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giving up coffee (caffeine)

sarah7591sarah7591 Member Posts: 140 Member Member Posts: 140 Member
Have any of you long time coffee drinkers given up caffeine completely? Did you do it gradually? How did you feel during the process? How did you feel after? Thanks in advance.
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Replies

  • penguinmama87penguinmama87 Member, Premium Posts: 578 Member Member, Premium Posts: 578 Member
    I have given it up for short periods of time (Lenten penance). I went down gradually. Sometimes I would get a slight headache, or feel tired in the afternoon for a few days if I was used to having something then. I was never consuming vast quantities, though.
  • goal06082021goal06082021 Member Posts: 1,103 Member Member Posts: 1,103 Member
    If you like the taste of coffee but want to limit or avoid the caffeine, you'll want to step yourself down gradually - mix your full-strength coffee with a little bit of decaf, then a little more, then a little more, until you're drinking just decaf. If you brew a cup of decaf and just go straight there, your body will taste coffee, brace for that sweet sweet stimulant hit of caffeine, and you'll crash hard. Ask me how I know.
  • sarah7591sarah7591 Member Posts: 140 Member Member Posts: 140 Member
    Thanks all. I did exactly as you say goal06082021 went straight to decaf and had a headache all day long! I am gradually now adding the decaf to the regular coffee. I just wonder if when I give it up completely I will be able to get anything done in the mornings! Will I have any energy in the mornings?
  • penguinmama87penguinmama87 Member, Premium Posts: 578 Member Member, Premium Posts: 578 Member
    sarah7591 wrote: »
    Thanks all. I did exactly as you say goal06082021 went straight to decaf and had a headache all day long! I am gradually now adding the decaf to the regular coffee. I just wonder if when I give it up completely I will be able to get anything done in the mornings! Will I have any energy in the mornings?

    Has anyone advised you specifically to give up/scale back caffeine?

    On a typical day I drink one cup of coffee in the morning. I don't have concerns about it being bad for my health.
  • Speakeasy76Speakeasy76 Member Posts: 655 Member Member Posts: 655 Member
    I did 3 times in my life: twice when pregnant (although, not completely, but very rarely), and more recently for an elimination diet. When I knew I was going to be giving up caffeine about a month ago, I started by reducing the amount of grounds in my afternoon coffee, then after a few days eliminated that cup entirely. I also put 2 T of grounds instead of 3 in my morning cup. I didn't have a lot of time to do this, maybe a week and a half. The day I didn't have any caffeine was AWFUL! Headache all day that ibuprofen or Aleve didn't touch. The next day was better in that the ibuprofen seemed to help, but so did taking a nap. For the next week/week and a half, I would often get a slight headache in the afternoon, but if I could take a quick nap--it helped.

    I've been off of it for over 3 weeks, and I hate to admit I really do have a more steady stream of energy. I really felt like I could've used a cup this morning because I didn't sleep well last night, but I survived and it really wasn't bad once I got going.

    Once I'm "allowed" to have coffee again, I probably won't drink as much as I used to. I also may save it for lunctime, as it seems that's when I actually seem to need a boost more.
  • GummiMundiGummiMundi Member Posts: 360 Member Member Posts: 360 Member
    I drank coffee every day almost all my life, and completely stopped about three years ago. I didn't do it gradually, I just stopped. I got mild headaches for two weeks (I was expecting that), but then they went away. Now it hardly ever crosses my mind.
  • lynn_glenmontlynn_glenmont Member Posts: 8,767 Member Member Posts: 8,767 Member
    If you like the taste of coffee but want to limit or avoid the caffeine, you'll want to step yourself down gradually - mix your full-strength coffee with a little bit of decaf, then a little more, then a little more, until you're drinking just decaf. If you brew a cup of decaf and just go straight there, your body will taste coffee, brace for that sweet sweet stimulant hit of caffeine, and you'll crash hard. Ask me how I know.

    Even if you don't brew yourself a cup of straight decaf at all but just cut out the caffeine abruptly, you're likely to crash hard, if you've been drinking caffeinated coffee regularly. Your body is waiting for that stimulant whether or not you offer it a cup of decaf. I never used to drink decaf but was a regular multi-cup drinker of coffee during the week, but no so regular on the weekends. If I didn't have any coffee on Saturday, I'd wake up with a headache on Sunday that would last until I realized what was causing it and consumed some caffeine.
  • girlwithcurls2girlwithcurls2 Member Posts: 2,147 Member Member Posts: 2,147 Member
    I started drinking half-caff over a year ago. I love the taste of coffee and look forward to the ritual of making it every morning. I have noticed that if I don't get it one morning, there's no headache when I am regularly drinking 1/2 & 1/2.
  • ExpressoLove11ExpressoLove11 Member Posts: 249 Member Member Posts: 249 Member
    I did it once for about 6 months when I was in my early 20s. It started as a lenten challenge and then I carried it on. I went from about 7/8 cups a day to 0 and I can tell you it was dreadful. I was falling asleep at my desk and suffering headaches, it took about two weeks to adjust.

    I would follow the advice of those who suggest cutting down gradually. Make sure to drink lots of water as good hydration will keep you more alert. Eventually you will grow used to it and your energy levels will balance out. I currently only have 1 cup in the early morning and can go til the next morning without another - your body can and will adapt, you just have to sit through the discomfort.
  • sarah7591sarah7591 Member Posts: 140 Member Member Posts: 140 Member
    Thanks all for your replies...very helpful. So most of you are saying once you finally gave it up after a while the energy levels evened out? That is what I am hoping for because I do get a boost in the morning to keep me going. I will cut down over the next 6-8 weeks I and think that is gradual enough to not suffer withdrawal don't you think?
    @penguinmama87 no one has ever told me to give it up and I don't think coffee is bad for you at all...in fact I think it has health benefits. I suffer from insomnia...been going on for years and this is my last hold out. I have tried everything but giving up coffee and I always finish my coffee before 10:00 am so I don't think it should be impacting my sleep but am willing to give this a try.
    Thanks again to all of you for sharing you experiences.
  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Member Posts: 7,311 Member Member Posts: 7,311 Member
    I've cut it out for periods of time, including for Lent and to work on sleep issues, as well as just because I was drinking too much of it.

    I've done it both the gradually cut down and all at once ways. The latter left me with a mild headache but that only happened for a couple of days, and tiredness. The gradual way was better. IME, once you adjust to not having it, you are fine energywise without it. In particular, I find that if I don't drink too much (or in the afternoon), I sleep much better, and when I sleep better I don't miss it (other than the taste), so if it does help your insomnia, that should be the case for you.

    I actually keep meaning to switch to decaf, at least after a cup or two, since I am currently both drinking too much and not sleeping all that well again.
  • MsCzarMsCzar Member Posts: 428 Member Member Posts: 428 Member
    You could switch to Folgers. That would definitely put me off coffee. 😁
  • sarah7591sarah7591 Member Posts: 140 Member Member Posts: 140 Member
    MsCzar wrote: »
    You could switch to Folgers. That would definitely put me off coffee. 😁

    MsCzar...haha....that i is the truth! I always drink really good coffee....I'm spoiled!
  • wilson10102018wilson10102018 Member Posts: 1,025 Member Member Posts: 1,025 Member
    MsCzar wrote: »
    You could switch to Folgers. That would definitely put me off coffee. 😁

    Its all in the prep. Blind tested, Folgers is preferred by a plurality of all coffee drinkers, overwhelmingly among females 45-65.

    And, it is primarily comprised of Ethiopian beans, the most desirable of all choices.

    Double the amount you used last and use a French Press and distilled water. There is not a craft roasted product in the US that would beat that blind tested.
  • LisaGetsMovingLisaGetsMoving Member Posts: 659 Member Member Posts: 659 Member
    I gave up caffeine because it raised my blood pressure. I started by drinking half calf and then cutting down more and more each week. I still have/had energy but now if I drink one cup of the caffeinated stuff I'll be on overdrive and possibly have trouble sleeping at night. Even a cup of tea too late in the afternoon will do that now.
  • cinderhella89cinderhella89 Member Posts: 4 Member Member Posts: 4 Member
    Instead of buying my coffee at Starbucks etc, started making my own to take with. I've used heavy cream in it so helps. I've lost 42 lbs since Feb 2021.
  • spyro88spyro88 Member Posts: 461 Member Member Posts: 461 Member
    I gave up caffeine for a while a few years ago, I got very bad headaches for a few days but it was manageable.

    I now have coffee but I do a 50/50 mix of real coffee and decaf, so it is a lower caffeine content. That works quite well for me.
  • HotMama115HotMama115 Member, Premium Posts: 25 Member Member, Premium Posts: 25 Member
    I’ve been successful at it before but picked it up at some point again. I’m doing what worked for me before and reducing my caffeine every 5 or so days. Taking it from 4 heaping scoops to 4 even🤣 then 3 scoops etc. last time I did this I did not experience 1 headache and I am prone to getting them bad with lack of caffeine. Good luck! I hope quitting helps with your insomnia.
  • Safari_Gal_Safari_Gal_ Member Posts: 1,299 Member Member Posts: 1,299 Member
    Following this... I drink way too much coffee. Like 4-5 cups per day or more.. (usually black) I don’t feel any buzz from it at all.. it’s like water. I’m probably just so used to it. Slowly going down to 1-2 cups per day..

    Sigh.
  • sarah7591sarah7591 Member Posts: 140 Member Member Posts: 140 Member
    Update- I am doing great on decreasing the caffeine. I am making it 3:parts decaf and 1 part caffeine. I have noticed no ill effects. No headaches and my energy is still OK. In another 2-3 weeks I'll try complete decaf. I love the coffee so I won't give that up it's the caffeine I don't want to be addicted to.
    @Safari_Gal_ ....how are you cutting down? Wish you the best...we can do this!
    Haven't really noticed much help with the insomnia.
    edited May 6
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