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Caffeine addiction withdrawal: A coffee addict gets off java

It’s been a long time coming, and I’ve finally gotten around to give myself a month to stop drinking coffee.  It’s winter and the skies are grey, but I’ve already noticed a few emotional and physiological improvements since I’ve stopped daily double shots of espresso coffee.  Perhaps that’s because caffeine is an alkaloid drug with a stimulant action that I don’t really need.  The central nervous system is particularly affected in our attempt to promote wakefulness and increase mental activity.  Let’s be honest.  How many of us modern men and women really need MORE MENTAL ACTIVITY?

DAY THREE BENEFITS OF NO CAFFEINE

1.  No more caffeine-induced headaches at the end of the day.

2.  No more early afternoon energy crashes.

3.  Improved mood that accompanies an even temperament.

4.  Relaxed neck, shoulder and upper back muscles

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5.  Anxiety and pounding heart no longer experienced.

The great break from java is also a nice time to reflect on all of the benefits of a caffeine-free diet.  Partly research.  Partly motivation. The effect of my daily espresso lasts for about 3 – 3.5 hours in the body.  The drug stimulates the heart…but more importantly for me, I experience and increase of excitability of the neurons of the central nervous system.  Although habitual caffeine usage systematically affected improved recall task performance according to University of Maryland clinical trials , I don’t think that I need that “extra” wakefulness feeling.  But I love it.

The bottom line is that your nervous system might operate better with out that kick in the pants from Joe every day.In fact, if you’re getting enough sleep coffee is probably not doing you a whole lot of good.  Increased caffeine consumption has been associated with higher cholesterol levels, breast cysts, unnaturally rapid heart beat and some cancers.

What’s your relationship to coffee and caffeine?  Are you a 200 mg or less a day drinker?  Can you drink coffee in moderation?  Can you go a day without it?  And why should you?

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13 Responses to “Caffeine addiction withdrawal: A coffee addict gets off java
Cole
7:18 pm December 4th, 2008

Wow! I am so happy for you. I had no idea that you were trying to “kick” coffee. I am amazed at how much better things seem to be for you without caffeine. This is particularly amazing considering it is only day three. I wish the best for you and hope that your path down caffeine recovery is fantastic.

10:30 am December 7th, 2008

Thanks so much for your encouragement, Cole. I’m also learning which mental processes trigger the action. Just like any recovery. It’s funny how the brain works. Are you a java junkie?

Cole
6:19 pm December 9th, 2008

I do not think that the term “java junkie” necessarily applies to me. Please do not mistake me. I love coffee! I just keep it very limited. I do not drink coffee everyday, more like every other day. It does not mean that I have not considered cutting it out of my diet completely. I applaud your efforts! I look forward to hearing more about your findings. Keep up the good work!

…now I feel like a cup of coffee.

Thomas B.
2:31 pm April 16th, 2010

I was looking for people blogging about caffeine and found your posts. Cool. I believe caffeine addiction is real (at least mine was). While I’ve never had a cup of coffee in my life, my caffeinated drink of choice was Diet Mountain Dew. Holy smokes was I hooked. I enjoyed your trio of posts on java. Hope you spark the conversation some time soon again regarding caffeine. Many thanks…

marcel
8:55 pm October 6th, 2010

i going to tell you something about addiction. it is a disease, mental one, and my problem is that I am new at this. i don’t know how i became one. i don’t like to drink alcohol, but also i don’t know why am i drinking. i have family problems,it can be a reason but i don’t like it. i am not a person that search solutions in drinking. i want to escape from this nightmare.

andolsa
12:38 pm April 3rd, 2011

congratulations man ! But in my case, I really can’t see my life without coffee lol I just ADORE it

Mark Smith
2:33 pm September 2nd, 2011

If somebody is going to actually make a posting like this article on the internet in a location where hundreds of people are going to do a google and find the article, it is really irritating to find only “day 3 results” and then it is just abandoned. Coming off coffee and seeing the real benefits takes a month and sometimes much more; it is a disservice to make a posting like this and then totally abandon it.

7:09 pm September 2nd, 2011

Point taken. It’s been nearly 4 months now without coffee, and only two relapses. I can now address the deeper issues beneath my lack of energy that are still present. I’m seeing an acupuncturist, have had thyroid levels tested (a little low), and noticing the real peaks and valleys to the days. Caffeine is as much of a drug as anything else, and I am very glad to be out of its grasp. Anyone else have some experience or questions to share?

Irina
11:59 am March 2nd, 2012

I am trying to stop caffeine from some time. First I made 1 month but relapsed, then around two months drank 1 coffee a day. I tried once again, this time I managed to make 2 months without coffee but relapsed again. It’s really hard but I want to quit because it’s frustrating to feel something has such a grip on you when you don’t actually need it for living. I am happy that I am not the only one trying to quit and there are others who understand this is a serious thing, it’s addiction like any other.

12:58 pm March 2nd, 2012

Hello Irina. I can totally relate to you. I’ve been 9 months now without a slip!

What really helped me was to find a coffee substitute – herbal tea! There are many deep flavoured and earthy blends (Yogi Tea Classic is a favorite) which I really enjoy. Also, I bought some Starbucks VIA decaf. I know that there is a little caffeine in there, but it’s 10% of a cup of coffee…and I love the taste of coffee.

Does this help?

Irina
2:44 pm March 2nd, 2012

Thanks but actually I don’t have a problem quitting. I can go through the withdrawal symptoms, it’s just one week – no big deal. The real problem comes after a month or more – I don’t know why but somehow I forget the reasons why I quit in the first place or they just don’t seem so important anymore. I say – just this time or just a cup of black tea and it’s on. Maybe I just have an addictive personality, I don’t know :)

5:59 pm March 2nd, 2012

Yes, I hear you. Well can you deal with a once a month coffee fix? Or do you start back with daily drinking? Because if you can handle a once in a month cup of coffee, maybe that should be a plan. In addiction talk, rather than abstinence, you opt for harm reduction.

Irina
7:20 am March 5th, 2012

Maybe I can try that, I’ve decided that I’ll quit one way or another and this is most imortant. Thanks for the help! I wish success to all trying to quit!

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