2

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increased sensitivity to caffeine from new low carb diet?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 18, 2012 at 3:06 PM

i have noticed something very strange since i started pursuing a ketogenic diet about a week ago. i have always considered myself immune to the effects of caffeine since i drank many cups of black tea and coffee a day for the past 8 or so years (growing up). since i started making an earnest effort to cut my carbs, pursue Primal eating, up my fat, and stabilize my blood glucose level, and lower my stress levels, my morning Bulletproof coffee is hitting me in a very unpleasant way the past few days: i feel overcaffeinated in a way that has only happened a few times in the past after drinking significant amounts of coffee. my stomach feels sick and my heart is racing and my body feels very edgy.

i am wondering if this could be a good sign that i am lowering my cortisol level to a point where caffeine is actually increasing my cortisol to a measurable degree. i am eating a lot of butter and CO with my coffee (a 10oz cup each morning)

i am going to start buying decaf now because i feel so icky after drinking my coffee but it is SO weird that i am suddenly exhibiting this because of my history of caffeine tolerance.

edited to add: is there anything i can eat as an antidote to this overcaffeinated state???

Medium avatar

on December 12, 2013
at 03:06 AM

There were a few days in the first few weeks of going ketogenic where coffee with butter and coconut oil made it feel like caffeine lasted longer. Whereas I might have normally had a second round in the afternoon, there were a few times where the often typical desire for caffeine was strangely absent. It never felt like overload though.

76211ec5301087de2588cfe3d6bccba9

(1178)

on August 20, 2012
at 01:51 PM

let me know if it helps you! i started decaf today and feel fine!

7f8bc7ce5c34aae50408d31812c839b0

(2698)

on August 19, 2012
at 02:43 AM

My apologies. I completely missed the sentence where you state you add butter and CO to your coffee. Sorry I wasted your time.

76211ec5301087de2588cfe3d6bccba9

(1178)

on August 18, 2012
at 04:42 PM

thanks for your input. i assumed when i started drinking my regular beans with butter and CO that i would have more sustaining energy, but the opposite has happened in that i get a horrible spike of overcaffeination immediately. i don't expect my coffee has any toxins as i bought the beans green and roast them myself at home in small batches. i am glad that bulletproof is working great for you and i am going to keep experimenting with it.

76211ec5301087de2588cfe3d6bccba9

(1178)

on August 18, 2012
at 03:39 PM

yeah you are correct (no downvotes here!), and i am familiar with the potential negative effects of VLC but i think that for me i will ultimately benefit from the steady blood sugar levels...i am already benefitting actually because my preoccupation with food has almost disappeared since i started VLC and my hunger is no longer accompanied by cravings that heretofore ruled my daily life.

76211ec5301087de2588cfe3d6bccba9

(1178)

on August 18, 2012
at 03:37 PM

i think you are right that it's good, and i feel like if my body is showing a reaction to caffeine, that's a much stronger sign of health than if it seems i have a tolerance. but yeah...decaf from now on.

76211ec5301087de2588cfe3d6bccba9

(1178)

on August 18, 2012
at 03:27 PM

oh that's an interesting observation. i have started using MORE fat in my coffee in the past few days when it seems the symptoms are worse. but i have also drunk coffee often in the past with fatty meals without this effect.

76211ec5301087de2588cfe3d6bccba9

(1178)

on August 18, 2012
at 03:26 PM

yes i am having it on an empty stomach but that isn't unusual for my history

7a6529ea25b655132fe58d793f95547a

(2030)

on August 18, 2012
at 03:21 PM

Are you having your coffee on an empty stomach? If I have coffee after eating something I don't feel so ramped up.

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7 Answers

4
7cf9f5b08a41ecf2a2d2bc0b31ea6fa0

on August 18, 2012
at 03:31 PM

VLC = lots of cortisol etc, unless you're body is suited to it it's bad times, paticularly for peoplpe like me prone to anxiety and depression, coffee stimulates cortisol etc that's how it wakes you up by inducing a fight or flight response that stresses the body eventually leading to burn out, both together is doubly bad

Here come the downvotes and angry retorts ...

76211ec5301087de2588cfe3d6bccba9

(1178)

on August 18, 2012
at 03:39 PM

yeah you are correct (no downvotes here!), and i am familiar with the potential negative effects of VLC but i think that for me i will ultimately benefit from the steady blood sugar levels...i am already benefitting actually because my preoccupation with food has almost disappeared since i started VLC and my hunger is no longer accompanied by cravings that heretofore ruled my daily life.

1
4089c885d718969ac07285a441e8f472

on August 18, 2012
at 03:31 PM

The same thing has happened to me. It used to be that I could have coffee in the morning, maybe twice, and then again in the afternoon. Now that one morning cup is IT. All I can handle. Any more than that I'm about to have a heart attack and sleep terribly. Whatever the reason, I think it's good, no? Less caffeine for more benefit sounds efficient and healthy to me.

76211ec5301087de2588cfe3d6bccba9

(1178)

on August 18, 2012
at 03:37 PM

i think you are right that it's good, and i feel like if my body is showing a reaction to caffeine, that's a much stronger sign of health than if it seems i have a tolerance. but yeah...decaf from now on.

1
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on August 18, 2012
at 03:15 PM

It's probably more likely that you're absorbing the caffeine better. Caffeine is very fat soluble and when it's dissolved in fat it gets transported into the blood better and is more effective. That's why I put heavy cream in my coffee, it makes the caffeine more effective. If you're doing butter in your coffee, that's pretty much the same thing.

76211ec5301087de2588cfe3d6bccba9

(1178)

on August 18, 2012
at 03:27 PM

oh that's an interesting observation. i have started using MORE fat in my coffee in the past few days when it seems the symptoms are worse. but i have also drunk coffee often in the past with fatty meals without this effect.

0
78fb6d7be36131884b0f563342e75306

(0)

on December 11, 2013
at 01:51 PM

I was on amphetamines for ADHD. The good side effect was that I now felt full when I should. So, I started not eating carbs in order to lose weight. I did lose about 10lbs. All of a sudden, 3-4 months into this, in the morning after meds and coffee, my heart started racing and would not stop all day! My spouse called an ambulance and sent me to the hospital. They did not know what was wrong or what to do, even though I explained what I had taken. Well, I knew. I have had an increase in anxiety and no tolerance of caffeine or meds ever since. So, I have been off the meds and trying to have some caffeine sometimes. The caffeine is usually a bad idea. I am getting ready to go and see an endocrinologist soon. I am still in a quandry.

0
6cbe85e1096c05d5524564be7fd6902a

on October 08, 2012
at 10:19 AM

decaff includes caffeine; about 1/5 normal level.

We need to be more aware that caffeine causes/exacerbates anxiety and other mental health conditions.

Just read the 170+ pages of comments of people trying to get off caffeine here; http://coffeefaq.com/site/node/11 And the research referenced here; http://caffeineevaluation.blogspot.co.uk/

Many people feel they cannot 'get going' in the morning without caffeine; in reality they are just experiencing withdrawal from not having ingested any over the previous hours.

A key point is the research showing anxiety sufferers can be very sensitive to caffeine; some people think 'it can't be the caffeine, I only have 1 cup a day', but for them that could be the key issue in their anxiety.

Withdrawal is not easy (especially first 2 weeks, when anxiety actually goes up), but is possible.

How about cutting all caffeine for 30 days and seeing how you feel? Like this lady here is doing; http://stopcaffeine.blogspot.co.uk/

0
C010ff7ea5141d180ecfcc3d9c0534e1

on August 18, 2012
at 06:48 PM

Oh gosh! Thanks for this post! I thought I was the only one! I'm on day 17 of whole30 and started the bulletproof coffee over a week ago. I have heart flutters into the afternoon. I was worried that it was my thyroid, or that I was over consuming the daily fat! Even had my dr do a EKG! I am switching to decaf to see if it reduces the anxiety.

76211ec5301087de2588cfe3d6bccba9

(1178)

on August 20, 2012
at 01:51 PM

let me know if it helps you! i started decaf today and feel fine!

0
7f8bc7ce5c34aae50408d31812c839b0

(2698)

on August 18, 2012
at 04:07 PM

Here's something I've experienced that might help reduce the over-caffeinated feelings. I used to drink my coffee in the morning on an empty stomach and like you would get all ramped up. An hour later or so and I'd be crashing.

Now I drink my coffee with butter and MCT oil in it. Yes, its bulletproof coffee, including the special "low toxin" coffee beans. I drink 4 tbsp of butter and 3 tbsp of MCT oil blended into about 16 oz of coffee in the morning.

What might interest you is, when I drink coffee this way I still feel energetic but its like the peak is blunted and the energy lasts all day until I eat my only solid meal at dinner. Its like the area under the energy/time curve is the same drinking coffee both ways but the fatted way is a much longer lasting lower peak curve. My mood and blood glucose level is also very stable throughout the day (I've actually checked my BG every hour during a couple day period to see what was happening- ouch my fingers). I can't say whether its the toxin free coffee that makes the difference or the fat. I haven't really been motivated to try that experiment. I would find it very hard to stop drinking the fatted coffee as it literally has changed my metabolism and my mentality.

I've searched the net for any science on why fat/caffiene together might be different but I haven't found any yet. Its something I'd REALLY REALLY like to understand. I'd especially like to know if there are any downsides to the combination, like neurotoxcity. It may just be that the high fat conserves glucose so my brain never experiences a drop before meals. It was during these drops that I would rage. I'm probably really insulin resistant at this point.

Other important fact - I am not VLC. I eat about 90 gms of starch from white rice or potato at dinner each day, so it might have different effects on a VLC diet. FWIW.

7f8bc7ce5c34aae50408d31812c839b0

(2698)

on August 19, 2012
at 02:43 AM

My apologies. I completely missed the sentence where you state you add butter and CO to your coffee. Sorry I wasted your time.

76211ec5301087de2588cfe3d6bccba9

(1178)

on August 18, 2012
at 04:42 PM

thanks for your input. i assumed when i started drinking my regular beans with butter and CO that i would have more sustaining energy, but the opposite has happened in that i get a horrible spike of overcaffeination immediately. i don't expect my coffee has any toxins as i bought the beans green and roast them myself at home in small batches. i am glad that bulletproof is working great for you and i am going to keep experimenting with it.

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