and moderate amounts of alcohol live longer than those that don’t.

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Carolyn June 12, 2014 at 7:32 PM

I love coffee. I love shopping for the perfect Bean, grinding the beans and drinking it from the perfect cup. I don’t do well at meditation, but my coffee ritual was the closest thing to mindful meditation. Pure joy and comfort. Unfortunately, for me, I’m a stress mess. I quit coffee years ago for 9 months and during the early days I knew my skull was going to collapse from pain. I know what a beautiful addictive aroma coffee had when my little Westie jumped up and kissed me all over my face when I fell off the wagon and resumed my love affair with coffee.

I quit coffee about 6 weeks ago. I miss it like a good friend. I prepared for this time by ramping up my mineral aupplementation because coffeei is a diuretic and depletes minerals. I added spirulina, astaxanthin and a good quality whey protein first thing in the morning. No headaches whatsoever. I continue to be a stres mess, but I think I may have nuked my adrenals and it,will take some time to recover. For me, I have got to do something to calm down. I hope my recovery comes son. But I still think coffee is the perfect food.

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Darrin D June 19, 2014 at 9:33 AM

First of all, any drug that causes addiction and withdrawal can NOT be a healthy thing. Listening to people say they are so much better off drinking caffeine is quite humorous. Like the drunk person who says they drive better intoxicated. You’re an addict and you’re defending your drug. It’s that simple.

I quit caffeine altogether July 28, 2010 out of necessity. I had been a migraine sufferer since my teenage years. They had always seemed to happen after sports/physical activity when I was really hot and sweating a great deal. I always attributed it to overheating or dehydration. These were Full blown , incapacitating severe migraines. Starting with an aura in my vision, mind-splitting pain and finishing up with vomiting every time for 30 years. They happened once every few weeks but in 2010 they started happening 2, 3, 5 times a week. A lot were happening when I was just sitting down at my desk etc. One even started while I was sitting on a beach in Florida relaxing. They were ruining my life!! Couldn’t enjoy my family or my kids the way I needed. work suffered. I suffered. I was miserable. Doctors gave me medicine but it only tried to lighten the headache and other problems. It did not work. I had read an article about caffeine withdrawal headaches that got me looking at my diet etc. I started logging EVERYTHING I ate and drank. After EVERY single onset of a migraine I checked my log. Caffeine was always rearing it’s ugly head. Coffee, tea, loved Mountain Dew!!! I wondered of it could be that simple. Could caffeine have caused me 30 years of migraine agony? One final test. Home alone one evening I poured myself a decent sized glass of Mountain Dew. Gulped some, then sipped on it for a little bit. Within 45 minutes I got the all too common aura in my vision. It was a migraine from hell. That was it though!!! The clincher!! I stopped caffeine that day, cold turkey. Sure I had some cold sweating and a mild headache a couple of days later but that is because I was addicted to a drug. A drug my body clearly didn’t want or need. I have not had a migraine in almost 4 years!! Oh my life it changed my life!!! I haven’t been sick in 4 years. I always had issues sleeping soundly, not anymore. I fall asleep immediately and sleep through the night. I wake up feeling so good!! No more groggy “gotta have the cup of coffee” feeling. I actually lied. I had one more migraine. Why you ask? well I figured I would just switch to “decaf” coffee, tea etc, right? My work even ordered some decaf coffee just for me. I would have a cup or two in the mornings. I did this for a few day with no ill effects. Then after just finishing a cup of decaf, sitting at my desk, BOOM! aura in my vision. What the hell? After recovering from the migraine that followed I started researching decaf. Guess what? Turns out decaf basically means “less” caf. It still has caffeine in it, tea too. So I had inadvertently started consuming caffeine again. Only “caffeine free” drinks like Sprite are truly free of caffeine. Anyway, I stopped all caffeine intake and haven’t had any issues since. No headaches, nothing!! Never felt this good in my life. I only wish I could have stumbled on the problem when I was young and saved myself a lot of miserable headaches!! So, the bottom line is I am anti-caffeine. I know personally that it is not needed by the body, mind etc. I always get someone trying to argue about this but there is no argument for me. I stopped and life got so much better in a million ways. If I can help one person stop and enjoy their life more then I have done something amazing. Best of luck to those who have already quit and those that are still addicted to that nasty drug.

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Wayne July 26, 2014 at 8:21 PM

Oh my God! Yes I believe all that I read! I was living off a green liquid that has the word Mt. in the brand name. I did not feel well; jittery anxious, muscle cramps, muscle knots. It would tighten my back to where I had to struggle to take a deep breath. The Doc. told me caffeine was likely the offender. So I quit, against his advise, ‘cold turkey’. MISTAKE! I went through hell for over a month with withdrawl. Panic attacks, muscle spasms, crying, depression, I thought I was going nuts. It was horrible! That was early spring of 2013. The problems finally subsided,and I was relatively happy, and felt good again. Then this spring I started back into the green garbage; all the suffering came back, and I am going through hell again. Caffeine should be listed as a controlled substance, and NEVER be allowed to be put in any consumer products! These big corporations do not care about anyone or anything but the almighty dollar! And NO YOU CANNOT BUY CAFFEINE FREE IN PENNSYLVANIA. Caffeine is a drug, regulate it as such!

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Samuel Hatton August 6, 2014 at 10:12 AM

I agree that caffeine should be consumed a lot less. But sleeping 8-11 hours per night?! 11 hours is A LOT.

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jen August 31, 2014 at 5:10 AM

I have quit caffeine three times in my life and am going to do it again for good! Well done with your article I will put it on my bookmark so I can read it everyday for encouragement. I get migraines so I find the withdrawal very difficult like a heroin withdrawal. that is the fear of leaving!. My doctor said I have to quit as if I did not know it before but not specifically why and also alcohol although I have not had any alcohol for 25 years. Caffeine has been a love hate relationship for me. How do you avoid the smell? When it is being brewed by others. Walk around with a mask on? they say it helps with memory but I have had a concussion five months ago with still experiencing a lot of symptoms so it is good for me to hear how it limits brain functioning! Way to go!

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vitamin c mama September 18, 2014 at 5:46 PM

This is excellent information. Although there are ways to protect your body and enjoy coffee too. Take adequate b vitamins, a mineral supplement especially magnesium. Large doses of vitamin c can protect the brain from oxidative stress. Vitamin c also lower a cortisol.

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