/ The last vice - Caffeine reduction

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The Wild Scallion 21 Nov 2019

Morning , 

I've decided to drastically reduce my caffeine intake.  Part of this decision is health related and some financial.  Spending 3+ quid a day on energy drinks soon adds up . And it no longer has the required effect being as I consume so much of the stuff. 

Also I read that caffeine reduces cerebral blood flow considerably and being as I've started my meditation practice again, would like to see what effect cutting it out will have .

It is my last vice , I love caffeine (well use to).  On top of the energy drinks I was drinking coffee before leaving the house and indulging in energy drinks at the gym and as well as at work between coffee breaks.

I started trying to add up how much I was consuming , I can only do this roughly as drinks give you the exact amount but coffee it's different dependant on how big a tea spoon you use , and they wont give you exact figures on this .

I estimated I was consuming between 800-1000 mg of caffeine on the average day.  Jesus that's quite high .

I've also read that to go full cold turkey is not wise if you have such a high consumption.  So yesterday I started by cutting out the energy drinks completely . So just had 5 cups , 2 at home before leaving and 3 at work . This totalled about 400 mg give or take a bit.

About half my usual amount.

This resulted in a bad headache and I got into bed straight from work .  I felt like someone had stabbed me in the left eye.

https://bigthink.com/news/caffeine-increases-neural-entropy-decreases-blood-flow

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2748160/

Day two and the experiment continues .  I'm going to stick to the 5 cups and see how I cope again.

It's all interesting self experimentation.

Anyone else cut it out and what did if do to you ?

TWS

Post edited at 08:21
wintertree 21 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

I have about 120 mg on a working day through diet fizz.  I can get myself off it with an effort by swapping to warm water or warm squash.  I start feeling and sleeping better in about 2 days.  Then I forget I’m avoiding it and the cycle repeats.

I once saw someone who took half the LD50 of Caffeine due to a confusion over ‘mg’ vs ‘g’ when adding its powdered form to an energy drink.  They had about 10 g.  Even scaling their atrocious state down to your 1 g I guess your body is quite adapted to such high levels and you probably want to taper off it over a week or two...

Clint86 21 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

I've cut it out 2 or 3 times by gradually reducing amount over about ten days and enjoyed being cafeinne free for a bit......then got back to a coffee a day. May try it again. 5 cups seems a lot! What did it do to me........took away my need for a needless cafe stop and generally made me realise what addiction is. I think I did feel better for it. 

Post edited at 08:49
Jamie Wakeham 21 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

Indeed - take the weaning-off stage a bit more slowly.  A 50% drop overnight is going to hurt.  I would be aiming to make a reduction like that steadily over a week or more.

I made a similar reduction a few years ago - when I was a full-time classroom teacher I was more or less living on coffee, and have now got down to around 100mg a day. 

If you're cutting out the red bull completely, is it worth treating yourself by making the coffee as good as possible?  Get an Aeropress and start making real coffee - then it doesn't feel like you're depriving yourself, so much as switching to a better version.  An additional bonus is that if you want to really scale the caffeine back, you can start making a blend of regular and decaff coffee - my standard mix is half and half, and I can have three or four cups of that a day and not feel like I'm missing out at all.

mullermn 21 Nov 2019
In reply to wintertree:

> I once saw someone who took half the LD50 of Caffeine due to a confusion over ‘mg’ vs ‘g’ when adding its powdered form to an energy drink.  They had about 10 g.

What happened? I’m assuming, since it wasn’t a lethal dose, that question’s not too far in to morbid gawking territory. 

DerwentDiluted 21 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

If I have caffeine after midday I do not get to sleep until 2-3 am generally. Which leaves me susceptible to all kinds of disproportionate anxieties. I love coffee and often try to convince myself that one after a meal is OK. It never is. If you wean off it steadily but emphatically you should notice a huge improvement. Now my coffee rules are Good, strong, few, early.

BnB 21 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

I had surgery this February which required a catheter post-operation. I was warned to avoid caffeine, fizzy drinks etc. I switched to drinking huge quantities of water. Probably too much but I wanted to give my insides a good flush. I was amazed how much better I felt soon after. Some of that will be down to the lifting of apprehension over the surgery. But I felt so clear-headed without caffeine clogging my brain. I haven’t had a drop since.

Post edited at 09:06
The Wild Scallion 21 Nov 2019
In reply to Jamie Wakeham:

A good suggestion , I have various coffee's ground around the house and use to use a cafetiere a lot but due to how much I was having found the ritual tiresome for every time I wanted some.

To make it more a treat and ritual would help I think.

It's going to be almost impossible to cut to zero as it's in all sorts of products now .  

The Wild Scallion 21 Nov 2019
In reply to DerwentDiluted:

> If I have caffeine after midday I do not get to sleep until 2-3 am generally. Which leaves me susceptible to all kinds of disproportionate anxieties. I love coffee and often try to convince myself that one after a meal is OK. It never is. If you wean off it steadily but emphatically you should notice a huge improvement. Now my coffee rules are Good, strong, few, early.

I could drink caffeine and still just drop off , so It's no longer doing the job.  

subtle 21 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

I cycle with two guys who were addicted to cans of monster - they had to work hard to get off the addiction!

Coffee wise I go for one decent coffee in the house before work, instant at work, prob 3 cups per day and then nothing when i get home at night - at weekends I only have the decent coffee first thing and don't notice that I'm not having the instant

Good luck in cutting back, perhaps you are being too drastic though if giving you headaches/withdrawal symptoms but I guess they will pass by tomorrow - def cut out the "energy" drinks, they are not good for you

The Wild Scallion 21 Nov 2019
In reply to subtle:

> I cycle with two guys who were addicted to cans of monster - they had to work hard to get off the addiction!

> Coffee wise I go for one decent coffee in the house before work, instant at work, prob 3 cups per day and then nothing when i get home at night - at weekends I only have the decent coffee first thing and don't notice that I'm not having the instant

> Good luck in cutting back, perhaps you are being too drastic though if giving you headaches/withdrawal symptoms but I guess they will pass by tomorrow - def cut out the "energy" drinks, they are not good for you

I use to have the small sugar free energy drinks ,  I don't do sugar .

But they had a recent offer on the energy drinks in the shops so have been consuming the large sugar free monsters . This is whats made me realise its probably not healthy.

Post edited at 09:34
wintertree 21 Nov 2019
In reply to mullermn:

> > I once saw someone who took half the LD50 of Caffeine due to a confusion over ‘mg’ vs ‘g’ when adding its powdered form to an energy drink.  They had about 10 g.

> What happened? I’m assuming, since it wasn’t a lethal dose, that question’s not too far in to morbid gawking territory. 

Have you seen “Crank”?  Like that, with bulging cranial veins and more than a hint of Arnie in Total Recall during his “Schizoid Embolism”.  For 48 hours.

MeMeMe 21 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

I've realised that I've been drinking too much and reduced the amount I drink at various times over the years. The headaches will go away once your body adjusts, it's never taken more than a couple of days for me but your consume looks pretty high so who knows!

I've toyed with de-caffeinated coffee a few times since I struggled to know what to drink that I liked and wasn't too bad for me (although I'm not that keen in the processing that goes into making it decaffeinated so not doing it at the moment).

I find a coffee ritual useful because it slows down consumption and gives you time to consider what you're drinking. I'm down the about 3 cups a day now.

JoshShaw 21 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

Didn't have time to read the other posts, apologies if this has been suggested above.

I used to drink a lot of coffee, I loved coffee and still do; but the amount I was drinking wasn't sustainable.

A useful way I found for me to cut down my caffeine was to mix decaf and caffeinated coffee together in ratios, and slowly reduce the % caffeinated over time. I mixed up a sequence of bags and just worked my way through them, didn't buy any more coffee until I got through the bags I'd mixed up. I quickly got down to 1/8th caffeine without feeling like I was missing out on anything or any withdrawal symptoms. I think I tricked myself past the withdrawal phase. I could then easily just cut the number of cups / day to whatever I fancied.

Got down from slightly more than you drink currently to about 1 cup a day.

Hope that helps.

Jamie Wakeham 21 Nov 2019
In reply to MeMeMe:

>...I'm not that keen in the processing that goes into making it decaffeinated ...

Interested - are you concerned about the organic solvents used in cheap decaff?  As I understand it, the Swiss water process is regarded as a better method (and, I believe, is the only way to get decaff whole beans).

The Wild Scallion 21 Nov 2019
In reply to JoshShaw:

> Didn't have time to read the other posts, apologies if this has been suggested above.

> I used to drink a lot of coffee, I loved coffee and still do; but the amount I was drinking wasn't sustainable.

> A useful way I found for me to cut down my caffeine was to mix decaf and caffeinated coffee together in ratios, and slowly reduce the % caffeinated over time. I mixed up a sequence of bags and just worked my way through them, didn't buy any more coffee until I got through the bags I'd mixed up. I quickly got down to 1/8th caffeine without feeling like I was missing out on anything or any withdrawal symptoms. I think I tricked myself past the withdrawal phase. I could then easily just cut the number of cups / day to whatever I fancied.

> Got down from slightly more than you drink currently to about 1 cup a day.

> Hope that helps.

Yes,  cheers. 

It's also good to know that I'm not alone .  I also suspect that some people might be in the realm of insane amounts  without really realising it.

It is the most consumed psychostimulant on the planet. 

Neil Williams 21 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

I've not cut it completely nor do I intend to, but did get rid of the fancy bean to cup machine I had and mostly switch to tea (which has less caffeine in it).  This does seem to make me feel a lot less jittery and improve, er, gut health.

I did it in one go without symptoms - I normally find it's only cutting it completely that gives me headaches.

I don't do energy drinks, they are vile.  Worst I'd do along those lines is an occasional fat Coke.

Post edited at 09:42
Jon Stewart 21 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

> Anyone else cut it out and what did if do to you ?

Substituted with crack. Yum.

profitofdoom 21 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

I always drink 2 cups of coffee a day. Once I went cold turkey and cut it out completely. I had unpleasant headaches the next day, which vanished when I drank coffee again the next day

The Wild Scallion 21 Nov 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Substituted with crack. Yum.

That sounds far more manageable, healthier and easier on the pocket.

;-D

Post edited at 09:51
Blue Straggler 21 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

I cannot comment on the energy drinks but from a coffee point of view, my experience is that the first couple of weeks will be hard, and that's with a relatively mild level of "addiction". In a previous job I used to drink 7 or 8 cups of pretty crappy instant coffee  through a working day, out of boredom as much as anything else. Several times I tried to go cold turkey and it was unbearable so I went the "major reduction" path instead, cutting to two per day. What really helped with this, was to set a "time" rule which in my case was "first one not before 10am, second one not before 3pm". (standard working day of 8:30ish to 5:30ish)

I have not cut it completely. I have had the occasional caffeine-free month, and once in 2014 2 months off it. 
It was not life-changing, which suggested that my consumption wasn't too high anyway. 

Currently I am probably on 3 to 4 cups (mugs) of good quality coffee per day. I try to limit it to three. 
By eschewing instant, and buying beans that I have to grind, I make more of a "ritual" out of making coffee, which makes it feel more of a treat (I liken this to playing music on vinyl!). I think it helps keep the consumption in check. I have no idea what this all is in terms of mg of caffeine. 

Maybe try this approach during your tapering off period. The main point of my post is to say that even without cold turkey, the first week or two will be hard, this is NORMAL. 

MeMeMe 21 Nov 2019
In reply to Jamie Wakeham:

> >...I'm not that keen in the processing that goes into making it decaffeinated ...

> Interested - are you concerned about the organic solvents used in cheap decaff?  As I understand it, the Swiss water process is regarded as a better method (and, I believe, is the only way to get decaff whole beans).

Yup. I mean maybe it's fine but I'm much more comfortable with water as a solvent than methylene chloride or ethyl acetate. I didn't know that about whole beans, I might get some!

The Wild Scallion 21 Nov 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

I hear you.  I've done a bit of research on other peoples experiences and so I'm not expecting it to be to easy.   

Then again whatever's worth it usually isn't from my experience  .

The financial reward is a helpful motivation in itself and the meditation practice getting better hopefully .

Blue Straggler 21 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

Good luck with it. 

Jamie Wakeham 21 Nov 2019
In reply to MeMeMe:

Actually, I think I might be incorrect, in that it is possible to decaffeinate whole beans using organic solvents (so it's not the case that decaff whole beans must have been done by the SWP).  So you specifically want to look for decaff beans that're labelled SWP.

They are not as good as full-caff beans, you do lose something in the process... but it's pretty close.

oldie 21 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

Until recently I enjoyed three pint mugs of very strong cafetiere coffee (breakfast, lunch and dinner), often plus one or two extra at cafes or with friends. I  drink several pints of instant decaf besides these. I have now substituted pints of strongish instant coffee for the cafetiere with no side effects apart from being less enjoyable. If I miss a coffee at dinner I do get a headache by the next morning. Biviing along the Cuillin Ridge with no stove I  tried just taking a caffeine tablet in the evening, no headache. I didn't sleep well but probably due to other factors!

I'll follow this thread with interest as I should reduce more, but when I used to abstain from coffee until the evening I was rather dozy all day.

Post edited at 10:27
Inhambane 21 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

I quit coffee over a year ago as I once went a day with out one when we were camping and got a migraine.   I decided this wasn't good if I were to spend more days in the mountains having an dependency would mean it would need to be managed and I wasn't free to get up early and go with out it.  It also means your bowels are a bit more predictable.   

Mentally its hard if your used to waking up and one of the first thoughts or impulses is coffee, and if you don't get it your pre-occupied until you do.  Smelling coffee in the morning is hard when your trying to quit.  I haven't quit caffeine I still drink tea but it doesn't have the same addiction or withdraw effects.  In the beginning I substituted and felt pretty brain foggy for a couple of weeks then it passed.  Now I can go a day without tea and feel fine.  I can wake up now and i don't think about needing a tea. 

You can get some really good decaf beans that taste like the real thing, but you don't get the dopamine hit and then you don't feel like drinking another and that the taste is not as good as you believed coffee to be, as the addiction tricks your brain.  It feels good to overcome a small addiction like that and you see other campers crawl out their sleeping bags to the stove to make coffee and you wake up bright and fresh and ready to go.

After a year i decided to test it and have a real coffee on Christmas day, i thought it was going to magical but i was left feeling very unimpressed and underwhelmed.  Which goes to prove how subtlety addictive it is. 

in short its not to bad to quit as long as your disciplined and then once you have you don't miss it.        

Tom V 21 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

I gave up caffeine last March on doctor's advice and am quite happy with the new regime. Tea was easy because I drank a lot of Rooibos anyway and it was an easy adjustment. Coffee has been just as easy, possibly because I never drank huge quantities and never felt the need of a "kick" even though espresso was my choice - I just really like the flavour. So by sticking to good quality decaffs I'm not missing much at all. The regular choice is Taylors of Harrogate and I like it in bags - like it says on the packet, definitely worth giving the bag a big squeeze after its been brewing two minutes. Bit pricey in this form, though...

Timmd 21 Nov 2019
In reply to BnB:

> I had surgery this February which required a catheter post-operation. I was warned to avoid caffeine, fizzy drinks etc. I switched to drinking huge quantities of water. Probably too much but I wanted to give my insides a good flush. I was amazed how much better I felt soon after. Some of that will be down to the lifting of apprehension over the surgery. But I felt so clear-headed without caffeine clogging my brain. I haven’t had a drop since.

Gosh, I've drunk tea since I was about 9 or 10, and find I struggle to imagine not drinking caffeine, being clearer headed would be nice though. I gave up smoking 19 years ago, and hardly drink, so I'm not doing too badly I don't suppose.

Post edited at 14:33
Neil Williams 21 Nov 2019
In reply to Timmd:

> Gosh, I've drunk tea since I was about 9 or 10, and find I struggle to imagine not drinking caffeine, being clearer headed would be nice though. I gave up smoking 19 years ago, and hardly drink, so I'm not doing too badly I don't suppose.

Yeah, I had tea and coffee as a kid, and we always had a bottle of cheapo Aro Coke from Makro in the fridge too, and we always had a teapot on the go on Scout camp.  It seems, in my observation, to be a split between parents who think this is fine (like mine) and parents who think it's akin to a Safeguarding issue as it's giving kids drugs akin to tobacco/alcohol.

Post edited at 15:24
Tom V 21 Nov 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

My auntie across the road used to give us Camp coffee if we called round, often with Carnation milk. It's not a childhood taste I yearn for.

Post edited at 16:22
Timmd 21 Nov 2019
In reply to Neil Williams: I think there is a split, I do wonder if my upbringing is why the thought of quitting caffeine fills me with a sense of horror a little bit, though. It's akin to 'Only out of my cold dead hand will you prise my cup of tea'.

Post edited at 17:09
Neil Williams 21 Nov 2019
In reply to Timmd:

> I think there is a split, I do wonder if my upbringing is why the thought of quitting caffeine fills me with a sense of horror a little bit, though. It's akin to 'Only out of my cold dead hand will you prise my cup of tea'.

Could be.  I've heard it said (though don't know about evidence) that if you've had it all your life from a young age the body is so adjusted to it that it's very difficult to withdraw completely, and if you do (e.g. for medical reasons as my Dad had to - even in tiny amounts you get in decaf it triggers his Menieres which floors him for the rest of the day) it takes months to adjust during which you'll have issues with low energy levels and possibly depression etc.

Simon Pelly 21 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

Decided to give up coffee a number of years ago and have managed since to not consume.

For a good numbers of weeks after giving up had banging headaches.

Once through that though and certainly now, do not miss it.

Simon...

Timmd 21 Nov 2019
In reply to Neil Williams: It's probably not something to try during the winter months then. Come the spring I might have a go.

Deleted bagger 21 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

I always use to feel bad about giving premature babies an IV loading dose of caffeine prior to attempting to get them off a ventilator. Poor things would be completely wide awake with tube in their airway.  

marsbar 21 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

The headache is normal. Stick with it and take pain killers.  I have cut down to one proper coffee in the morning and a couple of proper cups of tea and then on to the decaff.  

1
marsbar 21 Nov 2019
In reply to Deleted bagger:

Cruel to be kind I assume.  

marsbar 21 Nov 2019
In reply to Timmd:

There is certainly an emotional attachment to my cup of tea.  But I've found Yorkshire decaff acceptable.  

marsbar 21 Nov 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

Purely anecdotal but as a small child I always had tea and coffee (things were different in the 70s) and I've gone totally caffeine free before with no more bother than most people.  The withdrawal headache is quite normal but I didn't have any other issues. 

hang_about 21 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

I was getting headaches at the weekend which I realised was due to caffeine withdrawal. Long hours in the lab and an espresso machine. I cut down, 2 cups a day and decaff tea in the evening. Wasn't difficult and felt better. If I don't drink caffeine now I don't miss it or get a headache which I take as a good sign. Personally I'd wean off it. Never felt energy drinks were a good idea though unless you're an Alaskan crab fisherman.

LeeWood 21 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

For a caffiene free wake-up you can't beat a cold shower -  after your normal shower just add on a couple of mins cold - will set you zingling for the day  

2
Pursued by a bear 21 Nov 2019
In reply to marsbar:

Decaff isn't completely caffiene-free, my caffiene-avoiding wife tells me.  You'll have to quit that to cut it out completely.

T.

The Wild Scallion 21 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

Second day update.  

I've managed to stick to 4 cups so far today.  2 before work and 2 at work.  I replaced the other ones with water ,lemonade and chuba chub infernal lollipops.  Sour zingy things. 

No headaches today.  Feeling a bit lethargic and had a nap when I got home.  

I will see how this goes for a while before reducing anymore.  Just as to not shock myself to much.  

I feel I might really want coffee in the morning though. 

SAF 21 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

I stopped all caffeine about 8 years ago. I just drink decaf tea (I am aware there are traces of caffeine in it).

I suffer from generalized anxiety and much more significantly pre menstrual anxiety which on a bad month used to verge on paranoia. Whilst I still suffer from this, stopping caffeine had made it totally manageable. I can now rationalise the horrendous butterflies in my belly and heaviness in my chest and not make stupid decisions based on my anxieties.

I initially just stopped in the week before my period, then after a while I thought "what the hell am I doing?" If caffeine could have that much impact on my mental state why was I consuming any of it. So I cut it out completely.

I would never go back to consuming caffeine. Ever.

Jamie Wakeham 21 Nov 2019
In reply to Pursued by a bear:

> Decaff isn't completely caffiene-free, my caffiene-avoiding wife tells me.  You'll have to quit that to cut it out completely.

In the US, 'decaffeinated' means 97% of the caffeine must be removed, but in the EU the definition is 99.9% so it is pretty damn near truly caffeine free. 

It strikes me that this tells you an awful lot about food standards on either side of the Atlantic...

Tom V 21 Nov 2019
In reply to Jamie Wakeham:

It tells you precisely one detail and nothing more.

9
Ceiriog Chris 21 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

I remember years ago I was at El Chorro with a group and on our initial supermarket shop on the way to the bunk house we bought 2 jars of de caf  instead of regular coffee by mistake, about 3 or 4 of us went down with bad headaches after about a day, which continued until a Russian helper type girl pointed out our mistake, and then treated us to some some fresh coffee, one other time I was trapped in a cave for a week and had no coffee, but was to concerned with other things to notice, 

Neil Williams 21 Nov 2019
In reply to Pursued by a bear:

> Decaff isn't completely caffiene-free, my caffiene-avoiding wife tells me.  You'll have to quit that to cut it out completely.

Indeed it's not - and it was only me pointing this out to my Dad (which the doctor didn't manage to do) that allowed him to fully control his Menieres (no attacks at all since) - even the tiniest bit is enough to set it off, be that in decaf or say chocolate.  He's even been able to return to driving as a result.

There is, if I recall, more caffeine in a "decaf" double espresso based coffee than there is in a weak non-decaf instant.

Post edited at 23:45
marsbar 22 Nov 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

That may be American figures.  Its certainly a concern there.  Here the rules are stricter.  "Under EU regulations, the caffeine content of decaf cannot exceed 0.3 per cent for soluble or 0.1 per cent for roast and ground coffee."

Still enough to upset your father but for most people it's not noticable.  

AJM 22 Nov 2019
In reply to marsbar:

Is that 0.1% of the amount in regular, or 0.1% of the total mass? I would have thought the latter, since variation in the amount in regular would make it more difficult to manage to practically... in which case the proportion is higher. Random googling states:

> According to a 2016 study, Robusta coffee beans typically contain around twice as much caffeine as Arabica beans. The researchers found that Arabica beans contain 34.1–38.5 g of caffeine per kilogram (kg) of dry coffee whereas Robusta beans contain 68.6–81.6 g of caffeine per kg of dry coffee.

So 3-8% by mass versus 0.1%, so relatively circa 1-3%?

oldie 22 Nov 2019
In reply to marsbar:

> There is certainly an emotional attachment to my cup of tea.  But I've found Yorkshire decaff acceptable.  <

My wife hardly ever drinks coffee, and her tea is mainly decaf (eg Waitrose). Recently she has been using Clipper Organic Decaf Tea which she says is much more like "proper" tea. The decaffination method uses carbon dioxide (not ethyl acetate, methylene chloride, or water processing). It also uses Assam tea which has a strong flavour. Very expensive but she doesn't drink alcohol so overall running costs are cheap.

oldie 22 Nov 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

> Yeah, I had tea and coffee as a kid, and we always had a bottle of cheapo Aro Coke from Makro in the fridge too, and we always had a teapot on the go on Scout camp.  It seems, in my observation, to be a split between parents who think this is fine (like mine) and parents who think it's akin to a Safeguarding issue as it's giving kids drugs akin to tobacco/alcohol. <

My son, late 20s, doesn't drink coffee but in recent years does drink tea. However he has drunk Coke since being a kid and it was certainly the source of caffeine in his adolescence/early adulthood (he has cut back in recent years). I often tried to persuade him to drink tea and especially coffee rather than coke for social, practical and expense reasons. Probably fortunate I was unsuccessful. Also probably good to cut down on coke as it must involve a lot of single use plastic bottles.

Post edited at 10:38
Tom V 22 Nov 2019
In reply to AJM:

i don't know where the often quoted figure of 97% comes from but the USDA Commercial Item Description contains the following under the heading Analytical Requirements

Caffeine: Decaffeinated coffee:Dry bean in the package; Shall not exceed 0.10 %.

The Wild Scallion 22 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

Day 3 

Had 2 cups of latte (sachet stuff) this morning before leaving the house and after meditation.

Nothing since . Feel fine , in fact great.

Yesterday I calculated I had maybe 300 mg so that' already quite a drop from what I've been consuming .   

Monitoring continues .

Trangia 22 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

Cut out tea and coffee, and switch to Rooibos Tea. Worked a treat for me

The Wild Scallion 22 Nov 2019
In reply to Trangia:

> Cut out tea and coffee, and switch to Rooibos Tea. Worked a treat for me

Yes its the slowly weening off I'm attempting and monitoring .  To go from 800-1000 mg daily for years to nothing isn't advised.

Tom V 22 Nov 2019
In reply to Trangia:

Rooibos Earl Grey  for me . Tick Tock.

Welsh Kate 22 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

I gave up caffeine over a decade ago because it was giving me an interestingly irregular heartbeat. I had a few headaches during the transition but not too bad because I didn't drink that much coffee / coke anyway.

Good quality decaff is fine, and I quickly discovered that I just wanted a hot drink in a mug I could wrap in my hands rather than a caffeine dose.

Good luck!

Neil Williams 22 Nov 2019
In reply to oldie:

> My son, late 20s, doesn't drink coffee but in recent years does drink tea. However he has drunk Coke since being a kid and it was certainly the source of caffeine in his adolescence/early adulthood (he has cut back in recent years). I often tried to persuade him to drink tea and especially coffee rather than coke for social, practical and expense reasons. Probably fortunate I was unsuccessful. Also probably good to cut down on coke as it must involve a lot of single use plastic bottles.

I do wish they'd restart doing it in reusable glass bottles.  It tastes nicest from glass, and it'd reduce the plastic issue (albeit at the expense of carbon emissions as glass is heavier than plastic).

Neil Williams 22 Nov 2019
In reply to oldie:

> It also uses Assam tea which has a strong flavour

I think this helps because it replaces the nice "bitter" taste you get from the caffeine.  As far as coffee shops go, I favour Starbucks decaf for this reason - the strong "burnt" flavour which some don't like means you don't notice the missing caffeine taste as much.

I find regular decaf tea just tastes watery.

Post edited at 13:26
Neil Williams 22 Nov 2019
In reply to marsbar:

> That may be American figures.  Its certainly a concern there.  Here the rules are stricter.  "Under EU regulations, the caffeine content of decaf cannot exceed 0.3 per cent for soluble or 0.1 per cent for roast and ground coffee."

> Still enough to upset your father but for most people it's not noticable.  

Is that per unit weight of grounds/granules, or in the made-up cup?  I guess if it's the former (which would make some sense because the made-up cup can vary hugely depending how strong you make it) you put far more grounds in a cup (at least a dessertspoon full) than instant (a teaspoon) so that would leave the former with more caffeine.

Though I doubt it makes any odds to him - it seems he's as sensitive as say a coeliac is to wheat - he really needs to consume *none at all*, not even the occasional square of chocolate.

Post edited at 13:29
DubyaJamesDubya 22 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

...

> It's going to be almost impossible to cut to zero as it's in all sorts of products now .  

Like what?

The Wild Scallion 22 Nov 2019
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

> ...

> Like what?

Dark chocolate,  Decaf coffee and tea, Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt,Breakfast Cereals,Headache Remedies.

That's a start

DubyaJamesDubya 22 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

> Dark chocolate,  Decaf coffee and tea, Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt,Breakfast Cereals,Headache Remedies.

> That's a start

Ah, OK. perhaps not enough to worry about?

From my own perspective, I used to drink tea and coffee interchangeably but a few years ago I almost totally gave up coffee (first instant because I started to go off the taste, then the other types because it made me feel queasy) I substituted tea without any withdrawal symptoms at all, I enjoy it more and can drink as much as I like (although I stop at 9pm). I still indulge the coffee taste when abroad as that seems to be the only time I can get a decent cup.

The Wild Scallion 22 Nov 2019
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

> Ah, OK. perhaps not enough to worry about?

No my point being its like fluoride .  You can cut it out of your toothpaste if you think it's going to rot your pineal gland (tin foil hat style ) but it's in the water table and the environment depending on where you live to lesser and greater degree's .

I don't think you need to,  or can cut out absorbing it at all.  

It's more the idea that 3 cups or more can reduce cerebral blood flow by 27% .   I might need that blood flow in my brain. 

Maybe I need a tin foil hat

:-D

Post edited at 14:13
Neil Williams 22 Nov 2019
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

Coffee is quite acidic, and so too much of it (even decaf) makes me feel yuk and gives me the trots.

Neil Williams 22 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

> Headache Remedies.

Only fancy expensive ones, just use paracetamol and ibuprofen.

Bulls Crack 22 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

Just how do all those furriners in Italy, France, Greece etc ever mange to sleep what with them drinking coffee to the wee hours? 

DubyaJamesDubya 22 Nov 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

> Coffee is quite acidic, and so too much of it (even decaf) makes me feel yuk and gives me the trots.

I was finding that a single cup from Costa/Starbucks would leave me feeling queasy for a couple of hours.

Weirdly I can drink coffee abroad (Kalymnos) without any negative effects (sometimes 4-5 cups in a day)

The Wild Scallion 22 Nov 2019
In reply to Bulls Crack:

> Just how do all those furriners in Italy, France, Greece etc ever mange to sleep what with them drinking coffee to the wee hours? 

Adjusted to it no doubt.   I could also sleep after a day drinking caffeine .  It can't be healthy though that much . 

Sure in small amounts.

DubyaJamesDubya 22 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

> No my point being its like fluoride .  You can cut it out of your toothpaste if you think it's going to rot your pineal gland (tin foil hat style ) but it's in the water table and the environment depending on where you live to lesser and greater degree's .

> I don't think you need to,  or can cut out absorbing it at all.  

> It's more the idea that 3 cups or more can reduce cerebral blood flow by 27% .   I might need that blood flow in my brain. 

> Maybe I need a tin foil hat

> :-D

Below a certain level the effect will be negligible though. Maybe I'm lucky but I don't think I've ever had any issues with caffeine. I must have a bit in my tea but I can go a day without it and not feel any withdrawal effects.

Toerag 22 Nov 2019
In reply to oldie:

> My son, late 20s, doesn't drink coffee but in recent years does drink tea. However he has drunk Coke since being a kid and it was certainly the source of caffeine in his adolescence/early adulthood (he has cut back in recent years). I often tried to persuade him to drink tea and especially coffee rather than coke for social, practical and expense reasons. Probably fortunate I was unsuccessful. Also probably good to cut down on coke as it must involve a lot of single use plastic bottles.

..... the big thing will be dental health. The sugar+acid combo is a recipe for poor teeth.

Toerag 22 Nov 2019
In reply to Ceiriog Chris:

> , one other time I was trapped in a cave for a week

That sounds interesting, care to share your experience (in another thread)?

Neil Williams 22 Nov 2019
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

> Below a certain level the effect will be negligible though. Maybe I'm lucky but I don't think I've ever had any issues with caffeine. I must have a bit in my tea but I can go a day without it and not feel any withdrawal effects.

In my understanding (from 23andme) there is a gene that dictates speed of caffeine metabolism.  If you are a fast metaboliser you'll barely notice it.  If a slow metaboliser, it will be much more noticeable even at low levels.

Powderpuff 22 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

Interesting post, I've always understood coffee to have many health benefits if consumed in the right amounts.

Energy drinks I dont like the idea of though 

marsbar 22 Nov 2019
In reply to oldie:

I quite like Assam so I might give that a try for a change. 

syv_k 22 Nov 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

Sounds reasonable. I hate the taste of coffee but drink a lot of black tea, and feel it helps me get going in the morning. Energy drinks for jet lag and similar emergencies but not regularly. A litre flask of stewed tea for a pick me up when climbing or kayaking. 


When I had gut problems I was advised to try an exclusion diet, and so ended up drinking just hot water for a bit, sometimes with a bit of herbal infusion or sugar. It made no real difference and I had no withdrawal symptoms. I have since gone back to tea. Why not? It tastes nice while probably providing some wakefulness effect, maybe via placebo. Twinings Lady Grey is my favourite. Delicious.

captain paranoia 23 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

Now I understand your reaction on the other thread...

Caffeine only gives us a lift if we don't drink it regularly. Start drinking it regularly, and you become acclimatised to it, and the hit no longer works. But you need the caffeine to bring you up to normal...

I've never been a coffee fanatic, so maybe my opinion doesn't count for much, but decaff seems to taste okay to me. And no, I'm not bothered by the ethyl ethanoate used in the decaff process. No more than I am bothered by eating pear drops... I spotted a bloke making me a coffee stick his nose in my cup; when I asked what he was doing, he said he was checking it was decaff; he could smell the slight residue.

The Wild Scallion 23 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

Managed to get by on 3 cups yesterday.   

Bit of pressure in the head around lunch time but I alleviated that with a cup.   

No headaches or ill effects to report.  Slept pretty pants though.  

Definitely wanted a cup to bring myself around this morning though. 

Not so motivated to visit the gym this morning but I've hammered it past couple of days so a little sore

Post edited at 06:53
oldie 23 Nov 2019
In reply to Toerag:

Re Coke: > ..... the big thing will be dental health. The sugar+acid combo is a recipe for poor teeth.

True, remember images of a tooth left overnight in coke. I don't think sugar is harmful in itself, just it sticks on the tooth surface and bacterial action produces acids (coke is acidic anyway of course).

I imagine hot drinks can cause tooth damage themselves.  When two joined materials with different coefficients of thermal expansion are subject to repeated heat changes the movement at the boundary eventually causes separation (dental metalwork and resin glues in particular). I worked in a lab where we often used this to separate epoxy resin from glass. Of course ice cold coke will have the same effect.

The Wild Scallion 25 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

Update 

This weekend I had 2 ups of coffee on Saturday and also on Sunday and felt no ill effect at all.  I fact I've felt more energised than normal.

I mashed the gym big style both days too.

I have had really disturbing dreams both days though and have slept really badly , not more than a few hours at a time.

Started my meditation this morning again and found it better,  but that could just be down to practising Monday to Friday last week.

Had a brilliant weekend though.

TWS

Post edited at 08:17
Neil Williams 25 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

Strange - whenever I've cut back on caffeine I've always slept like a log.

DubyaJamesDubya 25 Nov 2019
In reply to captain paranoia:

> Caffeine only gives us a lift if we don't drink it regularly. Start drinking it regularly, and you become acclimatised to it, and the hit no longer works. But you need the caffeine to bring you up to normal...

This is my understanding. Regular coffee drinking means you wake up in withdrawal and those people who say they don't feel human until they've had their first cup, are correct, as the coffee returns them to a normal level.

1
DubyaJamesDubya 25 Nov 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

> Strange - whenever I've cut back on caffeine I've always slept like a log.

I too thought that would be the case.

Post edited at 10:15
CurlyStevo 25 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

I never really consumed as much as you (max 5 cups a day), but have fairly regular breaks. If its a long time between breaks a couple of green teas a day will stave off a headache for me. I'm sure you could cut down to green tea for a few days then give up caffeine completely. Beware coffee shops - they will start smelling stupidly nice after about a week off. I doubt that really ever goes away tbh (I've done 1-3 months off a few times in the last 5 years).

The Wild Scallion 26 Nov 2019
In reply to CurlyStevo:

> Beware coffee shops - they will start smelling stupidly nice after about a week off. I doubt that really ever goes away tbh 

Ha, 

Everybody's coffee always smells better than mine . 

Even when I've got good stuff.   

It's one of those strange things in life .

Basemetal 26 Nov 2019

Fascinating thread! One thing that surprised me was the disconnect between strength of flavour and caffeine content over different coffee types. I haven't got into variations between beans, but for given coffee, contact time with the grounds seems to dominate caffeine content. So espresso will have the lowest caffeine content (strongest flavour, but it is the least 'diluted' after all). Followed by drip filter, then cafetiere or any "grounds in" method being typically strongest, especially the last cup!

I drink 10 to 12 espressos a day as two 4 shots and one or two doubles, and I've had cafes refuse to sell me a 4shot citing health grounds ( I suspect pricing is the real reason). One Starbucks wouldn't give me a 4shot espresso, but would do me a four shot Americans and leave out the water... . All that said, when I make a pint of strong filter I get much more caffeine.

If I drink more than a double after 8pm I wont fall asleep easily, but I don't have any symptoms if I skip coffee altogether. Hill days I don't bother, and I've checked now and again to see if I'm hooked, but as far as I can tell I just like it. The good stuff. A lot. Oh and Tesco decaff Scottish Blend Tea... go figure.

The Wild Scallion 26 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

I'm down to between 2- 3 cups now .  

I still like a coffee to wake up in the morning , but I'm no longer guzzling energy drinks and don't feel any urge to drink them . 

I'm only having a coffee when I actually feel like a perk as opposed to habitually necking it all day.

I get the occasional pressure in the head but I think that's down to dehydration to be fair .  I'm trying to drink plenty of water throughout the day to compensate.

My dreams are now totally mental and bizarre but I think some of this is down to the meditation . 

Post edited at 12:11
DubyaJamesDubya 27 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

> My dreams are now totally mental and bizarre but I think some of this is down to the meditation . 

I miss dreams, hardly ever get them now whereas they used to be quite vivid.

Timmd 28 Nov 2019
In reply to Powderpuff:

> Interesting post, I've always understood coffee to have many health benefits if consumed in the right amounts.

Moderate coffee and red wine consumption are both meant to be helpful. 


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