October 23, 2007
No caffeine for two months

Two months ago, I stopped drinking caffiene. I've stopped in the past, mainly due to my belief that caffeine over the long term is bad for you. Don't get me wrong, I love me a good caffeine buzz, but I feel that when you are under stress or at risk of being ill, it's the makes matters worse.

The basic mechanism of caffeine is to block one of the chemicals that tells your brain that you are tired. Caffeine fills the receptor and so you brain stops getting the tired signals. If you take caffeine for a long time, you body responds by making more and more sleepy chemicals (adenosine). This leads to caffeine tolerance where you need more and more to stay alert and feel terrible if you aren't drinking caffeine.

I've never been a huge coffee drinker, usually having a cup in the morning and sometimes a cup in the afternoon. Never the less, after a while, I notice an bad effects from caffeine. So I stop for a while.

Good things about not drinking caffeine:

  1. I don't feel drowsy in the morning
  2. I sleep better
  3. I have dreams. I can't remember them, but I notice that I have them
  4. I don't have to go to the bathroom as often
  5. No coffee breath
  6. Less money spent on drinks

Bad things about not drinking caffeine:

  1. The 2PM food coma
  2. Decaf coffee does not taste as good as regular coffee
  3. Finding diet, caffeine free soda is difficult
  4. I eat more

Overall, I feel better, but at the same time, I do want the cool buzz in the morning again. Also, caffeine has a postive effect on asthma, acting as a mild bronchodilator. In fact, a couple cups of coffee is a effective backup treatment for an asthma attack when an inhaler is not available.

So no simple answer about if I should stay caffeine free or not...

Posted by michael at October 23, 2007 08:06 PM


I'm sure all your sugar- and caffeine-free drink needs can be solved at the local ZCMI.

Posted by: Brad [http://www.flyingw.org] on October 23, 2007 10:36 PM


Coffee puts the system under the strain of metabolizing a deadly acid-forming drug, depositing its insoluble cellulose, which cements the wall of the liver, causing this vital organ to swell to twice its proper size. In addition, coffee is heavily sprayed. (Ninety-two pesticides are applied to its leaves.) Diuretic properties of caffeine cause potassium and other minerals to be flushed from the body.

All this fear went away when I quit, and it was a book that inspired me to do it called The Truth About Caffeine by Marina Kushner. There are five things I liked about this book:

1) It details--thoroughly--the ways in which caffeine may damage your health.

2) It reveals the damage that coffee does to the environment. Specifically, coffee was once grown in the shade, so that trees were left in place. Then sun coffee was introduced, allowing greater yields but contributing to the destruction of rain forests. I haven't seen this mentioned anywhere else.

3) It explains how best to go off coffee. This is important. If you try cold turkey, as most people probably do, the withdrawal symptoms will likely drive you right back to coffee.

4) Helped me find a great resource for the latest studies at CaffeineAwareness.org

5) Also, if you drink decaf you won’t want to miss this special free report on the dangers of decaf available at www.soyfee.com

Posted by: Marcy [] on October 23, 2007 11:20 PM

Good for you! My husband goes on caffeine for a while, then off, then hardcore (two Rockstar energy drinks a day), then off. Me? I'm all about moderation. For him? I think it's all about knowing he can quit cold turkey.

Like you, I find that decaf coffee is not nearly as good as caffeinated, but if I brew naturally decaffeinated coffee in my Toddy Cold Brew Coffee Press, I find I am happier with the results (and the cold brew coffee has less acid!).

Keep us posted on how it's going.

Posted by: Laura [http://journeyoflife.goof.com] on October 24, 2007 6:36 AM

All the Laemmle Theaters in LA have Diet Sprite (or now Sprite Zero) at their concession stands. They're the only ones I know of where you can count on getting caffeine and sugar free soda.

Posted by: Jay [http://www.jaybushman.com] on October 24, 2007 10:34 AM

Have you tried Vivarin? If so, what did you think about it? One tablet is supposed to be equal to two cups of coffee.

Posted by: GI LVN [] on October 24, 2007 11:20 AM

A life without a double expresso in the morning is not worth living, says the "French Book of Rules of Everything"...

Posted by: Tryphoon [http://www.tryphoon.com] on October 24, 2007 12:51 PM

you always dream

Posted by: asdfads [] on October 28, 2007 8:39 PM

"Fruity and richly floral coffee - papaya, lemon, coffee fruit, hints of dusk-blooming flowers and chocolate, all ride a strong, balanced structure: good body, smooth mouthfeel, supple, sweet acidity." (Ken Davids, The Coffee Review)
From that description, you probably recognize that I am drinking Campesino Estate Reserve Nicaraguan Maracaturra: a unique hybrid varietal developed and grown by Byron Corrales.

What's all this about no caffeine?

Posted by: Otius Gojius [] on October 30, 2007 9:08 PM
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