Should I quit caffeine cold turkey?

Should I quit caffeine cold turkey?

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0 thoughts on “Should I quit caffeine cold turkey?”

  1. Quitting caffeine cold turkey is horrible. You’ll be extremely irritable and tired for 3 days, and may get major headaches. However, slowly phasing out your caffeine consumption over 1 or 2 weeks is rather painless.
    I also believe that it’s a great idea. When you become a regular high-caffeine consumer, your caffeine consumption becomes less about getting a boost and more about avoiding the ‘down’ that comes from not getting your regular caffeine fix. If you taper down caffeine to nothing or a minimal level, then you’ll have the the option to use caffeine as an effective stimulant when you need it, like for the occasional all-nighter.
    One thing to watch out for is the actual caffeine content of the drinks you’re consuming. A Starbucks grande coffee has 330mg of caffeine, more than double the caffeine of a Starbucks grande Latte (150mg, from 2 shots of espresso at 75mg each), and over 4x that of a red bull, which has 80mg of caffeine (but also has the stimulant taurine).
    With two Starbucks grande coffees each day, you may think you’re having “two cups of coffee per day,” but you’re actually having the equivalent amount of caffeine as 6 brewed cups (8 ounces) of normal brewed coffee.
    Check out sites like to find caffeine contents.

  2. If you’re truly addicted to caffeine, as I was, cold turkey is my recommendation. I had tried the taper method unsuccessfully many times. When you quit cold turkey you have to only make one decision, stick to it and hang on through the withdrawal period. The taper method requires you to make many decisions over a long period of time which isn’t feasible for someone who’s addicted. Unlike prescription meds you can’t have a person dole out to you the subsequent lower amounts as it’s so easy to simply purchase it on your own. You must separate yourself from the addictive substance. I’ve never heard of anybody quitting meth or heroin by gradually cutting down, it’s the same with caffeine if you’re addicted.

  3. In short, don’t quit coffee cold turkey! Even if you believe the only way you can quit anything is “cold turkey” this is one drug you don’t want to put in that category. It’s easy to taper by cutting down the amount, eliminating one of your times of drinking (e.g. afternoon), cutting the coffee with decaf, or switching to black or green tea.
    Please taper! If you don’t. you will most likely have 2–5 days of wicked headaches (most people do, not all) and lethargy to the point where you’ll find it difficult to work (like the flu—almost everyone gets this symptom).
    These symptoms (and there are many others) are one reason so many people don’t quit. They try, and they can’t do it.
    A lot of the “internet caffeine official BS” says symptoms last 2–9 days. This is often not true, so thinking you’ll go cold turkey and suffer for a couple of days is not likely.
    I quit by tapering down to 1/4 cup coffee over six weeks, then stopping entirely. Day 2 after giving up a measly 1/4 cup (admittedly strong), I developed awful headaches for 3 days…so I added back in 2 cups of decaf a day for the next 2 weeks, then tapered to one cup of decaf for the last week. This has worked out OK after going to decaf.
    I thought 1/4 C of strong coffee a day was no big deal—and was dead wrong.
    Nearly every “study” done on coffee and caffeine that shows there are tons of health benefits is (1) funded by sellers of coffee and/or (2) performed by caffeine-addicted scientists and/or (3) rarely reports confounding variables.
    By (3) I mean, if coffee drinkers live longer there are a number of possible alternative explanations, such as:
    -Americans eat so few vegetables/fruits that coffee is a major/primary source of antioxidants (antioxidants are a known health benefit)
    -Coffee drinkers may be wealthier (wealth is a known reason for extended lifespan)
    -Coffee drinkers may have more time/inclination to socialize (social people live longer)
    -Coffee drinkers may work white collar vs. blue collar jobs and/or have more education (both type of work and education level are associated with longevity)
    I haven’t seen a single study on coffee drinking that talks about controlling or adjusting for these variables, even though all of the above are significant in terms association with longevity.
    My only point is, don’t believe the hype around caffeine and coffee being good for y…

  4. Sure.
    I’ve done it three times now – and like quitting any addiction it is a learning process as to how to cope with the withdrawal symptoms.
    When I quote the first time I was drinking 3 – 5 litres of diet coke a day and probably 2-3 litres of strong tea (substitution of giving up a 40- 60 a day cigarette habit a few years before).
    For me the world slowed down and I was wrapped in cotton wool. Everything was muffled somewhat.
    I always slept well at night even with a can of redbull 30 minutes before bed – and that didn’t change when I gave up. Dreams can be a bit weird for a while.
    Other than that – no big problems – though I do have to drive more carefully now as the need for caffeine whilst driving is a lot stronger and I haven’t overcome it entirely.

  5. If you are a regular caffeine user, and you’re using large amounts, cutting back can actually produce dramatic benefits in daytime alertness, even though it sounds counter-intuitive. The caffeine crash often leads to more caffeine which may lead to worsen sleep at night and people get into a vicious cycle. So cutting back on caffeine—let’s say from 4 or 5 cups—gradually down to 2-3 and then down to one and maybe even to none at all, can actually lead to improved alertness. A gradual reduction in caffeine consumption can also help lesson the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal, such as headaches and mood swings.
    At the heart of it, caffeine is a widely available, legal, cheap, and multi-flavored drug. However, it is an unregulated drug and just like any substance that we’re going to put into our bodies we want to think carefully about when we do it and how we want to do it. Many people will use excessive amounts of caffeine in the morning and then, as that beings to wear off in the middle of the afternoon, they start to crash and come down off of the stimulant, feeling more tired and sleepy than if they had avoided caffeine.
    Finally, sleep experts often encourage people to have small amounts of
    coffee over an extended period of time in the morning and early afternoon as a way of maintaining caffeine levels, rather than a shot of caffeine first thing in the morning and then crash later. In addition, caffeine should certainly be avoided after about 2 pm to avoid any potential sleep issues or problems.

  6. i Was drinking 1 monster energy a day, sometimes 2, for about four months straight. One day I just said screw it and stopped. It was awful the first few days. After the 6th day, it got better. But you will be lazy the first few days and not want to do anything. Don’t let caffeine control you.

    Eight O’Clock

  7. I remember weeks of headaches and cravings when I did it. Caffeine is a very underestimated drug in that respect.
    Probably a kinder approach to yourself is a systematic decrease in consumption, with the goal of quitting entirely in a month’s time.
    I’m still clean 6.5 years later. Kinda proud of that.
    Edit July 2021: There’s a product called Wean Caffeine that offers a graduated caffeine program. Easier method than trying to manage drink volume.

  8. I have replaced coffee with green tea. I’ve done this gradually and for a long time still had a regular strong coffe in the morning. After a while I replaced this also with a black tea (or sometimes w/ mate or green tea). Depends on how much coffee you used to have (I had 3-4 big, strong cups every day), quitting cold turkey will only make you miserable and unable to do any kind of work that requires concentration. I think gradually is much better and as in my case it was quite easy and without any problems.

  9. Quitting cold turkey and the effects of that depends on your original intake of caffeine. For example, I drank one pop a day and wanted to quit that, so I did so in the cold turkey way. I had major headaches for a couple days after I started that, and was tired for maybe 4-5 days, but other than that, it wasn’t horrible. Meaning that nothing lasted longer than a week. I can assume that it would be way worse for someone constantly hooked on mountain dew for example, or coffee. I wouldn’t recommend quitting cold turkey for people in those types of situations, though the way you quit and how quickly or slowly you do it is an experiment that will be different per individual.

  10. I’ve recently cut out caffeine (no coke, tea, coffee) for an entire month. You’ll need to find something to replace your caffeine hit with and I strongly recommend you radically increase your water and fresh juice in take as a substitute.
    If you quit cold turkey beware that you will have headaches for the first 2-3 days. It is a common withdrawal symptom so have some painkillers to hand.

  11. I quit coffee cold turkey, and it was awful: I had major migraines for a week, to the point where it hurt to move my head or have the lights on. But I don’t think I would have been able to quit any other way. I don’t really have the discipline to “taper,” and I was only drinking one or two cups a day.

    Victor Allen’s

  12. That’s a terrible idea – I’ve tried it and it sucks. I’d suggest a slow taper, or even a fast taper if you’re in a hurry, over cold turkey. Cold turkey, you’ll get headaches, mood swings, horrible fatigue… don’t do it.

  13. I normally consume 2-3 cups of coffee every day as well as the occasional Diet Coke. I like to quit every so often as it helps get me back into a balance and also makes the effects of a cup of coffee stimulative again (as opposed to necessary to get through the day). I always do it cold turkey, and it’s always the same: 2 or 3 days of headaches and tiredness. Advil or Tylenol can help with the headaches. It helps to do it over a long weekend or something when you can rest, nap, etc. and also don’t have the excuse of “needing” some coffee to get through a day. I just did it this weekend (Thanksgiving), and I feel great!

  14. I will be the first to admit that my caffeine addiction is one of the most unhealthy aspects of my life. A normal day for me can sometimes consist of five to six cups of coffee, just to get me from one task to the other. Although I fully understand how damaging so much caffeine can be for my body, let’s face it, when the going gets tough, the tough drink coffee.
    Part of my inclination to keep guzzling down the cups of java has been based on inconsistent evidence. It seems that every other study involving caffeine is either praising its health benefits or condemning it for leading to various health concerns such as cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. After years of pushing the limits of my caffeine intake, I felt it was time to see what toll it was having on my body. Here’s what happened after I gave up coffee for a week:

  15. I’ve always had better luck quitting cold turkey.
    Certainly there can be 2–3 days or even up to a week or so where you are very uncomfortable (headaches, lethargy, inability to concentrate), but you will have that to some degree unless you do a VERY gradual withdrawal. If your intake of caffeine is high, you can’t do the gradual withdrawal over a period of 1–2 weeks without side effects; drugs just don’t work that way. With heavy caffeine use, the gradual withdrawal would have to be extended to well over a month; shortening that is almost a guarantee of a relapse. That’s why for me it’s a lot easier just to quit cold turkey.
    For me at least, going through that gradual reduction in caffeine was a lot harder than just quitting cold turkey. I’ve quit caffeine over 20 times for a month up to years, and definitely if I have to go through it again I’d do it cold turkey. I hope I never have to go through it again; the longer I am off caffeine the more negative impact I can see it had on my body and mind.
    I haven’t had any caffeine for several years now. People will tell you that caffeine withdrawal lasts only a few days; that is complete nonsense. The extremely obvious and devastating withdrawal symptoms DO last only a few days, but easily you are still in withdrawal and gradually healing for well over a year. Those people who quit caffeine for a month or so are not finished with withdrawal and have not truly experienced life caffeine free. The sad thing is most of the stories are written by people who only stayed off caffeine for 2 weeks to a month; they are not even close to being through withdrawal.
    If you experience being off caffeine for a couple of years, you see the gradual improvement in your mood, ability to concentrate, temper, sleep, and emotional state that cannot be experienced by somebody who has only been off for a month or so. There is no comparison.


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