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Caffeine and Mood

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 15, 2011 at 5:50 PM

Is there anyone who drinks coffee everyday quit for at least a week and notice any differences? I personally have realized that coffee has become this huge mood booster, and therefore has a following crash. I'm going to abstain for as long as possible, hopefully a month. How do you cope without coffee, and can I get encouraged from anyone who's already done the same thing?

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 16, 2011
at 09:07 PM

yes. well, it was never unstabilized.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 16, 2011
at 03:38 PM

so mood was stabilized?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 16, 2011
at 03:35 PM

....right. Maybe if withdrawing from caffeine for long enough will allow me to be able to drink occasionally again then

2507b557331c8a674bc81197531e609a

(4994)

on July 16, 2011
at 03:35 PM

"I did it by removing one more tablespoon from my morning cup each day" JESUS! Just how big are these cups of coffee!! :D

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on July 16, 2011
at 02:54 PM

You so need to get a Soda Stream! Mine just broke as did my heart - need to get another stat. It will save you money, you'll drink way more, and is way more environmentally friendly: http://www.sodastreamusa.com/

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on July 16, 2011
at 09:52 AM

Cool, but chocolate contains caffeine, so what's the point? I guess this coconut ice cream might not contain any actual cocoa, tbf...

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 16, 2011
at 01:47 AM

I'm going cold turkey, and am planning on replacing coffee with drinking orange juice or coconut water. And I'm going to add chocolate back in, probably in form of coconut bliss coconut ice cream. I gotta have that if I'm giving up coffee.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 15, 2011
at 09:29 PM

I'm the same way, no one likes me when I'm off it. But I'm going to go a month with no coffee, so what happens

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10 Answers

4
E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on July 15, 2011
at 06:14 PM

I can't recommend it strongly enough. As I said here, cutting caffeine has had the single biggest impact on my health by a long way and entirely positive. It's had more effect even than going low carb and that change leaves every other trailing far, far behind. I couldn't even think of another tangible health benefit I've gained from any other change. I love caffeine, and it boost me mentally and emotionally immensely, but I'm also much better off when eating none whatsoever of it. I find myself hideously addicted to it though, even if I have just 25mg on a day, I'll find it very difficult to have none the next day. If I have bad sleep- which I have often- then I find I do need caffeine to function. I find one of the best ways to move towards caffeine reduction is to move off of having caffeine from coffee, tea, cocoa or energy drink and take it in controlled doses from caffeine pills. That'll disassociate any attachment to the beverages themselves and allow you to only have as much caffeine as you need. That might sound extreme and may be unnecessary for most people, but for me, who can notice the caffeine in a decaff caffeine or tea, it's very necessary and helpful and allows me to control and reduce my dose incrementally.

It also might be motivating to know that after a few days of having caffeine you apparently almost entirely habituate to it. So you're not, thereon having a positive boost from the same dose of caffeine, but only having caffeine to return you to your 'normal' levels. I put normal in inverted commas, because in my experience I feel far worse having had merely enough caffeine, than if I've managed to abstain from caffeine for a while.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on July 16, 2011
at 09:52 AM

Cool, but chocolate contains caffeine, so what's the point? I guess this coconut ice cream might not contain any actual cocoa, tbf...

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 16, 2011
at 03:35 PM

....right. Maybe if withdrawing from caffeine for long enough will allow me to be able to drink occasionally again then

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 16, 2011
at 01:47 AM

I'm going cold turkey, and am planning on replacing coffee with drinking orange juice or coconut water. And I'm going to add chocolate back in, probably in form of coconut bliss coconut ice cream. I gotta have that if I'm giving up coffee.

2
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on July 15, 2011
at 07:36 PM

Caffeine (and the only way I get it - Coffee) definitely makes me happy and a pleasure to be around :). Without it, I feel cranky and no one likes me. Technically I should consider cutting it out of my diet, but I don't see any real bad side effects from it, since my dose is 1-3 cups a day. If I were drinking it all day long, the answer might be different.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 15, 2011
at 09:29 PM

I'm the same way, no one likes me when I'm off it. But I'm going to go a month with no coffee, so what happens

2
8828d5922b47a0e2b82bde2232037746

(616)

on July 15, 2011
at 06:17 PM

I realized that coffee was no longer changing my mood and I was always walking around with a hair trigger temper. I quit drinking coffee and for several days my back was in extreme spasms- to the point where I couldn't sleep, I was lethargic, and just in a kind of daze. After 9-10 days my back stopped aching and I realized that nobody was irking me anymore and I had nice things to say about people. :)

Now, I drink decaf or green tea in moderation. I also have started drinking Vintage seltzer water. It's flavored with essential oils and no sweeteners. Love it! Water is also something that I drink more of now. I like it with a twist of lemon or lime.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on July 16, 2011
at 02:54 PM

You so need to get a Soda Stream! Mine just broke as did my heart - need to get another stat. It will save you money, you'll drink way more, and is way more environmentally friendly: http://www.sodastreamusa.com/

1
345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on July 15, 2011
at 08:13 PM

I had to stop drinking Colombia coffee because I noticed my kids asking me if I'd had coffee that day....must have been jumping off the walls and didn't realize it.

I now drink a flavored coffee which is much less coffee and much more fru-fru flavor, but i love it just the same. And no one asks if I'm on something anymore!!

0
100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on July 17, 2011
at 03:40 AM

I just became aware of Julia Ross's book The Mood Cure, and haven't had a chance to evaluate it, but one thing I noticed was that she suggests L-tyrosine for the kind of mood boosting needed by people with caffeine addiction. Looking around a bit, I see that L-tyrosine is suggested elsewhere for caffeine withdrawal.

Tyrosine is a neurotransmitter precursor (dopamine and norepinephrine), and at least according to Wikipedia, it boosts mood and cognition, but only if mood and cognition are being adversely affected by stress.

So, in theory at least, you might be able to wean yourself off of caffeine with tyrosine without developing an addiction to tyrosine.

0
183f5c49a7a9548b6f5238d1f33cb35e

on July 17, 2011
at 02:11 AM

I have recently given up coffee (about 3 weeks now), and only drink tea nowadays. Here are some points -

~ Anxiety levels WAY DOWN - my 'worrier' nature just vanished. I am a lot more mellow and stable. As a result of my anxiety levels decreasing, I have lost some cms off my belly, which I suspect is due to lower cortisol levels overall. Energy is up, surprisingly, and can awaken easily every day with no alarm. No 'need' for the morning coffee anymore either - just stable energy from the get go.

~ Disappearing of random IBS flareups - even when my eating and probiotics were in check, there were still periods of random flareups. No more since giving up the coffee. I feel that coffee was really irritating my gut. Interestingly, my IBS symtoms started at the time in my life when I started to drink coffee (at the end of high school) I drank tea since I was a child, but never coffee until highschool, which is when the debilitating IBS started.

~ When I first gave up the coffee, there was a week of terrible constipation. Apparently this is common when giving up coffee, it went away after a week of waiting it out.

Now I only stick to a variety of teas and cocoa. Very happy so far! I think that giving up coffee was a huge step in the right direction, health wise.

0
Bcad307b240275ae3f5820ba6eb4a712

(923)

on July 17, 2011
at 01:34 AM

After I quit caffeine, I noticed two things. 1. My anxiety levels plummeted. 2. I started waking up roughly 15-30 min before my alarm went off, everyday; which is so much nicer than being jolted awake. I still have some decaf every once in awhile, but after a couple months, I just stopped missing or even craving it. For awhile, I would think about it a lot. I would get up in the morning, and even though I felt more rested than during my coffee days, I would still desire it. But then one day, I noticed that I hadn't been thinking about it anymore. It was like a switch finally turned off, and I defaulted back to the days before I had ever had caffeine, and so, obviously, didn't desire it.

0
Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on July 16, 2011
at 02:52 PM

I've been drinking coffee for about 12-years, one cup a day and no more. Always in the morning, with milk, no sugar. I have quit before, I think the longest stretch was three years, and each time it was always when I had a super shit cold. I figured I already felt bad quitting coffee wasn't going to make me feel worse. Two things always pulled me back in, outside of it just tasting and smelling so damn good, was the ritual and traveling to different countries. Perfect espresso with lemon on a farm in Auvergne? Yep. Curling up on a couch with a mug and chatting away or reading a book? Yes please.

Since transitioning to Paleo I no longer have coffee each day but will switch between brew and tea. Like you want to do, it's all experimentation for me. There has been no issue with lethargy, body pains, headache, or sleep. Good luck!

0
667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 16, 2011
at 12:41 PM

I had been drinking coffee absolutely everyday for prolly 15 years. I would always have two small cups in the AM at home, and then one in the afternoon at work. All black – no sugar, no milk ever, prepaleo as well.

I then decided that it was a crutch so I slowly titrated down: first eliminating the afternoon cup altogether.

Later I took the AM two cups to one cup.

Then I subbed that last one AM cup with a cup of green tea, which I am still currently doing.

So, I’m not wholly caffeine-free. I’m still getting some from the green tea. But this method worked for me easily – no headaches, mood changes, etc.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 16, 2011
at 03:38 PM

so mood was stabilized?

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 16, 2011
at 09:07 PM

yes. well, it was never unstabilized.

0
E91fd339d760ed76cc72570a679ebf5a

(2369)

on July 16, 2011
at 12:33 PM

It's a huge mood and energy booster for me and I find it very very difficult to quit (withdrawal is extremely painful, both emotionally and physically). In my experience, even after the physical symptoms subside, the psychological symptoms (depression, etc.) can last for weeks. Think of it like the psychiatric drug it is. Those can take months of slowly weaning oneself off to have one's brain back to normal.

Wean yourself slowly, by using caffeine pills or slowly reducing your standard amount (I did it by removing one more tablespoon from my morning cup each day) over two or more weeks.

I believe I've mentioned this elsewhere on PH, but there is the concept of fast vs. slow caffeine metabolizers (23andme confirmed I am a slow metabolizer) which could explain why some people find they can tolerate it and others can not.

2507b557331c8a674bc81197531e609a

(4994)

on July 16, 2011
at 03:35 PM

"I did it by removing one more tablespoon from my morning cup each day" JESUS! Just how big are these cups of coffee!! :D

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