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?

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{ 200 comments… read them below or add one }

Barbara Christensen December 3, 2010 at 9:42 AM

I remember when we talked about giving up coffee… I wasn’t going to have any part of it, and then I started researching. I didn’t like what I saw and so I gave my coffee the boot. The most interesting part was that I lost the “eat the entire pantry” 2pm – 4pm craving cycle. I don’t miss it at all. Thanks for the post – and thanks for initially giving me that push in the right direction!

Sarah Kirkell December 3, 2010 at 9:47 AM

I love this post! I quit coffee this spring. I’ll give my story in a short version:

I was never a daily coffee drinker, but I liked a cup now and then. I quit all but decaf when I got pregnant. (Decaf espresso though, because that’s the only coffee I like.) After my baby (turning 2 this month) was born, I started drinking coffee on a daily basis. This lead to a two to four espresso shot a day habit. By the time my baby was a year old, I was completely addicted. And, I hate to feel addicted to anything. I decided to give it up. But, it was the middle of winter and we were essentially snowed in for over a month here. So, I couldn’t seem to keep to the plan, even with decaf. After the snow melted, I tried it again. Every time I wanted a cup, I did a little exercise. Maybe a 15 minute stretch, a 20 minute walk. And, I haven’t reverted back to my addicted ways. (Though, I did have 1 shot of coffee on our single restaurant trip, and, I’ll admit, it tasted great, but I hated the way I felt after!)

I love this quote from above: “It takes three weeks or more after withdrawal from caffeine before stress hormones return to normal.” That was my experience. That’s part of why I chose exercise to combat the stress and withdrawal, because exercise is a great counter to stress.

Incidentally, now that the weather is getting colder, I’ve been craving coffee again. I think maybe it’s like quitting smoking, drinking, or binge eating, you can always have that old familiar urge sneak up on you. But, you can manage it without giving in and without letting it become a stronger urge or source of inner struggle and defeat.

Thanks for this post! Reminds me of all the good reasons not to go get that cup the cold weather seems to be urging me toward!

Jay December 3, 2010 at 10:04 AM

Some of these claims are so outrageous that it really nullifies the who thing. And I’m not sure I’d take the word of Stephen Cherniske as reliable in any way.

Finally I have only recently STARTED drinking some coffee every day as a delivery vehicle for heavy cream. No ill effects to report.

Glad your feeling good cutting out all caffeine though.

Jill December 3, 2010 at 10:09 AM

Does it say anything in that book about people who don’t feel any different on caffeine? I don’t drink much coffee, I used to drink more, because I like it. But I have never been able to “use” caffeine to feel more alert, even when I wanted to. I could drink a pot of coffee in bed, tuck in and go right to sleep. When I stopped drinking coffee altogether about a year ago (when my husband was deployed and I didn’t want to make it just for myself), I didn’t have any withdrawal symptoms, nor did I replace the caffeine with anything else.
I have had physical reactions to caffeine when I drank way, way, way too much (basically a pint of espresso when I was a teen), and my heart raced for a while, but reasonable amounts of coffee never make me feel any different, nor do I experience caffeine addiction.
It just seems so different an experience from people who drink a cup anytime after noon and can’t sleep all night. Did they have an explanation for this?

Sarah Kirkell December 3, 2010 at 10:11 AM

@ Barbara, I lost that mid-afternoon food craving too, or at least it’s now much reduced. (Like, I might want a small snack, but not one snack after another.) I wonder if it’s because I also sleep better?

Brandy Afterthoughts December 3, 2010 at 10:16 AM

I keep meaning to tell you how grateful I am for the How to Quit Coffee post you wrote a while back (in the spring? summer? I forget exactly). Anyhow, I did it, using DLPA as you suggested. I can’t believe how much better I feel. I keep telling my husband that I am amazed at the stamina I have. I became addicted to coffee after I had my second child, and I added a cup with each child, to the point where needed three cups a day by the time we had four children. I literally couldn’t make it through the day without it. I knew that was unhealthy but I didn’t know how to quit without withdrawls, which were hard to ask my children to go through with me.

Here I am at 32 with more energy than when I was 26! Amazing! (Of course, I am sure it helps that I don’t have an infant…)

Anyhow, you answered my prayers! I still drink decaf every once in a while, but that is with friends. If I want something warm to drink at home, I try to drink tea. I found that I was missing the cream from my coffee, so I learned to drink (herbal) tea that way, and that helps.

I do have one question: what about the caffeine in chocolate. Is it very dangerous? Should I worry, for instance, about serving hot chocolate (sugar free–I use stevia, xylitol, etc.) to my children in the winter?

Raine Saunders December 3, 2010 at 10:27 AM

I have never been much of a coffee drinker, but I did drink it for a few years in my early twenties. I was burning the candle at both ends, working too much, and never eating anything that was good for me because I never had time. After about 6 months of drinking 3 cups of coffee in the morning and about 2 cans of soda in the afternoon, I started getting horrible stomach cramps and diarrhea that would send me to the bathroom for about 1/2 hour. I didn’t see any point in just cutting back, so I stopped altogether. I haven’t drank soda for almost 10 years ,and I only rarely drink coffee – and it’s usually decaf. I don’t miss it. I love tea and have found there are many different varieties I love. And, I don’t drink tea with caffeine in it very often either. I am always worried about all the people around me who drink coffee every single day, declare they can’t survive without it, and who I also notice are skipping meals until like noontime or even the whole day. I don’t understand this mentality. I know coffee is a chemical drug and causes physiologic changes in the body, but the idea that people simply go without eating all day and think there’s nothing wrong with it is simply unbelievable. I hope this article motivates people to give up coffee! Thanks Ann Marie!

Natalie December 3, 2010 at 10:28 AM

I gave up caffeine several months ago b/c of Meniere’s disease. It made the ringing in my ears worse. I’m a teeccino drinker now. Though, I did just move back to Europe (Germany) and coffee is like religion here. Everyone drinks it. So, I do allow myself one cup of regular/organic coffee/week-or less (just recently started that though-and feel no ill effects). Otherwise, it’s teeccino (LOVE it-making a raspberry latte with it tonight).

While I do notice I get jitters with caffeine sometimes (not always) when I drink it, I didn’t go through withdrawals and never crave caffiene. When I went 100%-free for several months, I didn’t really notice any difference in my health, eating habits, energy or sleep (I always sleep well). It didn’t help my horrible PMS, like I hoped it would. It did help with the ringing. I wish I could say it’s helped as much as it’s helped you and the commenters here!

Lise December 3, 2010 at 10:33 AM

I quit coffee 2 years ago, after I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes
My blood sugar levels are back to normal for over a year now. I feel much calmer and I definetly sleep better. I am less annoyed by others while I am driving, my kids noticed that. I have way more energy and I don’t hurt as much.
I don’t drink or take drugs, pharmacueticals or others, and coffee was the one vice I had. I was not going to quit that. I took quite a lot of milk in my coffee and even if it meant the kids didn’t get any milk, I had my cup of coffee.
I bought organic fair trade bean ground them fresh every day, put them in an esspresso pot crefully brought it to the boil so as not to burn the beans. Steamed and frothed the milk, aaah. It was quite a pleasant ritual. Coffee is the smell of my Grandmas house and it stirs up so many emotions. I still love the smell. I just hate how it makes me feel.
I now drink Chaga tea lattes and have a whole new satisfying ritual that makes me feel so good, so loved, so energetic. Chaga chai is my holiday beverage of choice.
I have tried to tell my friends of life beyond coffee but they can’t imagine their lives without it, pretty powerful drug, even though they suffer all kinds of pain, they can’t let go.
Glad you are done with it. Quiting coffee has made me feel youthful and full of vitality again

ValerieH December 3, 2010 at 10:50 AM

What about black tea? I have noticed that during spring I need to quit all black tea or it affects my sleep. Other times of year I can handle a mug or two.

Caffeine has always been my drug of choice. Now I also like L-Carnitine for energy. I wish that had been available when I was in college.

cheeseslave December 3, 2010 at 10:54 AM

You guys absolutely amaze me! I am blown away by your comments and will respond to them individually — I’m stunned by your testimonials!

cheeseslave December 3, 2010 at 10:56 AM

@ Brandy

Chocolate does have caffeine. One ounce of milk chocolate has about 5 mg of caffeine, about the same as a mug of decaf.

Check out this great post Sarah from the Healthy Home Economist did on how to make delicious carob hot chocolate — I am super excited to try this one!

http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/2010/12/video-healthy-hot-cocoa/

Cristina December 3, 2010 at 11:10 AM

Hello Ann Marie,
I’ve been meaning to share with you that you inspired me this summer to also quit coffee. I have been caffeine-free since July; I downloaded and read the same Caffeine Blues book — what an eye-opener! I had known all along of some of the adverse effects of caffeine, but was willing to put up with them in order to get my morning “cup” (as strong as 4 cups!), but I hadn’t realized the many other ill-effects until I read that book.
Excellent article and excellent topic to post.

Tim Huntley December 3, 2010 at 11:16 AM

Great list! I recently cut out coffee with no ill effects (thank goodness) in an effort to improve spikes in my blood glucose levels (#25 on your list). While coffee was not having a big impact on my blood sugars, I wanted to do everything I could to improve my body’s sensitivity to insulin and not have it thrash against the BG increase due to coffee.

Sarah Kirkell December 3, 2010 at 11:16 AM

@Cheeseslave re the 5mg of caffeine. Someone recently forwarded me this link about Choffy, a cocoa bean beverage brewed like coffee. They claim that chocolate contains a different stimulant that is not caffeine. I’m not advocating the beverage, but it has got me curious about the chemical composition of chocolate. Any thoughts on their claims? (I’m still looking into it myself, but thought I’d throw it out there.)

http://www.drinkchoffy.com/does-choffy-contain-caffeine/

woofless December 3, 2010 at 12:16 PM

@ Jill- I’m in the same boat as you. I’ve never been a big fan of coffee for the same reasons, it does *nothing* for me in the “energy” department. In fact, any more than a small cup of coffee actually makes me feel extremely SLEEPY. Like you, I could drink a whole pot of strong, black coffee and go right to bed….if I drink it in the morning, I’m wanting a nap within the hour! Coffee has NONE of the effects on my body that this blog post describes- maybe I’m lucky?

I like the taste of good coffee but I drink it only very occasionally because it makes me feel so run-down. In fact I drank a cup of strong Cuban coffee two days ago, which was my first cup in at least five months (and I regretted it all day, made me run to the bathroom a zillion times in the morning, made me light headed, and all day my stomach hurt!)

I used to be an OTR truck driver and there are drivers who practically have their coffee on an IV drip….I don’t know how they stand it. I learned very quickly that if I wanted to be alert and functional when driving my truck, I had to avoid any form of caffeine or sugar- including coffee and ESPECIALLY the energy drinks, even the sugar-free ones. I found that vitamin supplements (B12 especially), maybe some fruit and plenty of water every day gave me tons more energy than coffee or energy drinks.

Occasionally consuming other foods or drinks containing caffeine (such as chocolate or tea) have never made me feel overly tired, certainly not stomach-achy to the point that coffee does. Especially in moderation- a glass of iced tea with dinner, a mug of green tea with honey, or a handful of chocolate candy once in a while never gives me any problems. I have no plans to completely cut out those things from my diet unless they end up affecting me adversely….and I suppose if I had to eliminate them, it wouldn’t be the hardest diet modification I can imagine, LOL.

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist December 3, 2010 at 12:20 PM

Ann Marie, so glad you are back off the coffee! I see it ruining people’s health left and right and it is so not worth that brief pick me up.

Kelly December 3, 2010 at 12:21 PM

What about teas, black, green & white, and chocolate? Have you given those up too? That’s my main source of caffeine and I can tell a difference if I drink tea too late in the day or eat too much chocolate at night. Basically, is it ok even in small doses?

rebecca December 3, 2010 at 12:23 PM

What do you do when you make Kombucha?

woofless December 3, 2010 at 12:27 PM

I should clarify my comment- coffee doesn’t seem to have the “energy-mania-jittery” physical effects that are described in this blog post, such as difficulty sleeping, anxiety, etc. But I’m sure the other detrimental effects- like an increase in blood pressure and putting stress on the liver, etc….are accurate. If it was good for me it wouldn’t make me feel so awful to drink it.

Alex December 3, 2010 at 12:57 PM

Great post! Thanks Ann Marie. I’ve FB’ed it and tweeted it.

I quit coffee 15 years ago, mostly because of a description of the affects of caffeine on the brain that I read about in a book.

I read that a caffeine-addicted brain goes to a fair amount of trouble to dilate the blood vessels, to counteract the effects of the caffeine. So when you quit caffeine, you wind up with dilated blood vessels in your head, leading to headaches.

That alone was enough to get me to quit. (And quitting wasn’t fun.)

Tim Huntley December 3, 2010 at 2:27 PM

I would add another one to your list:

#31: Coffee is typically consumed with lots of sugar, which is probably worse for you than the caffeine.

And, if you are replacing coffee with some other beverage that you add sugar to, you may be missing a bigger opportunity to improve your health.

WordVixen December 3, 2010 at 2:48 PM

Along the lines of Alex’s comment about caffeine and headaches, there’s one thing that caffeine is great for- migraines. Thankfully, I’ve had very few of them since giving up processed foods, and the ones that I do get on occasion now respond to just pain killers (I used to have to take two extra strength acetaminophens, two extra strength ibuprophens, and a cup of coffee).

I gave up coffee and black tea about two years ago for other reasons, but I still won’t give up my chocolate. :-) I eat very little chocolate now, though. I only eat very high quality, organic, dark chocolate, or chocolates that I make myself (with coconut oil), or the occasional peanut m&m, so I don’t need as much to be satisfied.

I was holding onto my favorite coffee maker for when I felt free to go back to having coffee, but after this post, maybe I’ll give it away. I’ll keep the little coffee pot though, because it’s perfect for making mulled wine/cider/buttered beer… I wonder if I could do a good hot chocolate in that?

Melody December 3, 2010 at 4:51 PM

I gave up drinking coffee years ago, and would have maybe a cup once every 6 months or so, but I replaced it with tea. Then, I kind of gave that up (maybe 1 cup a week), and then, I went through a very stressful situation – moved across the country with no family or friends near bye (just wanted a change). Anyway, I slowly started up, but now I drink 1 energy drink a day (8oz, about the equivalent of a cup of coffee), but even that has begun to tax me, and I can’t sleep through the night. It’s a crazy cycle! I’m switching to caffeine-free sugar free energy drinks (the energy comes from liquid B-12 vitamins), and plan on cutting out caffeine. Although it’s kind of scary….

Anne Fischer Silva December 3, 2010 at 5:27 PM

Awesome post, Ann Marie! Every day I see the negative effects of caffeine on hormones – both adrenal and sex hormones. It can completely imbalance daily circadiun rhythms of cortisol. And for most people, after two weeks off coffee, they feel better than they did when they were drinking it.
Thanks for sharing your story!

Jill Cruz December 3, 2010 at 5:29 PM

Great article on a topic that seems to be off-limits with a lot of people. It always amazes me how people can even drink coffee. But god forbid you broach this topic with your average person. Or even your health-conscious friends. I want to tell them that they can have much more energy without the coffee than with. But people don’t seem to get it.

I finally got my husband off coffee and now he sleeps so much better!! I was never a coffee drinker so I guess I have little sympathy. I hate coffee and the way it makes me feel. But my husband was able to do it. Stock has been a great replacement for the sensation of a warm drink in the morning.

Kris December 3, 2010 at 5:55 PM

I have been thinking about finally giving up my daily cup for a few months. I
know it is bad, but I am scared! THough I gave it up with each of my 3 pregnancies! I know it is really important now since I seem to have adrenal fatigue – which is probably in part from the daily coffee.

I am going to read this book and try to get my hubby to read so we can drop the coffee together.

Really coffee is our only vice – well I do have a bit of choco everyday!

Thank you – this will give me the push that I need :)

Linda December 3, 2010 at 5:59 PM

I am jealous of all of you who are sleeping better without coffee. Ann Marie, when I read your post about the adverse effects of coffee over the summer I decided to quit just to see if I could. I stayed off it for many months, but it didn’t help me sleep better. I typically wake up 2-3 times a night. I think I have other issues going on that I am trying to figure out and correct. As for coffee, I had half a cup recently and didn’t like the taste. I use to drink it black and loved it! I also used to be a chocoholic. Not anymore. Now I love butter! But that’s another story.

Julie December 3, 2010 at 6:02 PM

31. caffeine depletes calcium in the bones.

lylahledner@gmail.com December 3, 2010 at 6:19 PM

oh wow….great post…..

Sally December 3, 2010 at 6:23 PM

Ok, back to tea. I can do green tea to give up coffee, then give up the tea. Can’t do both yet. Oh, boy, what a weenie, eh? But yikes, that list is interesting… and long. I ordered the book. That should do it, I bet!

Jennifer December 3, 2010 at 6:26 PM

I quit drinking coffee three months ago and noticed an increase in energy levels and in my ability to deal with the lack of sleep I was getting, despite the fact that I quit right when my daughter was born. It made the lack of sleep less taxing than when I had my son four years ago and I was dependent on my coffee to keep me up during the day! I did fall off the wagon recently, though, but I kept myself from buying any at the store today, so my house is coffee-free again and soon I will be too :)

Tammy R. December 3, 2010 at 8:28 PM

Great post! Wonder if I could get my husband to read this?

I stopped drinking a pot of coffee a day when I became pregnant for my daughter over 7 years ago. But it was pretty easy since I had noticed I couldn’t drink it after noon or I’d be up all night so that told me something wasn’t right. I just never went back to drinking it after her birth and don’t really miss it except when winter comes and I want something warm to drink. Now I’ve found Teccinno and that works for me. I hope I don’t hear down the road it isn’t good for us either! LOL But I could handle it because I am not addicted to it. Only have it occasionally, which makes sense, there is no drug in it, as far as I know.

I made the mistake not too long ago of trying Bolthouse juices Mocha Cappuccino and just fell in love with the taste but very quickly realized I couldn’t drink it ever again… like you my sleep went out the window but if I drank some and stopped for a day or two, I would get the worst headaches ever. Just awful. Caffeine and I just don’t get along. I even notice if I eat too much chocolate, same thing happens. That really bothers me, I love chocolate but I guess I hate those awful headaches more.

Debbie December 3, 2010 at 9:00 PM

I’m sort of like Jill above. I enjoy a cup of coffee. I usually have one in the morning because I like the taste, but if I happen to miss it that’s no big deal either. Coffee has never made me feel buzzed or more alert, and not having coffee doesn’t make me feel draggy either. I’m just as happy with a cup of decaf – except I have one of those Keurig coffee makers and I like the “flavored” coffees – like the Irish Creme, and the Raspberry, and the Rain Forest Nut – and decaf does not come in those flavors. If it did I’d probably have one daily cup of decaf rather than one daily cup of coffee. Either/or is fine with me, and in restaurants I just don’t bother and drink only water. Ray Peat has an interesting list too at:
http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/caffeine.shtml

Rachel J December 3, 2010 at 10:08 PM

I’m guessing that whether a person has reactions to the caffeine or seems unaffected has to do with how they detox it (fast or slow). Personally I have pretty unpleasant, drug-like reactions to a strong cup of coffee so I only drink black organic swiss-water decaffeinated coffee very occasionally. Dark chocolate is definitely my drug of choice and I eat lots of it, probably enough at times to equal a cup of coffee. I know it must give me energy because I crave it when tired or for that afternoon slump (thanks adrenals), but I never feel the same jitteriness or muscle weakness that I get with coffee. I also don’t notice any issues with a cup of caffeinated tea, although I prefer and usually drink herbal teas. It’s all very fascinating.

Meagan December 3, 2010 at 10:13 PM

AnneMarie, isn’t there a clear distinction between the effects of COFFEE and the effects of CAFFEINE? What about 100% chocolate, unsweetened, raw….?

Brenda December 3, 2010 at 10:14 PM

What if we lacto-ferment the coffee beans? Or, what if we somehow manage to buy raw coffee beans, then soak them, and see if they’ll sprout? Then can we drink some? P-l-e-a-s-e? ;-) Seriously, I haven’t had any coffee since early to mid-August when I ran out of beans and then did a 9 day water fast, and I still miss having it sometimes. More and more lately I have thought about having just one cup…. This post was most timely for me. Thank you! Coffee has some nice memories attached to it from my second time living in Germany as a military wife – our German neighbor lady would invite me up for coffee and pastry from time to time, and she always gave my daughter a Swiss Lindt chocolate bar (which I always had to help her eat). But, I’ve read enough to know that it really isn’t good for me. My problem, appears to be adrenal exhaustion, that keeps me wanting that little power surge. I also love the smell of the beans and the brew! Hello, my name is Brenda, and I’m addicted to coffee.

Shebeeste December 3, 2010 at 11:22 PM

I have AD/HD (attention deficit disorder–inattentive type). Though my symptoms are a lot better when I eat fewer carbs and more protein, coffee is the only thing that makes me feel truly “dialed in”. Except for Adderall, which came with all sorts of nasty side effects. I’m working on only using “theraputic dosages” of coffee in the morning, vs. cups and cups of the stuff all day long. I’m wondering if anyone who reads here has had a similar experience and has found a good substitute for coffee that boosts focus. BTW, I also am working with aminos ala “Mood Cure”, plus fish oil and gingko. It all helps, but I still want coffee! AD/HD is a frustrating mess…

When my coffee consumption was out of control, I definitely noticed that my sleep quality suffered. It wasn’t that caffeine kept me awake, but no matter how much I slept, I was still tired. I was eating a lot of carbs as well, but I definitely noticed a pattern with the coffee. Anybody have thoughts on that?

Chef Nancy December 4, 2010 at 12:01 AM

We drink chicory with fresh ( not ultra past.) cream.
I’m working through an alternative cancer treatment now so I only have one cup per day…and enjoy every drop.

K December 4, 2010 at 12:34 AM

AnnMarie, I never even drank coffee until about a year ago. I had been SO tired from having my second child that I finally tried to find out what was so great about coffee. I have to admit that a properly made organic iced mocha with whole milk is STILL something I would die for. Yum!

I got up to about 1 or 2 cups a day, made in my French press, with raw cream and honey. But it finally started to occur to me that maybe there was a reason I was so tired that I needed coffee to function. I would mostly chalk it up to having two little kids, but part of me wondered if coffee was such a good idea. Then I read your How to Quit Coffee post a few months ago and decided to be done. Thank you :)

I also ordered The Mood Cure and am finally getting around to reading it. I am piecing together a lot of good information about my adrenals and thyroid issues with regard to my inability to lose the baby weight. Sigh.

lydia December 4, 2010 at 7:19 AM

Awesome post – Facebooked it!!

Chocolate contains the substance theobromine, which includes similar compounds to that of caffeine. It has a similar but lesser effect than caffeine.

Julie December 4, 2010 at 8:00 AM

I’m not ready to give up my 1 cup a day.

Jenny December 4, 2010 at 8:21 AM

I USED to not drink coffee or even black tea. A half a cup in the AM would keep me up until 2 AM. I have since then learned that being wired on caffeine is a sign of magnesium deficiency. After about 6 months of supplementing with epsom salts, I can now drink a cup of coffee with fresh cream/milk and gelatin right before bed and sleep really well. Caffeine is good for you but you shouldn’t drink it black, the liver needs fuel to process it.
http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/caffeine.shtml

Musings of a Housewife December 4, 2010 at 9:35 AM

I quit! So far I don’t know that I feel any better/different. It’s been two weeks since I started weaning off, one week that I’ve been off it entirely. I have had several decaf lattes, though, do those count?

Honestly I don’t feel that I’m sleeping any better. My rosacea seems to be a bit improved, possibly. I’ve also gone off grains and am reducing sugar since the conference so it’s hard to know what is affecting what, kwim?

This post helped motivate me to stay off. My biggest complaint is that I’m, ahem, a bit stopped up. Coffee always kept me regular. HELP?

Former Coffee Drinker December 4, 2010 at 10:20 AM

I started drinking coffee in junior high school! So, it was definitely a change for me to quit the coffee. I used to drink probably 5 or 6 cups a day — at least. For someone my size, that is a lot of coffee. I used to get heart palpitations sometimes. I went to my doctor about it once and she told me to stop drinking so much coffee. I wasn’t able to follow her advice. I quit briefly when I got pregnant, but soon, I was back up to drinking at least a cup of coffee a day.

Finally, I decided to do something novel. When I was tired, take a nap or slow down. When I wanted something hot to drink, drink green tea or vanilla roobios. This has worked for me. I feel 100% better. (I am not able to drink black tea though. It has a coffee-like effect for me.) Now that I don’t drink coffee, I find that I don’t get as tired during the day. I think I may have taken motrin a few times for a caffeine headache. No supplements, no funny diet changes though.

Andrea December 4, 2010 at 10:22 AM

Couple questions here…does anyone know anything about chicory as a substitute? Also, I am in the midst of quitting coffee myself and would love for my (non traditional foods) husband to do the same. However, he suffers absolutely no effect from soda/coffee. He could drink an espresso at 10 pm and sleep like a baby. Are some people more immune to caffeine than others?

Luther Blissett December 4, 2010 at 10:34 AM

You can have my coffee when you pry it from my cold, dead, still shaking hands.

cheeseslave December 4, 2010 at 11:08 AM

@Jay You need to read the book. It has all the sources in the back.

cheeseslave December 4, 2010 at 11:13 AM

@Jill

I used to be like that. I could drink a whole pot of coffee and go to sleep. Caffeine never gave me energy or kept me awake. Of course at that time my adrenals were completely exhausted.

Frances December 4, 2010 at 11:36 AM

I find the credibility of the author of this book to be questionable and the claims of the author about caffeine to be sensationalistic. Both of these things are red flags and I would not take all of his claims as gospel.

evan December 4, 2010 at 8:14 PM

I love me some Intellegentsia. Everything in moderation…some of these claims really are ludicrous. We shouldn’t scare people into giving up certain treats by threatening panic attacks and palpitations. As long as we are using organic milk or creamer, life is still good. Oh, and fair trade.

Melody D. December 4, 2010 at 8:42 PM

This is more a list of why to quit caffeine than coffee but otherwise well put. I do find this article to be in direct contradiction with this one though http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/coffee-new-health-food
Just some additional food for thought.

Susan R December 4, 2010 at 8:47 PM

This is so interesting. Maybe it affects my husband’s tinnitus, also. Thanks for the post and the comments.

Alexis December 5, 2010 at 9:42 AM

What about black/green/white teas? I really do like drinking teas!

Cecile December 5, 2010 at 8:52 PM

Hmmm. I do like my cup of joe in the morning. It has become part of my ritual for beginning my work day.

Not sure I buy all the ill affects mentioned. Don’t know the background of the Caffeine Blues writer. Would need to understand that in order give him credibility.

It do recognize that I need to give eliminating coffee a try and see the effects. I have a bunch of little complaints as I age so I’d like to find out if coffee has any part to play.

bonnie December 5, 2010 at 9:25 PM

Thank you so much for this info…it has given me the support I need to stop drinking coffee…not that I drank it everyday, but when I did, it was like what I thought was a best friend turned nasty on me…I have found a great tea that gives a smooth caffeine buzz, nothing harsh like coffee…Numi brand Puerh teas, and they taste soooooooooooo good…Chocolate Puerh, Emporer’s Puerh and Mint Green…my son mixed a couple of Mint Puerh with the Chocolate Puerh and said it rocks!!!!

Stephanie B. Cornais December 6, 2010 at 10:35 AM

oh man, I knew I shouldn’t have read this post! Now I have to quit! Ugh.
I am a huge coffee addict and weaned instantly to one cup a day when I got pregnant, and I have been telling myself, that one cup is just fine.
It’s gonna have to wait till after the new year though…I know I can’t do it with the holidays.

Jeff December 6, 2010 at 6:32 PM

If you Google “Coffee and Mortality” you will find a host of studies on the subject. Virtually ALL of them show no long term harmful effects from drinking coffee. If anything, they show that people who drink coffee tend to have lower mortality rates. Many studies show the more coffee, the better. One would think that even if only a few of those 30 Reasons were true, it would shorten a person’s life.

lynna December 7, 2010 at 5:00 AM

I am kind of sickened that you compare coffee drinking with being an abused spouse. You were probably joking (Oh how I hope) but really? You are really drawing this analogy? Just don’t.
Also, i am glad that quitting coffee has been so beneficial for you and others, but I also hope you can recognize the health benefits of this beverage. One quick internet search, talk with your doctor, etc will confirm that it actually helps many medical problems. It’s not for everyone, but also isn’t inherently evil as you imply.

Uncle David December 7, 2010 at 10:30 AM

Yet another avenue of pleasure closed off.

Jen December 7, 2010 at 5:23 PM

I always refrain from drinking coffee during pregnancy,as I always lost the desire for it,which was wonderful,as I was aware of it being linked to miscarriage.
Once I had the baby,I was so tired I started needing the coffee again,even though
it most likely was affecting my baby’s sleep as well.
I would only have 2 lattes a day and I really looked forward to them.I loved the taste and also the ritual of making them as well.
I became aware that it was the coffee that was making me shake like a leaf,as if I hadn’t eaten in days,like my blood sugar levels were plummeting.
Of course I didn’t want to even contemplate giving coffee up-it was what I looked forward to!
However, I had to acknowledge that it just wasn’t worth the shakiness and passing out feeling.I even tried to persuade myself that coffee prevents diabetes,that it had antioxidants and other benefits!
I look at both sides of the coffee discussion,and know that for some reason it just affects my well-being drastically.It wasn’t a sacrifice to give it up,because it was no longer my friend.It betrayed me!That makes it easier to abstain from it.I do enjoy organic swiss water decaf,and rooibos,but cannot stand tea,except for the occasional organic earl grey.
For me,coffee is a two-edged sword

Cecile December 7, 2010 at 8:56 PM

I read that drinking coffee is avoided with less plaque in the blood veins.

Nevertheless, I’m going to see what my body feels like with no coffee for a few weeks. If some of the complaints I have go away, I can make a deduction that coffee has something to do with it. I could risk starting again and seeing if the discomforts retrun.

I’m especially curious to see if what I eat changes. Today, I didn’t have the donut I sometimes have with it.

Earth Friendly Goodies December 8, 2010 at 8:38 AM

I’ve never been a coffee drinker so I don’t know from experience but what I find interesting from reading all the comments is that caffeine effects everyone differently. Not only that but there is very strong evidence for the benefits of coffee as linked to a few times throughout the comments. It just makes me think that there are always pros and cons to any food, and reminds me of a book I was reading recently in which all meat and dairy (even grass fed) was basically demonized as gross, disgusting and toxic and soy was the gift from the gods (which there is strong evidence for and against as well). So what are we to believe?

Erin December 8, 2010 at 2:43 PM

Ann Marie,

You said – “@Jill

I used to be like that. I could drink a whole pot of coffee and go to sleep. Caffeine never gave me energy or kept me awake. Of course at that time my adrenals were completely exhausted.”

Is a lack of “coffee symptoms” evidence that your adrenals are overworked?

My husband can drink cups and cups of coffee all day long, and he’s never had trouble sleeping (which is completely unfair because I never drink coffee, and I often have trouble sleeping!). If I even drink a half cup of coffee at 7:00 in the morning, I’m almost guaranteed a night with less than 2 hours of sleep. I won’t touch the stuff!

Kris December 8, 2010 at 7:40 PM

Thank you so much for this post!

I went to an NT last week and on Sunday I did an adrenal stress test – no choco, coffee etc.! So I decided to stop drinking coffee as of that day.

I cannot believe how much better I feel after only a few days of being off of coffee!!!!
If I feel even better in three weeks I am going to be sooo excited – and wish I hadn’t
had paid $250 for the adrenal testing, I think I was just hooked caffeine and it
was really screwing up my body.

I am still having a little bit of choco every afternoon – that one is going to be an even harder one – it is dark organic chocolate – and only a small piece everyday – but still I would rather not be addicted to it as I am.

But once again – Thank you for research and sharing it. I did buy the
“caffeine blues” book and am thoroughly enjoying it. I am praying that I can get my husband to join me in the future, but for now I am just turning down the wonderfuly aroma of coffee every morning and loving the new energy I am feeling.

Kris

Kris December 8, 2010 at 7:54 PM

Oh, one more thing for all of the “non-believers” :) I must be one of those that really reacts to caffeine in a bad way. I have felt like I am so easily agitated with the kids lately (not a good thing when homeschooling)_
I have been so much more peaceful/patience/ and not a b**ch with the kids lately – they are probably wondering what happenned to our mom? But very happy – and i noticed this before I read in the book about people being much more agitated and mean when addicted to caffeine.

Kris

leah December 9, 2010 at 2:09 PM

I’m sitting here drinking a cup of decaf as I read this.:) I never used to be much of a coffee drinker but have a husband who makes it part of his morning routine and finally started joining him occasionally. He drinks his with creamer (blech!) and sugar, I use stevia and raw milk or cream. Still, after reading this post, I’m even reconsidering my decaf. I was especially interested to read about how coffee prevents iron absorption…I am 6 months pregnant and baby #4 and always have low iron issues during pregnancy.

I like herbal tea and drink a lot of it, but coffee has a satisfying “substance” to it that tea just doesn’t have. Maybe I could switch to warm milk and honey or hot cocoa.

cheeseslave December 11, 2010 at 10:31 AM

@ Erin

I really think this is the case. Of course, some people can handle more than others — some are less sensitive.

But caffeine is still a drug and it *does* affect us.

Those of us who drink a lot of coffee do become desensitized to the effects of caffeine. Our adrenals are shot and so we are tired all the time. When your adrenals are that shot, caffeine can’t do anything to give you a lift. Nothing works anymore.

Similarly, if you become accustomed to drinking a lot of alcohol (another drug) on a regular basis, you can drink more and more alcohol and it doesn’t affect you as strongly. You need more and more to feel the effects.

Erin December 11, 2010 at 3:20 PM

I hadn’t thought of it that way before, I mean, that you need more and more to feel an affect from caffeine. And I don’t know that much about the adrenals and what they do in the body, so I’m going to do a little research and see what I can find out. Thanks for the post and for your response! Love your blog!

Kelly December 13, 2010 at 1:57 PM

I quit coffee this summer and haven’t regretted it a day since.

Mike December 14, 2010 at 6:22 AM

Bollox!

cheeseslave December 14, 2010 at 6:25 PM

@Mike

I believe that’s Bollocks! ;-)

Michelle @ Find Your Balance December 15, 2010 at 7:10 AM

The proof is always in the pudding. When I can convince someone to go off caffeine for 3 weeks, they hate me Week 1, they’re crabby Week 2, and by Week 3 they are thanking and loving me left and right!

Love this post :-)

Penina @Feed Your Roots December 15, 2010 at 9:03 AM

I quit coffee 4 years ago when I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. It was the most difficult change I had to make to my diet and lifestyle, but the positive results were well worth it! Thanks for posting this. I was aware of some of the harmful effects of caffeine, but I definitely learned a lot!

Karen December 17, 2010 at 2:03 PM

Hey Ann-Marie (and Alex and Raine and the rest!)
Still not blogging but reading all of you and what you have to say. Caffeine definitely my achilles heel but on balance have given up coffee, drink a cup of organic, low caffeine, low tannin tea morning and sometimes tea time and some organic super-dark chocolate.
Still I sometimes think I should quit altogether but I just LOVE tea (I’m british after all) and surely a very, very little isn’t so bad?

juanna December 19, 2010 at 10:34 AM

i gave it up about 8 weeks ago, after 20 years of 1-3 cups a day. it took a while, but i feel absolutely amazing for it. i sleep so well now, i used to wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to fall back asleep. i thought it was anxiety. i used to get so tired after eating, that doesn’t really happen anymore. i feel calmer and more centered. i now drink rooibos tea, it is caffeine free and really good for you, but comes in flavors like chai and earl grey. when i need an energy boost it seems ginger tea does the trick. when i smell coffee i miss it, but now that i realize how much better i feel, i wont go back.

Richard December 19, 2010 at 11:31 PM

Well it would seem that most of the list applies to tea as well.

I’m already off soda. If I quit tea and coffee, what’s left? Water? Blech.

cheeseslave December 20, 2010 at 9:23 AM

@Richard

I still drink decaf tea and decaf coffee. I like mineral water (Gerolsteiner is my fave) and I also love kombucha, kefir soda pop and of course, raw millk.

Elizabeth January 9, 2011 at 7:44 AM

Have you ever tried red tea (a.k.a. rooibos)? It is really delicious and naturally caffeine free.

Lauren January 13, 2011 at 1:32 PM

my husband and i started drinking kangen water. we were able to wake up in the morning refreshed, we didnt need to drink coffee to wake up, it was amazing! its all about dehydration. when your drinking this water you feel hydrated and once you drink some coffee you notice big time how dry your mouth gets and tired you get just after finishing your coffee. my moms migraines that shes had for 30 years went away instantly after starting this kangen water. my husband is a morning person now and doesnt need coffee to wake up any more.

Lauren January 13, 2011 at 1:39 PM

my sister has ulcerative colitis and she started this kangen water and hasnt had any pain or nausea since. all itis diseases is inflammation and this water is anti inflammatory from the anti oxidant effect that it has. its the same makeup of the water at lourdes france healing waters. glacier water at your kitchen sink. what could be better than that?

Autherine January 26, 2011 at 7:43 PM

Thanks for the tips. I love coffee, especially Jamaican Blue Mountain, but only have a few sips about 1/week., It is not food for anyone who is hypoglycemic. Frankly, I like the idea of coffee more than coffee. When I go to the bookstore, I love sitting down with a magazine a cup of coffee. The experience is not the same without the coffee next to me but I find that after a few sips, the urge to drink it is gone.

Julie January 27, 2011 at 6:45 AM

I’ve linked to you in a Giveaway for a yummy coffee substitute I found – called Dandy Blend.

http://realfoodlittlerock.blogspot.com/2010/01/giveaway-coffee-substitute-dandy-blend.html

Kana January 27, 2011 at 2:02 PM

1. That quote shouldn’t have anything to do with quitting coffee. There are lots of ways plants effect other plants that have zero things to do with how they affect humans.

10. That quote.. doesn’t even make sense in and of itself. Disastrous how, exactly? The simile it uses is completely ridiculous, the reaction of a horse to being over-whipped can’t really be compared to overuse of caffeine in my opinion.

19. Is a point that is a little redundant. Cortisol is released in response to stress, as you’ve already pointed out caffeine can increase stress and your ability to deal with it. But cortisol does a lot of different things and is used to treat some diseases. It’s misleading simply to say that caffeine elevates cortisol. I’ll bet more than half of your readers don’t even know what cortisol is. Either explain it or emit it. It only sounds scary because people don’t know what it is.

29. Who the hell is talking about injecting someone with 500 mg of caffeine? No reasonable person would ever do that. A REASONABLE 8 oz size coffee only has around 300-400 mg of caffeine. Now granted not many people drink a size that small, but they should. Everything in moderation is a great rule. At any rate, caffeine isn’t MEANT to be injected, the effects caused by doing so is irrelevant. Also, the amount of people who drink coffee and take anti-depressants isn’t causal. It’s completely asinine to suggest everyone who drinks coffee takes tranquilizers.

Overall, I’m not saying it’s a bad idea to ease up on the coffee. But these are scare tactics and those are rarely based in reasoning. There’s caffeine in more things than just coffee.. It’s good that people are aware, but I think it’s more reasonable simply to tell people to cut down, not quit.

Bottom line, coffee is a vice just like any other “drug.” The key is to keep it under control or try to avoid altogether if you realize you have an addictive personality.

cheeseslave January 27, 2011 at 7:51 PM

@Kana

Thanks for your comment.

1. Pesticide = poison. Etymology: “pest” + “kill”. ‘Nuff said.

10. I’ll explain. When you whip a horse, you’re aiming to get more out of it than the horse can give. Caffeine is a stimulant that overworks your adrenals and depletes neurotransmitters in the brain. So while it may feel good in the short term, you’re doing long-term damage.

19. When you say “emit” it I think you meant to say “omit” it. Redundant or not, I think it was a point worth making. Yes, I already said that caffeine increases stress and your ability to deal with it, however, excess cortisol brings other problems. Excess cortisol is unhealthy for a number of reasons including weight gain.

I’ll bet more than half of your readers don’t even know what cortisol is.

I’d venture to say you’re wrong about that. My readers are pretty educated. They really keep me on my toes!

You want me to explain why it’s bad? Here you go:

http://www.ehow.com/about_5544054_effects-excess-cortisol.html

29. Who the hell is talking about injecting someone with 500 mg of caffeine? No reasonable person would ever do that. A REASONABLE 8 oz size coffee only has around 300-400 mg of caffeine.Now granted not many people drink a size that small, but they should.

You just negated your own argument.

500 mg vs. 300-400? Hmm… not a huge difference. And you admitted that most people drink MORE than 300-400 mg.

Also, the amount of people who drink coffee and take anti-depressants isn’t causal. It’s completely asinine to suggest everyone who drinks coffee takes tranquilizers.

I did not say that everyone who drinks coffee takes tranquilizers. You said that.

But how do you know that “people who drink coffee and take anti-depressants isn’t causal”? According to Julia Ross, author of The Mood Cure, caffeine reduces serotonin int he brain.

If you think caffeine intake is not related to dependency on anti-depressants, let’s see some evidence of that. Got any?

Overall, I’m not saying it’s a bad idea to ease up on the coffee. But these are scare tactics and those are rarely based in reasoning.

“If you were right, I’d agree with you,” – Robin Williams

I don’t think you have adequately proven any flaws in my logic. If you can do that, go for it.

There’s caffeine in more things than just coffee.. It’s good that people are aware, but I think it’s more reasonable simply to tell people to cut down, not quit.

Caffeine is a drug. Just like cocaine or heroin, both drugs. Should we tell cocaine addicts to just “cut down” or quit?

If a drug damages our brain chemistry and hurts our adrenals, why continue taking the drug?

Methinks the lady doth protest too much.

lulu January 27, 2011 at 9:49 PM

I agree…and I’m not sure how reliable this Stephen Cherniske is…Most things in moderation…things like unpasteurized dairy products or undercooked meat, never. A single cup of coffee once per day or five days a week won’t be the death of you. It’s more likely that someone’s overly-fatty diet and lack of exercise will lead to heart attack, stroke or cancer. Adding creamer, half and half or sugar to coffee is not health-beneficial, by the way and the sugar especially could contribute to peoples’ problems with sleep that are often coffee attributed.

I drink coffee (two cups) per day, five days per week and have one of the lowest heart rates (meaning healthy!!!) and an average blood pressure. It’s been 7 years since I started drinking it and have no ill effects. I also exercise regularly and eat well.

Angela February 19, 2011 at 9:21 PM

“Caffeine is a drug. Just like cocaine or heroin, both drugs.”

If that’s true, then why does it affect some people dramatically and other people not at all? Don’t actual drugs like cocaine or heroin affect everyone who takes them? Have you ever heard of someone taking meth and not being affected at all?

I think caffeine is just another food that has different effects on different people. Like, some people are lactose intolerant, or gluten intolerant, but I don’t see you claiming that dairy and gluten are evil.

cheeseslave February 20, 2011 at 8:59 AM

Caffeine is a stimulant.

http://www.elmhurst.edu/~chm/vchembook/670drugcns.html

Gluten and lactose are not stimulants, nor are they drugs.

People do react differently to different drugs; they do will everyone individually. You can read about this in any pharmacology book.

Denise April 1, 2011 at 7:57 AM

I saw this on a coffee mug:
“Coffee buzz or panic attack?
…you make the call”
That quite sums it up :)
Thanks for sharing the truth on here! I picked up “Caffeine Blues” at the library and I can’t wait to read it. I’ve been caffeine free for two weeks now, and I take L-tyrosine some mornings, and I’ve been bright and alert since! Now on to convincing the rest of my community who thinks I’m crazy for giving it up…
I do miss my lattes though. I will be trying out Teecino soon. Also, how often do you have decaf, Anne Marie? I know you’re super busy so no rush on a response.

cheeseslave April 1, 2011 at 9:16 PM

LOL! That is awesome.

Thanks for sharing, Denise.

I have loved coffee since I was about 15. But now, after being off coffee for over 5 months, if I even drink a few sips, I get heart palpitations.

Amino acids are simply amazing!

I am drinking decaf every day these days. I do love coffee still – but I’m content to have decaf. I usually drink one, but sometimes two cups of decaf, organic coffee per day.

cheeseslave April 1, 2011 at 9:17 PM

By the way, I know Dandy Blend would be better for me. Since it is made with dandelion which is a natural detoxifier.

Maybe I will fully switch over some day.

riceinmay July 4, 2011 at 12:48 PM

I’m gonna show this to my husband! He drinks coffee all day long and all week long! On the weekends alone he drinks 4 or so cups a day! At least he adds grass fed cream to it. Now I just gotta find a substitute……

tessag July 5, 2011 at 5:33 PM

I am not a coffee addict. I do not drink “coffee” at all….but I do love an occasional espresso. And cappuccino in the cold months. It’s organic. My husband is from Italy ….and will hear no such thing as to not drinking coffee/espresso. I find it interesting that in the list it mentions that it is not good for digestion….but that is precisely why Italians may drink it after a meal….because it helps digestion. At least that is my understanding.

tessag July 5, 2011 at 5:34 PM

But I totally understand all the points…I am not arguing that.

tessag July 6, 2011 at 7:50 AM

Studies done on coffee by green med info…

http://www.greenmedinfo.com/search/node/coffee

khalid Sadary August 15, 2011 at 12:05 PM

I have been drinking coffee for 32 years.
I was diagonised with high blood pressure .
So the best thing is to give up coffee and start drinking green tea.
Its been three days without coffee. I miss it and have nothing forward to look every morning and evening that was the time I would have coffee.
I had a special mug for drinking coffee and only would drink coffee made by my wife.

My BP is now normal.

Kerry August 23, 2011 at 11:36 AM

I am quitting as of right now! I bought the DPLA, and I’m going to have some dark chocolate if I need it tomorrow morning when I encounter that “what was I thinking nevermind I’m not quitting coffee is the best thing ever” train of thought!

I’m excited to be free of cravings and dependence and to create energy naturally all by myself without stimulants.

Viva caffeine freedom!

Morn September 19, 2011 at 10:59 AM

Coffee is a drug now is it? Must we ruin anything and everything that taste good? Unless you want to chew on bark for breakfast, lunch and dinner, there is really nothing that healthy these days. I love coffee and would rather give up alcohol!

cheeseslave September 19, 2011 at 11:20 AM

Drink decaf.

cheeseslave September 19, 2011 at 11:21 AM

Good luck!

cheeseslave September 19, 2011 at 11:22 AM

Wow that’s great!

Denise September 19, 2011 at 12:15 PM

Hi Anne Marie,
I had a question about Dandy Blend. The ingredients lists trace minerals as it’s ingredients including mercury. I’ve heard trace minerals are good for us, but mercury?

Dustin October 31, 2011 at 8:41 AM

Hi all,
Just gave up coffee cold turkey 12 days ago have not had a cup. My regular intake was about 3-5 cups a day, and when I started school I had extreme stress and anxiety. I decided to give up coffee because of the twisting anxiety in my stomach and inability to get some good sleep. I went to Costco and bought a case of green tea. I feel much better about myself and my anxiety having 5 cups of green tea a day with Blue agave sweetner, I do miss coffee but its more of just the thought of the old days consuming a tri-latte mocha mixed with regular drip coffee. Green tea is more healthy and with getting older (I’m 28 now), I have to make the correct health choices as I embark on this new journey of life. RIP coffee

cheeseslave October 31, 2011 at 9:53 AM

I am not sure about that –will have to look into it

cheeseslave October 31, 2011 at 9:57 AM

That is great! Green tea still has caffeine so it is not recommended. The agave also stresses the adrenals, as does the caffeine. Try DLPA or Tyrosine — they really work.

Ralph Man November 22, 2011 at 7:15 AM

Literally all food affects neurotransmitter levels in some manner. The mere act of eating something is mediated by fluctuation in various neurotransmitters and neuropeptides. It is not enough to simply point out that a substance affects brain chemistry. You have to go a step further and demonstrate a causal link between whatever negative trait you think that effect has and the substance. And that then has to be balanced against potential benefits. Further it’s useless to talk about GABA as the “dealing with stress” chemical when it is an omnipresent substance in neuronal chemistry that has a role in so many things in so many different ways that being so reductive is misleading at best. Higher levels of subtypes of GABA also make one dangerously dis-inhibited. (Alcohol, Valium, and cousins are GABA agonists) La-di-da. The same issue holds true of other neurotransmitters. So you can’t say that X has some aggregate impact on a neurotransmitter, point out some ludicrously reductive role of that transmitter, and then declare that X is bad because that role is disrupted.

Many of these are misleading or wrong to the point that it is laughable. I don’t think it will be productive to go point by point, but suffice it to say that injecting a substance directly into your bloodstream can have drastically different effects than sending it through your gastro-intestinal tract where it is processed differently. Injecting air into your veins can kill you. Omg! Don’t breath air. Capsaicin, what makes most spicy food spicy, is a neuronal irritant chili plants evolved to discourage mammals from eating them. Oh no!

Btw, one cup of raw milk is far more risky to your health than one cup of coffee.

Ralph Man November 22, 2011 at 7:54 AM

You’re probably unaware that the decaffeinating process does not eliminate caffeine entirely and that standards for the label are followed inconsistently. Depending on what you’re having, you might have more mg of caffeine leftover in our decaf cup than you would if you drank a different type of regular coffee. Drinking decaf is more of a caffeine reduction tactic than it is a way to eliminate caffeine from your diet.

Red tea, herbal teas, and other non-tea plant teas usually don’t have caffeine. They’re not decaf so much as not caffeinated in the first place.

Kathy January 2, 2012 at 10:52 AM

I often read about all the great things that are in coffee and tea… antioxidants and other anti cancer properties. I used to enjoy a few cups of coffee everyday for many, many years, then it started making me sick… nearly right away. Within 30 minutes, it came right back up. I was in denial of it being coffee but soon couldn’t deny it as it became very clear it was certainly the coffee. Tried switching brands, even switched to decaf and got a different coffee maker, still made me sick right away, even Starbucks coffee – same thing. Decaf, same thing… I can’t tell you how many times I made myself sick being in denial about it!!! Finally, lamenting my loss of coffee, I switched to tea, which worked great for many months… then it started happening with the tea!!! I have NO food allergies and do not have a sensitive stomach to anything. Completely bizarre. I’ve never had anyone be able to explain it to me, nor have I ever heard of anyone else ever having this problem. I even became more and more “allergic” to coffee during my denial phase to where just a half cup had me running over to the porch railing! I’d love to hear about anyone else who ever experienced this as well as any information as to WHY. Of course, now I am coffee and tea free, for 5 years now. Occasionally I have thought, maybe I should try it again, maybe what ever it was has passed… and every time I get a very rude reminder that what ever it was has NOT passed. yuck.
So anyhow, thank you for writing an article that makes me feel better about not being able to drink it!!! I’m usually seeing articles about how great it is for you!

cheeseslave January 2, 2012 at 12:16 PM

“Btw, one cup of raw milk is far more risky to your health than one cup of coffee.”

That’s absurd. Please do your research on raw milk.

cheeseslave January 2, 2012 at 12:24 PM

There are tons of articles on line talking about how great coffee is. I was surprised to see so few negative articles.

I don’t know why it’s making you sick. I think your body is doing you a huge favor!

uhiu February 27, 2012 at 11:37 AM

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.
that’s the stupidest and most extreme comparisson ever. Caffine has shown to be beneficial in small amounts. Tea and coffee have been drank for centuries for their benefits, some anecdotal evidence from a biased mans book is not going to change that.

park chi February 27, 2012 at 6:31 PM

all this is pure NONSENSE!!! omg do more research

Helen Humphreys March 13, 2012 at 8:32 PM

Thanks for this valuable information. I quit coffee on Sunday. I was only having one cup a day but clearly even that is too much. I thought it was o.k. No it’s not o.k. I only just read your information but in Ramiel Nagel”s book (Cure Tooth Decay) he says NO Caffeine if you want to have good teeth. That was the reason I quit because I do not want to have any more tooth issues. INot to mention all the other benefits listed above for not drinking it.

karen April 23, 2012 at 4:12 AM

I quite coffee 2 years ago on my own. Not fun but I didn’t do it cold turkey…just switched to my organic green tea every other cup until I got off the caffeine. Now if I even have 1 cup I get a terrible headache and heart palpitations.

Caffeine also “mimics” estrogen in the body…which is really bad news for women and men to some degree. So many synthetic estrogens floating around out there anyway…not good.

For all the people touting “health” benefits, many of the studies about how good it is for you are done by coffee companies.. And coffee beans are one of the most heavily sprayed crop. Don’t see too much “organic” coffee here in NYC.

I drink Royal King caffeine free organic green tea. love it.

Candace June 4, 2012 at 9:44 AM

Did you quit green tea and chocolate too? Life without chocolate…can’t even say it with a straight face lol Good for you if you did!

cheeseslave June 4, 2012 at 11:15 AM

I don’t like green tea. I love chocolate and I eat it regularly, but not everyday

Sebastian October 3, 2012 at 8:30 PM

I have actually heard that Coffee has more Health BENEFITS than bad cons. If you look up articles on Google or even ScienceDaily. There are great new studies out there about how Coffee is very good for you. Here’s the studies on Coffee on ScienceDaily.com. http://www.sciencedaily.com/search/?keyword=coffee _) Look at both sides of the story not just one. Anything you drink or eat to much of is a very bad thing.

Jeff October 4, 2012 at 4:55 AM

Yes. Coffee drinkers live longer and are less likely to die from heart disease, respiratory problems, stroke, injuries and accidents, diabetes, and infections.

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/story/2012-05-11/coffee-drinkers-longer-life-expectancy/55024636/1

Judy Griffin November 16, 2012 at 12:35 AM

Praise God! I this is my 16th day of quitting coffee and I am here to say that it is worth every minute of going through the withdrawals because I am beginning to feel a lot better, more energy and clearity of mind. I feel like I can breathe better. It is probably due to more oxygen to the brain and blood.

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.’

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.

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

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!

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.

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/

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.

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

and Twinkies are health food. lol

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

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.

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.

Ashley March 18, 2013 at 8:48 PM

What a load of horse crap!

Holly May 9, 2013 at 1:11 PM

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

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.

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?

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.

Coo June 2, 2013 at 3:14 PM

That confused me too.

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

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.

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.

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.

Middy98 August 9, 2013 at 10:40 PM

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

Middy98 August 10, 2013 at 12:04 AM

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

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.

NG August 17, 2013 at 1:12 AM

Quit coffee. Your body will thank you.

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).

MARY August 29, 2013 at 9:25 AM

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

noneofyobeezwax September 5, 2013 at 6:48 AM

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

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

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.

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?

Jade October 18, 2013 at 10:43 PM

Fully agreed.

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

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!

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.

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.

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 !!

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”

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!

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!

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

Riki December 19, 2013 at 11:21 AM

*flushes out vitamins and minerals

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

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.

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.

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/

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.

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

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.

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.

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

Spookey March 1, 2014 at 2:31 PM

Oops. I meant Nov 2 2013.

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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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?

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.

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.

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!

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

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.

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 :-)

spiran May 8, 2014 at 6:45 AM

Superman junky……….pathetic

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 :)

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

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!

margie May 11, 2014 at 8:06 PM

you do know that decaf still has caffeine right?

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.

Tracey Fallon June 5, 2014 at 7:13 PM

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

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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!

louise August 31, 2014 at 8:34 PM

Incomplete = misleading.

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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JOHN December 2, 2014 at 8:23 AM

i was a non coffee drinker until 23-25,then a began drinking coffee because of night shift and to boost athletic performance,but it gave me almost a divorce to my wife,she said to me yesterday”’ you where different in the past,in athens,now that we live in thessaloniki you have less stress in your job but you are more tense and nervous than EVER,i will punch your face,i had enough of your nerver and tense,i will divorce you ,if you dont change”’…i take about 125-250 mg of caffeine from my preworkout powder but i will stop them and be stimulant free in the future…thats it!!

ash January 5, 2015 at 3:27 PM

I have severe panic attacks, anxiety, depression, bad stomach problems, I quit coffee, all my inflammation went away

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