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[Misc] Cold Turkey on Caffeine



Notters

Well-known member
Oct 20, 2003
24,881
Guiseley
I have a very strong (caffeinated) coffee when I first get up - really rely on it - but after that it's all (probably only two more) de-caffeinated and nothing past noon.

You say when you first get up - generally caffeine has not effect for the first hour, as the adenosine (sp?) system doesn't kick in until then. This is certainly the case with me.
 




BevBHA

Well-known member
Jan 23, 2017
2,025
One coffee before leaving for work, one on my lunch break and that’s it for me. Sleep like a baby.

Good luck on your journey
 


Cheeky Monkey

Well-known member
Jul 17, 2003
23,343
I don't have the caffeine gene, i.e. coffee has no stimulant effect on me whatsoever l, but I still used to drink it caffeinated, very strong ground stuff, alongside that suffering fairly regular cluster headaches/borderline migraines. Gave up caffeinated coffee and tea over a year ago and those headaches pretty much disappeared.
 




Perry's Tracksuit Bottoms

King of Sussex
Oct 3, 2003
1,402
Lost
A few years ago I was advised to give it up for a bit by a doctor to see if it sorted out a minor medical issue I had. I'd always been a big tea drinker.

I felt incredibly ill for a full fortnight, like having a terrible flu. The realisation that I needed caffeine simply to function normally was so shocking that I have never gone back to it. These days I find it amazing that people dose themselves up on this supposedly acceptable drug and it's completely normalised. Most scientific studies that I've come across on the 'benefits' of caffeine seem to be based on people who are already using caffeine to some extent. I imagine there's very little funding for research that goes against a large industry.

Meanwhile the headaches I suffered from my teens onwards have gone and I have so much more energy every day right from the word go, much more than I ever got from a caffeine hit.

Good luck to you @nwgull !
 






Garry Nelson's Left Foot

Well-known member
Jul 7, 2003
13,324
tokyo
Might be a strange question but what does drinking coffee do? Why do people drink it?

I don't drink it(or tea :eek:), don't like the taste. Very occasionally when I'm working outside in winter someone will buy me one, and it being rude to not drink it, I'll drink it. Beyond making me feel a bit spaced out/unfocused it doesn't do anything. doesn't make me feel more awake, doesn't give me an energy boost. Just tastes a bit shitty.

What am I missing? what are people getting out of it that I'm not?
 


Swegulls

Well-known member
Aug 29, 2023
909
Stockholm
Might be a strange question but what does drinking coffee do? Why do people drink it?

I don't drink it(or tea :eek:), don't like the taste. Very occasionally when I'm working outside in winter someone will buy me one, and it being rude to not drink it, I'll drink it. Beyond making me feel a bit spaced out/unfocused it doesn't do anything. doesn't make me feel more awake, doesn't give me an energy boost. Just tastes a bit shitty.

What am I missing? what are people getting out of it that I'm not?
I love the smell and taste of it in the morning, always two cups. Strange thing though, it's never the same later in the day. It doesn't taste half as good as that morning coffee. So, I usually just have those cups for breakfast.
 




FatSuperman

Well-known member
Feb 25, 2016
2,835
Anyone ever done this? I recently decided that I drink too much (probably 300-400mg or more 7 days a week) and could do wih cutting back for long-term benefits and also better sleep. I don't intend to give up completely, but did a bit of an experiment (and personal challenge) to see what would happen if I cut my daily intake to as close to 0mg as possible. I'm currently on Day 6 and although I knew I'd miss the routine part, eg brewing and enjoying the aroma of my morning doppio, I am genuinely surprised at the physiological effects and it really made me appreciate how much caffeine intake affects the body.

Obviously felt a bit more tired in the afternoon of day 1, but I expected this. What I was less prepared for was the blinding headache in the first couple of evenings, and what surprised me most was that after about 48 hours I started experiencing stiffness in my legs and joints and what I'd describe as sciatic pain in my lower back running down my legs. This was so painful that it was causing me to wake up in the middle of the night and having to take a couple of paracetamol. I Googled this and discovered that it's not an uncommon effect of caffeine withdrawal. Having experienced it myself I have to say that it has really changed my perspective in recognising caffeine as a drug that we're generally a bit blaze about.

Be interested to see if any others have had similar experiences? It certainly gave me a new level of respect for people that have been able to overcome the physiological effects of giving up more addictive drugs such as nicotine or smack.
I think I've told this story on NSC before, but my father in law's best mate used to take a thermos of espresso to work every day, for decades. One day his wife randomly decided to switch him on to decaff, without telling him.

Very quickly he got very, very ill and ended up in hospital. It was a real mystery as to why he was having all these chronic symptoms, until some doctor happened upon the cause during a conversation with the wife about changes in lifestyle and diet. They just 'prescribed him coffee' and he got better, then weaned himself off it much more slowly.

When I heard this story, I went cold turkey and also had the problems you describe. I then reverted and worked it off a little slower (but still within a month or so). I'm now down to no more than one a day in the morning, and decaff after that.
 


nwgull

Well-known member
Jul 25, 2003
14,152
Manchester
I think I've told this story on NSC before, but my father in law's best mate used to take a thermos of espresso to work every day, for decades. One day his wife randomly decided to switch him on to decaff, without telling him.

Very quickly he got very, very ill and ended up in hospital. It was a real mystery as to why he was having all these chronic symptoms, until some doctor happened upon the cause during a conversation with the wife about changes in lifestyle and diet. They just 'prescribed him coffee' and he got better, then weaned himself off it much more slowly.

When I heard this story, I went cold turkey and also had the problems you describe. I then reverted and worked it off a little slower (but still within a month or so). I'm now down to no more than one a day in the morning, and decaff after that.
Bloody hell, how many shots do you get into a thermos?! Must be well over 10, even for a smallish flask. I reckon I was averaging about 4-5 shots a day plus a can or 2 of diet Coke and my withdrawal effects have been bad enough, so that must've been horrendous for him.
 


PoG

Well-known member
Oct 29, 2013
1,120
Two cups max 90 mins after waking up, a pint or two of water in you before and definitely not after midday and youre golden; elixir of the gods.
 




Anger

Well-known member
Jul 21, 2017
324
I thought this was a new diet fad thread.

I’ve been having cold turkey sandwiches with coffee for lunch for years and it never did me any harm.
 


Cheeky Monkey

Well-known member
Jul 17, 2003
23,343
Might be a strange question but what does drinking coffee do? Why do people drink it?

I don't drink it(or tea :eek:), don't like the taste. Very occasionally when I'm working outside in winter someone will buy me one, and it being rude to not drink it, I'll drink it. Beyond making me feel a bit spaced out/unfocused it doesn't do anything. doesn't make me feel more awake, doesn't give me an energy boost. Just tastes a bit shitty.

What am I missing? what are people getting out of it that I'm not?
Genuinely interested too. As said above, coffee doesn't affect me in any way. I've heard of the heart rate being elevated, but how do people feel different in terms of alertness, tiredness etc. i.e. is it a big shift in 'waking you up' or is it more subtle?
 






Harry Wilson's tackle

Harry Wilson's Tackle
NSC Patron
Oct 8, 2003
53,189
Faversham
Very interesting thread. I'm a pharmacologist but I hadn't really given much thought to caffeine because it is not a selective drug (it affects more than one molecular target); it inhibits the family of enzymes known as phosphodiesterases (PDEs) and it blocks the action of an endogenous substance called adenosine.

PDEs are enzymes that degrade cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP). cAMP is a molecule that mediates some of the intracellular signaling initiated by the sympathetic nervous system (adrenaline and adrenaline). Caffeine thus makes the adrenaline signal last longer and be of greater size. So you may feel 'adrenalized'. The sympathetic system evolved to help the cave man hunt and kill sabre tooth tigers (increase heart rate, increased blood flow to skeletal muscle, reduced gut motility etc).

The adenosine antagonist effect occurs on the A1 adenosine receptor and the main effect is facilitation of release of acetylcholine (ACh) from cholinergic nerve endings. That means a stimulation of 'parasympathetic' function. The parasympathetic nervous system has generally the opposite effects of the sympathetic (mydriasis, secretion of gastric juice, increase gastric motility, the stuff you would do in a cave after eating a sabre tooth tiger).

Both effects of caffeine are relatively weak. Most of the problems associated with it are probably due to adaptive physiological changes, plus the precipitous effect of sudden withdrawal if you stop taking the stuff.

But.....I don't think we understand the precise dose-response relationships around caffeine's effects. I have never used it in teaching or in my research because it is nonselective and useless as a pharmacological tool.

The other caveat is that coffee (and tea) is not the same as caffeine. Both the bean and the leaf contain all sorts of different small molecule bioactive substances: the monoamine oxidase (MOA) inhibitors, β-carboline and harmane, may contribute to caffeine's psychoactivity. Some of you may be aware that more selective and potent MOA inhibitors are used with mixed success in treating depression and Parkinson's disease; caffeine also contains antioxidant polyphenols which excites parascience people more than mainstream science.

So, quite a mix of different pharmacologically active substances, which will vary from source to source by an unknown amount. Been with us much longer than the food and drug legislation and does not have common acute adverse effects. The metabolism occurs in the liver so it is possible that the state of the liver may affect blood levels of caffeine and consequently its effects. More research may be of interest but it won't be done because it isn't fundable - what is the unmet need?

I have two rules: no tea or coffee after noon (albeit today I brewed some coffee when I opened this thread - oops!) and no alcohol before six in the evening. I am 98% compliant. I have never had any obvious issues. Once every few years I may have a coffee at the end of an evening restaurant meal. It doesn't affect my sleep. I only even get headaches if I have a virus.
 


smillie's garden

Am I evil?
Aug 11, 2003
2,648
Very interesting thread. I'm a pharmacologist but I hadn't really given much thought to caffeine because it is not a selective drug (it affects more than one molecular target); it inhibits the family of enzymes known as phosphodiesterases (PDEs) and it blocks the action of an endogenous substance called adenosine.

PDEs are enzymes that degrade cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP). cAMP is a molecule that mediates some of the intracellular signaling initiated by the sympathetic nervous system (adrenaline and adrenaline). Caffeine thus makes the adrenaline signal last longer and be of greater size. So you may feel 'adrenalized'. The sympathetic system evolved to help the cave man hunt and kill sabre tooth tigers (increase heart rate, increased blood flow to skeletal muscle, reduced gut motility etc).

The adenosine antagonist effect occurs on the A1 adenosine receptor and the main effect is facilitation of release of acetylcholine (ACh) from cholinergic nerve endings. That means a stimulation of 'parasympathetic' function. The parasympathetic nervous system has generally the opposite effects of the sympathetic (mydriasis, secretion of gastric juice, increase gastric motility, the stuff you would do in a cave after eating a sabre tooth tiger).

Both effects of caffeine are relatively weak. Most of the problems associated with it are probably due to adaptive physiological changes, plus the precipitous effect of sudden withdrawal if you stop taking the stuff.

But.....I don't think we understand the precise dose-response relationships around caffeine's effects. I have never used it in teaching or in my research because it is nonselective and useless as a pharmacological tool.

The other caveat is that coffee (and tea) is not the same as caffeine. Both the bean and the leaf contain all sorts of different small molecule bioactive substances: the monoamine oxidase (MOA) inhibitors, β-carboline and harmane, may contribute to caffeine's psychoactivity. Some of you may be aware that more selective and potent MOA inhibitors are used with mixed success in treating depression and Parkinson's disease; caffeine also contains antioxidant polyphenols which excites parascience people more than mainstream science.

So, quite a mix of different pharmacologically active substances, which will vary from source to source by an unknown amount. Been with us much longer than the food and drug legislation and does not have common acute adverse effects. The metabolism occurs in the liver so it is possible that the state of the liver may affect blood levels of caffeine and consequently its effects. More research may be of interest but it won't be done because it isn't fundable - what is the unmet need?

I have two rules: no tea or coffee after noon (albeit today I brewed some coffee when I opened this thread - oops!) and no alcohol before six in the evening. I am 98% compliant. I have never had any obvious issues. Once every few years I may have a coffee at the end of an evening restaurant meal. It doesn't affect my sleep. I only even get headaches if I have a virus.
Will there be a test on this, Prof? If so I’m going to have to drink quite a few caffeinated beverages to pull the revising all-nighter.
 


Cheeky Monkey

Well-known member
Jul 17, 2003
23,343
Gave up caffeine completely and my fairly frequent migraines have pretty much disappeared. When I told my doctor about it he was not surprised and was telling me just how nasty caffeine can be. Don't miss it at all.
Same here on migraines, I've pretty much dispensed with sumatriptan after giving up caffeinated coffee. There are some very tasty decaff coffees out there, rich in taste.

Funnily enough the only tablets that clear my 'normal' headaches are Anadin Extra...with caffeine.
 


nwgull

Well-known member
Jul 25, 2003
14,152
Manchester
Very interesting thread. I'm a pharmacologist but I hadn't really given much thought to caffeine because it is not a selective drug (it affects more than one molecular target); it inhibits the family of enzymes known as phosphodiesterases (PDEs) and it blocks the action of an endogenous substance called adenosine.

PDEs are enzymes that degrade cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP). cAMP is a molecule that mediates some of the intracellular signaling initiated by the sympathetic nervous system (adrenaline and adrenaline). Caffeine thus makes the adrenaline signal last longer and be of greater size. So you may feel 'adrenalized'. The sympathetic system evolved to help the cave man hunt and kill sabre tooth tigers (increase heart rate, increased blood flow to skeletal muscle, reduced gut motility etc).

The adenosine antagonist effect occurs on the A1 adenosine receptor and the main effect is facilitation of release of acetylcholine (ACh) from cholinergic nerve endings. That means a stimulation of 'parasympathetic' function. The parasympathetic nervous system has generally the opposite effects of the sympathetic (mydriasis, secretion of gastric juice, increase gastric motility, the stuff you would do in a cave after eating a sabre tooth tiger).

Both effects of caffeine are relatively weak. Most of the problems associated with it are probably due to adaptive physiological changes, plus the precipitous effect of sudden withdrawal if you stop taking the stuff.

But.....I don't think we understand the precise dose-response relationships around caffeine's effects. I have never used it in teaching or in my research because it is nonselective and useless as a pharmacological tool.

The other caveat is that coffee (and tea) is not the same as caffeine. Both the bean and the leaf contain all sorts of different small molecule bioactive substances: the monoamine oxidase (MOA) inhibitors, β-carboline and harmane, may contribute to caffeine's psychoactivity. Some of you may be aware that more selective and potent MOA inhibitors are used with mixed success in treating depression and Parkinson's disease; caffeine also contains antioxidant polyphenols which excites parascience people more than mainstream science.

So, quite a mix of different pharmacologically active substances, which will vary from source to source by an unknown amount. Been with us much longer than the food and drug legislation and does not have common acute adverse effects. The metabolism occurs in the liver so it is possible that the state of the liver may affect blood levels of caffeine and consequently its effects. More research may be of interest but it won't be done because it isn't fundable - what is the unmet need?

I have two rules: no tea or coffee after noon (albeit today I brewed some coffee when I opened this thread - oops!) and no alcohol before six in the evening. I am 98% compliant. I have never had any obvious issues. Once every few years I may have a coffee at the end of an evening restaurant meal. It doesn't affect my sleep. I only even get headaches if I have a virus.
Interesting and in-depth stuff. Made me realise though, in addition to the physical aches and pains, my urge to go out and kill sabre-toothed tigers has really fallen off a cliff over the last 5-6 days.
 






Worried Man Blues

Well-known member
Feb 28, 2009
6,963
Swansea
I have two rules: no tea or coffee after noon (albeit today I brewed some coffee when I opened this thread - oops!) and no alcohol before six in the evening. I am 98% compliant. I have never had any obvious issues. Once every few years I may have a coffee at the end of an evening restaurant meal. It doesn't affect my sleep. I only even get headaches if I have a virus.
Did you mean no alcohol BEFORE 6pm I always try (!) to stop drinking by 6pm.
 


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