2

votes

Quitting Morning Coffee (and Coffeemate) Cold Turkey -- what benefits to hope for?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created July 31, 2011 at 12:35 AM

OK folks this is it, I'm going on a 30-day trial of no coffee, starting this morning.

There are tons of posts here regarding abstaining (or not) from coffee and I don't want to repeat.

BUT --

  1. One of my objectives is to get better (and more) sleep. People say that you sleep better if you abstain from coffee, so I'm crossing my fingers. But I only ever drank coffee (1-2 cups) the very first thing in the morning. I never drink coffee (or have any other caffeinated substances) after that. And I drink lots of water all day long. Should I still hold out hope that giving up even those 2 early cups will help me sleep better? Or is a cup or two of coffee first thing in the morning not really likely to affect your sleep some 15 hours later?

  2. Another objective is to cut out the 1-2 Tablespoons of Coffeemate each day, which is what I would put in my coffee (and I don't like it any other way). I know Coffeemate is a horrible thing to put in your body -- hence the elimination of it from my diet. Any thoughts on specific benefits one might hope to experience by cutting this poison out? I'm otherwise doing a great job of sticking to healthy Paleo foods, getting moderate exercise, reducing stress.

Thanks community!

P-O-G

4fca5e11d50731edbf4cf2ec38691aa3

(961)

on August 01, 2011
at 01:05 PM

Thank to all of you who have suggested things to help. I appreciate the spirit of giving help to each other here

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on August 01, 2011
at 02:39 AM

I'd love it if you'd let me know how it goes (by way of another comment on this question) once you've tried it for a week. :)

81bb94ebbfe93b43ee0c76d757da3c48

(168)

on August 01, 2011
at 01:55 AM

Thanks! I will dig up the sleep and leptin books from local library. I've been keeping lights off/low in the evenings (easy in the summer!) and will add morning light and see what happens.

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on August 01, 2011
at 12:59 AM

...thing in. Something having to do with leptin, cortisol, meletonin and seretonin. Regarding whether it's exercise or morning light or both... I seem to remember that it actually is both! Exercise in the am (just a little to get the blood flowing) is helpful. But the more important thing is blue light (morning light). That's the thing that gets the hormones going in the right direction - blue morning light. And since that's the case, I imagine it would help any person of any age or gender. Even getting outside in the rain will get the right spectrum of light (even though it's less). Try it!

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on August 01, 2011
at 12:52 AM

Hello Mama! I suggest that you read "Lights Out: Sleep Sugar & Survival" as well as "Mastering Leptin." Honestly, I can't remember where I heard that going outside in the AM helped reset daily hormone levels. It might have been in "Why We Get Fat" or it might have been "Mastering Leptin." But to answer the rest of your questions... Better sleep to me means both falling asleep sooner and staying asleep until I wake up. I've had sleeping problems for years. This has been a major breakthrough for me. I can't really address which hormones. I'd have to remember which book I read the whole...

81bb94ebbfe93b43ee0c76d757da3c48

(168)

on August 01, 2011
at 12:26 AM

And is it the going outside part that's important or the exercise part? Does it matter if it's dark out in the morning (or pouring down rain like this morning!)? I gave up coffee for one year (actually, all caffeine) and it made no difference in my sleep. I'm finding that so many suggestions on this site are n=1 specific and don't necessarily cross age/gender lines unless tweaked in some way to take age/gender, etc, into consideration. Thanks for the info!

81bb94ebbfe93b43ee0c76d757da3c48

(168)

on August 01, 2011
at 12:25 AM

Hey gilliebean, I have some questions about your answer. I have always been a terrible sleeper and menopause has made it even worse. I'd do just about anything for a good night's sleep! I'm curious: how did you discover that a 10 min walk outside first thing in the morning helped you sleep better? What does "reset your daily hormone rhythms" mean exactly? And what does better sleep mean: go to sleep faster or wake less often or sleep deeper/longer? You're a young woman so some of our hormone levels are much different. Which hormones are you talking about? (continued)

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on July 31, 2011
at 09:18 AM

i gave up coffee for a month and the headache was horrible for the first week. i started substituting with white tea and inspite of feeling horrible every morning, i stuck it out knowing it would pass. after four weeks i still didn't feel "right" in the morning, so i added it back into my routine with the change that i only consume home brew- no coffee shops.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 31, 2011
at 04:59 AM

ya know, a big part of it is that in normal world, it doesn't make sense for a crumb of bread to cause depression! So since caffeine free made me feel better, I thought maybe i could a little SAD without mental effects, but no, I dont think so.

B0454de6d4f4cdd9ca2e59021dc105bf

(606)

on July 31, 2011
at 03:32 AM

I am a 2-cup-a-day morning only coffee drinker and have been for over 20 years. On rare occasions, I've somehow neglected to get my morning fix and the result has always been a bad headache mid-afternoon.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on July 31, 2011
at 03:29 AM

Lynn, I get the same headaches. I'm a veteran coffee-quitter, lol, so here's what I do: I switch to black tea, which I loathe, and I drink just enough to stave off the headaches. Two cups the first few days, then drop to one, then sloooowly to zero, which is where I am now. Again. Sigh.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on July 31, 2011
at 03:27 AM

Interesting, Roy -- I had the same experience several years ago when, doing Kwasniewski's Optimal Diet, I added in some rye bread. Very swift return of depressive symptoms, and they disappeared as soon as I ditched the bread. Good luck staying coffee-free!

Efc27460255d03e72392883ca8a7b0d2

(134)

on July 31, 2011
at 01:21 AM

I'm not going to push my coffee here but I can tell you that zero biterness (no need to doctor-it up ;) and low acid could help you wean or minimize your consumption. Look for Fluid-bed roast or hot air roasted coffee near you (or online). That said, I'm a fan of cold-turkeying anything to get a baseline. Then you'll really know!

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9 Answers

best answer

4
A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on July 31, 2011
at 03:33 AM

Cutting coffee/caffeine helped me to experience more even energy levels throughout the day, in a similar way that limiting carbs helped me.

But, if you're looking for better sleep, I suggest that you get outside for a brief 5 or 10 minute morning walk as soon as you wake up. Not only is it a good substitute for a "morning coffee", It'll help reset your daily hormone rhythms which should help you sleep much better.

Try it for a week. See if it helps!

P.S. I was caffeine-free for nearly 18 months before I started my morning walks. Sleep is regulated by hormones. Doing without coffee can help reset adrenal fatigue. But I didn't experience serious improvement in my sleep until I added the morning walk.

P.P.S. I started out as a person who was extremely resistant to morning exercise. I've come to discover that it was because the daily rhythm of my hormones were out of sync!

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on August 01, 2011
at 02:39 AM

I'd love it if you'd let me know how it goes (by way of another comment on this question) once you've tried it for a week. :)

81bb94ebbfe93b43ee0c76d757da3c48

(168)

on August 01, 2011
at 01:55 AM

Thanks! I will dig up the sleep and leptin books from local library. I've been keeping lights off/low in the evenings (easy in the summer!) and will add morning light and see what happens.

81bb94ebbfe93b43ee0c76d757da3c48

(168)

on August 01, 2011
at 12:25 AM

Hey gilliebean, I have some questions about your answer. I have always been a terrible sleeper and menopause has made it even worse. I'd do just about anything for a good night's sleep! I'm curious: how did you discover that a 10 min walk outside first thing in the morning helped you sleep better? What does "reset your daily hormone rhythms" mean exactly? And what does better sleep mean: go to sleep faster or wake less often or sleep deeper/longer? You're a young woman so some of our hormone levels are much different. Which hormones are you talking about? (continued)

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on August 01, 2011
at 12:52 AM

Hello Mama! I suggest that you read "Lights Out: Sleep Sugar & Survival" as well as "Mastering Leptin." Honestly, I can't remember where I heard that going outside in the AM helped reset daily hormone levels. It might have been in "Why We Get Fat" or it might have been "Mastering Leptin." But to answer the rest of your questions... Better sleep to me means both falling asleep sooner and staying asleep until I wake up. I've had sleeping problems for years. This has been a major breakthrough for me. I can't really address which hormones. I'd have to remember which book I read the whole...

81bb94ebbfe93b43ee0c76d757da3c48

(168)

on August 01, 2011
at 12:26 AM

And is it the going outside part that's important or the exercise part? Does it matter if it's dark out in the morning (or pouring down rain like this morning!)? I gave up coffee for one year (actually, all caffeine) and it made no difference in my sleep. I'm finding that so many suggestions on this site are n=1 specific and don't necessarily cross age/gender lines unless tweaked in some way to take age/gender, etc, into consideration. Thanks for the info!

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on August 01, 2011
at 12:59 AM

...thing in. Something having to do with leptin, cortisol, meletonin and seretonin. Regarding whether it's exercise or morning light or both... I seem to remember that it actually is both! Exercise in the am (just a little to get the blood flowing) is helpful. But the more important thing is blue light (morning light). That's the thing that gets the hormones going in the right direction - blue morning light. And since that's the case, I imagine it would help any person of any age or gender. Even getting outside in the rain will get the right spectrum of light (even though it's less). Try it!

3
Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on July 31, 2011
at 02:17 AM

Everyone reacts differently but when I've gone off and on with coffee over the years and never felt like anything changed or improved. I think the longest I went was 3 years of no brew. I slept the same, didn't notice any lethargy, headaches, etc. I drank tea instead - black, green, herbal. For me it's more of the ritual than the need for caffeine. Grinding the beans, curling up with a mug on the couch. I like the smell, it's just nice and cozy all around.

I don't drink a ton, about an 8oz cup in the winter with milk and in the summer I make a 12-hour coffee concentrate that takes a lot of the acid out - you only need 1/4c concentrate to the same ratio of water to 1c of milk + ice. Unless I have a tea in the afternoon I'm done with anything caffeinated by 10am.

Now I split between tea and coffee. Today I made a nice iced coffee. Yesterday I had iced green tea with pineapple sage. Still no change in my sleep or how my day runs when I do this. I should add that I do work out fairly heavy 3-4 days a week and try to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night.

Ok.. so. You know the Coffee Mate is super bad. If after the 30 days you decide that you would like to incorporate coffee back in, what about making your own? I did a googly search and found this recipe:

  • Pint of preferred dairy. If you're not doing dairy coconut milk would actually be pretty nice with this
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1-2tb sweetener such as maple syrup, raw honey, coconut sugar.

Heat dairy, or coconut milk, in a small saucepan over medium heat until it starts steaming, but is not yet boiling. Remove from heat. Split vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape seeds into dairy/coconut milk and then add the bean.

Cover, and let infuse until mixture is cool. Remove vanilla bean, add sweetener, and stir. Pour into a bottle or jar and refrigerate until ready to use. Can also add cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom.

This recipe compared to what is actually in your Coffee Mate:

Water, sugar, partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil, sodium castenate, dipotassium phosphate, color added, natural and artificial flavors, sodium stearoyl lactylate, mono and diglycerides, polysorbate 60, carrageenan, beta-carotene color

is most definitely a better option along with just drinking black, with or without some spices added, that others suggested. Good luck!

3
667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 31, 2011
at 01:19 AM

I did the same as you, with the same history: I stopped all coffee cold turkey but when I was drinking coffee I was only having 1.5 cups first thing in the morning.

I have not seen any benefits at all. Don't get me wrong - I'm still not drinking it and I'm fine and I like that I'm not drinking it. However, I have no results, perse, to report.

I would comment that I drank it all black. I think ditching the creamer stuff will be more beneficial than losing the coffee.

3
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 31, 2011
at 01:00 AM

I'm getting near two weeks of no caffeine, and there is definitely a difference. So much so that I thought I'd be okay trying some alcohol and bread. However, I'm having depression from that experiment. Back to Coffee though, I have high hopes that absitance from it along with Paleo will cure me.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on July 31, 2011
at 03:27 AM

Interesting, Roy -- I had the same experience several years ago when, doing Kwasniewski's Optimal Diet, I added in some rye bread. Very swift return of depressive symptoms, and they disappeared as soon as I ditched the bread. Good luck staying coffee-free!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 31, 2011
at 04:59 AM

ya know, a big part of it is that in normal world, it doesn't make sense for a crumb of bread to cause depression! So since caffeine free made me feel better, I thought maybe i could a little SAD without mental effects, but no, I dont think so.

3
B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on July 31, 2011
at 12:43 AM

if you cannot drink coffee sans coffeemate- good riddance!

my coffee habit sounds about the same as yours except this month i am drinking it black with a sprinkle of cinnamon. last month i added 18% cream and the month before that almond milk.

i find the things that effects my quality of sleep for the better is exercise and having a schedule, as in lights out at the same time each night.

1
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on July 31, 2011
at 02:38 AM

Well I've used coffee in about every conceivable dose and i've abstained. When drinking 5+ cups/day I got to a point that it did nothing to improve my alertness when I needed it and just made me feel like crud eventually. When I went completely without I felt fine. No jerky highs and lows, but this didnt help me sleep any better at night. 1-2 cups a day...no significant change in how I felt vs. no coffee. Bottom line I like coffee and will continue having 1-2 cups/day. Health wise.....its still not good for you, kinda like alcohol. We can make some rational that its a sensible vise but its just rationalizing.

1
B5cc60ce970d2efed2de1f01c3b33e86

(410)

on July 31, 2011
at 01:06 AM

I drink 2 mugs of coffee with a little stevia and cinnamon, I have gone without coffee before because in the summers here in south Louisiana it gets to hot to drink in the morning. I didn't feel much of a difference. Just my experience.

0
4fca5e11d50731edbf4cf2ec38691aa3

on July 31, 2011
at 02:41 AM

If I quit coffee cold turKey, I will be laying on the floor with the most incredible head pain around my forehead. I have never had a migraine that hurt so much. There fore I have been thinking I need to stop//But to go through that??Everything else is paleo...I have to do it when I am not working. I am rather addicted to my two cups every morning.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on July 31, 2011
at 03:29 AM

Lynn, I get the same headaches. I'm a veteran coffee-quitter, lol, so here's what I do: I switch to black tea, which I loathe, and I drink just enough to stave off the headaches. Two cups the first few days, then drop to one, then sloooowly to zero, which is where I am now. Again. Sigh.

B0454de6d4f4cdd9ca2e59021dc105bf

(606)

on July 31, 2011
at 03:32 AM

I am a 2-cup-a-day morning only coffee drinker and have been for over 20 years. On rare occasions, I've somehow neglected to get my morning fix and the result has always been a bad headache mid-afternoon.

4fca5e11d50731edbf4cf2ec38691aa3

(961)

on August 01, 2011
at 01:05 PM

Thank to all of you who have suggested things to help. I appreciate the spirit of giving help to each other here

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on July 31, 2011
at 09:18 AM

i gave up coffee for a month and the headache was horrible for the first week. i started substituting with white tea and inspite of feeling horrible every morning, i stuck it out knowing it would pass. after four weeks i still didn't feel "right" in the morning, so i added it back into my routine with the change that i only consume home brew- no coffee shops.

-2
1153fbd07055edb0b729e2249f455477

(-48)

on November 28, 2012
at 05:59 PM

you dont have to quit coffee. there are healthier options such as organo gold http://mycapturepage.com/cp23.php?id=470

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