2

votes

Zen and the art of caffeine maintenance?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 12, 2013 at 10:41 AM

For years I was a 6-8-ish cup day coffee drinker and because caffeine impacts my sleep I would always finish my coffee by noon thinking it would be out of my system and not impact my sleep. Well, for the last 6 weeks or so I've strictly limited myself to 2 cups (not mugs) a day in the morning usually finished before 7 AM. With this reduction I have seen great improvements in my sleep and my energy levels especially in the afternoon. This is obviously a good thing but it has got me thinking if I should consider going from 2 cups to none. I enjoy the 2 cups of coffee in the morning (ritual, something warm, pick me up, etc.)but I'm wondering what further benefits could see from eliminating caffeine completely from my diet? Has anyone tinkered with this? I fully understand that less caffeine is good, especially from drinking 6-8 cups a day, but my question is more along the line of what additional benefits could I see going from 2 cups a coffee a day which I feel is minimal to none? Or is 2 cups a day a good place to be and I shouldn't worry about it? Cost benefit kind of question. Thanks!

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on March 13, 2013
at 02:03 PM

Careful, green and black teas are a source of fluoride, and despite conventional wisdom, it causes brittle teeth and is a potent neurotoxin.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on March 13, 2013
at 03:25 AM

+1 for reminding me to look in to the half life of caffeine. & it looks like that 5 hours is the minimum as well (for people with healthy livers) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7361718

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on March 13, 2013
at 03:24 AM

+1 for reminding me to look in to the half life of caffeine. & it looks like that 5 hours is the minimum as well (for people with health livers) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7361718

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on March 13, 2013
at 03:04 AM

+1 for reminding me to look in to the half life of caffeine. & it looks like that 5 hours is the minimum as well, & could increase significantly if your liver function is compromised. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7361718

0e395acc856e3353f3f5892e6b09b0e7

(1227)

on March 12, 2013
at 01:15 PM

I hope more folks will chime in on this question. After not drinking coffee for years because of problems sleeping, jitteriness etc., I've become passionate about my morning mug of coffee. Both for the caffeine and the heavy cream I put in it. I would hate to give it up, but wonder if I would feel even better if I did. Please please weigh in on this one, fellow hackers.

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10 Answers

best answer

5
Ef777978cfeb8fbdd18d75c4f6c4cb23

on March 12, 2013
at 11:51 AM

Well, the chances are you're not going to know how it impacts you, unless you try.

I've given up coffee recently. I used to have at least a double espresso a day, rarely two. Sometimes in a latte, sometimes not. I have done that for years. I sleep fine.

But recently my joints started to ache. I ignored it for a while, but started to notice the problem was exacerabated after my morning coffee.

I have given it up for less than a week now and the joint pain is gone. How very annoying, coz I like coffee.

Give it a go, you'll know in a few days whether it makes a difference or not.

0e395acc856e3353f3f5892e6b09b0e7

(1227)

on March 12, 2013
at 01:15 PM

I hope more folks will chime in on this question. After not drinking coffee for years because of problems sleeping, jitteriness etc., I've become passionate about my morning mug of coffee. Both for the caffeine and the heavy cream I put in it. I would hate to give it up, but wonder if I would feel even better if I did. Please please weigh in on this one, fellow hackers.

2
Medium avatar

on March 12, 2013
at 05:34 PM

Caffeine has a longer half-life than most people realize (5 hours) and also changes the adenosine kinetics in the brain (which reverts back after a few weeks of avoidance I think). It may be partly due to the magnesium, but ingesting no caffeine whatsoever has resulted in me falling asleep immediately, sleeping a solid 7-8 hours, and then waking up and being totally alert all day until I turn the lights out again. I used to drink a lot of green tea and of course take no magnesium and I had terrible insomnia.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on March 13, 2013
at 03:24 AM

+1 for reminding me to look in to the half life of caffeine. & it looks like that 5 hours is the minimum as well (for people with health livers) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7361718

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on March 13, 2013
at 03:25 AM

+1 for reminding me to look in to the half life of caffeine. & it looks like that 5 hours is the minimum as well (for people with healthy livers) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7361718

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on March 13, 2013
at 03:04 AM

+1 for reminding me to look in to the half life of caffeine. & it looks like that 5 hours is the minimum as well, & could increase significantly if your liver function is compromised. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7361718

2
E5d9b025eb826c7376863a01e77e885e

on March 12, 2013
at 05:29 PM

I had the flu a few weeks back and the taste of coffee repulsed me, so I stopped drinking it all together and no other form of caffeine. I also did a cleanse last year, cutting out coffee, but having green tea. This is what I noticed for myself, I am also like you - love coffee, can't fall asleep when I have it past noon, etc.

  • Having no coffee at all, I turned into a light sleeper and fell asleep earlier and naturally woke up around 5/6. When I drink 4-5 cups it's hard to get out of bed by 8 for me. I also noticed that I fell asleep quicker, had better quality sleep, but my body would want to wake up super early. Kind of cool for someone who always wishes they were an early riser. After the headaches subside and the fog, I felt awesome in the morning and would have hot water with ginger and lemon. Much more cleansing than coffee. I felt a more stable energy throughout the day. After having the flu, I don't have more than 1/2 cup of coffee, but I notice changes when I have the 1/2 cup.

  • When I have any caffeine - even 1/2 cup - my body becomes more sensitive to it. It affects going to sleep (takes longer) and I get up a little bit later (more like 7, instead of jumping out of bed at 6). I can hit the snooze button a little bit more. I feel less energized througout the day. I don't have that energy buzz as soon as I wake up. If I fluctuate caffeine levels, I get anxious and maybe a headache from withdrawals.

2
8d386bf2c5ba20fcc1a2a0c805b217c9

(743)

on March 12, 2013
at 03:14 PM

As others have said, benefits have been seen form dropping coffee, but your mileage may vary.

As Robin said, green tea is a great alternative with less caffeine.

2
2e777bbcd49262eb31a24f821abec6bc

(1974)

on March 12, 2013
at 02:22 PM

hmm this is something I also wonder about. I am a 4 cups a day sort of person and I LOVE my coffee. I fall asleep the second my head hits the pillow each night and have not noticed anything weird because of the coffee.

I know that I should probably cut back at least... but I love it so much that I have not made any steps to.

2
366c23d69eadce094a2b22299c58a424

(2988)

on March 12, 2013
at 02:20 PM

It might not appeal to you, but I drink green tea pretty much from the time I wake up until about 4 pm. This gives me a "slow drip" of caffeine throughout the day with no spikes, and does not seem to affect my sleep at all. Caffeine in green tea is variable (as it is in coffee) but is bound to be a fraction of what you'd find in coffee.

I do still have a coffee now & again when I'm especially tired, but it probably comes out to one or two cups a week. One thing you might consider is switching to tea at least part of the time.

Plus, green tea is good for you, although actually I think coffee in moderation is good for you too.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on March 13, 2013
at 02:03 PM

Careful, green and black teas are a source of fluoride, and despite conventional wisdom, it causes brittle teeth and is a potent neurotoxin.

1
B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on March 12, 2013
at 02:42 PM

i went cold turkey a few years back and initially felt foggy and irritable. i was told this would fade after a couple of weeks. it didn't, so i tried green tea, which didn't impact the brain fog.
i went back to coffee, but i only drink it if i brewed it. this way i know the beans are organic and the water distilled.

0
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on March 13, 2013
at 02:03 PM

I tend to do bulletproof coffee 2x a day for a total of .75l or 3 cups. I also drink water and some green or black tea. The green tea slows down the caffeine absorption, but I tend to limit the tea due to fluoride.

That, and death metal, makes for a very awake, head banging, Raydawg. :-D

0
4b5be253ac1981c690689cab7e4bf06d

(3043)

on March 12, 2013
at 09:00 PM

I cut out sodas, then a week later cut out caffeine. I was much more alert and awake during the day without either of them.

Caveat: I did have the occasional decaf coffee (decaf espresso, usually cold).

I found that without the ritual of making coffee in the morning, I needed to have alternate reasons for getting out of bed (not in the "I'm so depressed I don't want to get out of bed" but rather in the "I could go back to sleep for an hour, or get up now, ooo, Coffee!" mentality.)

I started drinking a lot more water.

Other than that, I didnt feel any different.

0
86c97b2779feab3c330f5e1c5fea7e25

(2312)

on March 12, 2013
at 06:09 PM

Try making some bone broth and having that instead! Not only is it a tasty warm treat, it's a good HEALTHY way to start your day. If you want that extra pick me up, add some cayenne to really get your body going.

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