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Caffeine Withdrawal Symptoms: How Long Do They Last? Average Timeline Varies.

Caffeine is the most universally consumed stimulant of the central nervous system. It works primarily as an adenosine antagonist. Adenosine itself works as an inhibitory neurotransmitter that helps suppress activity in the central nervous system. Since caffeine is an antagonist for the adenosine receptors, it tends to speed up nervous system activity in a dose-related manner.

As a natural consequence of blocking the adenosine receptors, it can also influence the effects of other major neurotransmitters including acetylcholine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. It also has a smaller influence on cortisol, epinephrine, and glutamate production.  It has been shown to improve learning, memory, coordination, and overall cognitive performance. Most people consume caffeine to help them fully wake up and feel stimulated before the work day.

However, not everyone likes relying on a drug to help them get through the day. Although caffeine is one of the safest ways to “perk up” in the morning, some note that it can lead to long term dependency. For this reason, many people prefer to withdraw and take on life naturally – without the influence of drugs.

Factors that influence caffeine withdrawal include:

1. Individual physiology

Various physiological factors may impact your ability to withdraw from caffeine. For example someone that is naturally more mentally aroused may have an easier time withdrawing from caffeine than someone who is naturally underaroused. Additionally some people may not notice any withdrawal symptoms whereas others may notice many.

2. Frequency of use

How often do you drink caffeine can play a big role in determining the severity of your withdrawal. Do you drink caffeine on a daily basis? Do you drink it multiple times a day? Do you drink it all day every day? Obviously the more times you use caffeine throughout the day, the tougher it will be to withdraw from.

3. Amount of caffeine you drink

Caffeine amounts typically range from 16 mg to 160 mg. Coffee typically has about 135 mg of caffeine, whereas an energy drink may have up to 160 mg. Various types of tea typically have between 15 mg and 40 mg of caffeine. If you are pounding energy drinks on a daily basis, your body has likely become accustomed to high levels of caffeine.

This will make withdrawal more difficult as opposed to someone who only drinks white tea daily. In fact the person drinking white tea may not even note any withdrawal symptoms.

4. Dependency

Believe it or not, some people actually become dependent on caffeine for everyday functioning. Although it is a safe substance, the fact is that people use it for a mental crutch. It improves cognitive function and acts as a mental stimulant. Most people also notice improvement in energy levels and mood following ingestion of caffeine.

If you are dependent on caffeine for functioning in the workplace and/or it has become a staple towards helping you stay productive, withdrawal may be pretty difficult.

Common Caffeine Withdrawal Symptoms

Below are just some of the symptoms that you may experience while withdrawing from caffeine. Not everyone is going to experience all of these symptoms. You may only have a minor headache and feel a little sluggish before you bounce back to 100%. However, others may have a variety of symptoms that may make life difficult to deal with for a couple of weeks.

  • Anxiety: Although anxiety can be a response to drinking too much caffeine, some people can feel anxious while withdrawing. This has to do with the fact that the caffeine may have perked up their brain in social and performance-based situations. Now that they are coming off of the caffeine they feel anxious because they are not at the same level of performance as they were with caffeine.
  • Cravings: Many people experience cravings for caffeine. Although the addiction and abuse potential is low, some people have a difficult time kicking their coffee habit. It is common for you to physically and psychologically crave caffeine for a couple weeks into withdrawal. The craving alone should show you how certain people can become dependent on this substance for functioning.
  • Constipation: Since caffeine tends to stimulate bowel activity and movements, withdrawal may result in constipation. This tends to last a few days at the maximum and will eventually subside. Try to stay active and eat healthy to encourage normal bowels.
  • Depression: Since caffeine can produce a mood boost for some people, a natural consequence of withdrawal is a mild depression. You likely aren’t going to feel severely depressed, but you may notice that you feel sluggish, moody, and don’t feel like doing anything – this is normal and will subside.
  • Diarrhea: Some people note that they experience diarrhea when stopping caffeine – this is less common than constipation, but can be annoying to deal with.
  • Dizziness: It is common to feel somewhat dizzy when withdrawing from the consistent ingestion of high amounts of caffeine.
  • Flu-like symptoms: Some people report headaches, muscle pain, as well as vomiting. Obviously these can be minimized with gradual tapering of caffeine as opposed to “cold turkey” quitting. Typically only people that have become extremely dependent on caffeine will exhibit flu like symptoms.
  • Grogginess: Anyone that drinks caffeine can experience a “crash” and feel groggy. This will eventually go away as your body and brain recalibrate to life without caffeine.
  • Headache: Some people report standard headaches for the first few days of withdrawal, while others report experiencing migraines. This is your brain undergoing an adjustment – eventually this will go away. In the meantime take some Tylenol and wait a few days – the headaches will subside.
  • Insomnia: Although it is more likely that you will experience insomnia if you drink caffeine too close to bedtime, some people actually experience insomnia during withdrawal. I know this is counterintuitive, but withdrawing affects everyone differently.
  • Irritability: If caffeine gave you a slight mood boost or subtle feelings of happiness or perk, it is common to be irritable when withdrawing.
  • Lack of motivation: If you relied on caffeine to provide you with motivation, it’s going to be difficult getting through a few days or weeks in which you have zero motivation.
  • Lethargy: Most people end up feeling vey lethargic for a few days after quitting the use of caffeine. Some would say that this feeling is like a minor hangover.
  • Mood swings: Some people experience minor mood swings during their withdrawal period.
  • Muscle rigidity: You may notice that your muscles become tense and/or rigid. Again, this is another counterintuitive response that people have reported.
  • Nervousness: If caffeine helped perk you up to function in social situations, you may feel nervous as a result of slowed cognitive function.
  • Poor concentration: The inability to concentrate is very common. Caffeine is well known to enhance cognitive functioning so stopping it can negatively affect cognitive performance.
  • Shakiness: Some people get the shakes or feel shaky when stopping.
  • Sleepiness: The tiredness and sleepiness may be difficult to cope with, but it will eventually subside.
  • Slow thinking: Since caffeine acts as a stimulant and speeds up brain activity and functioning, not using it can result in slowed thinking. Eventually your brain will recover to its natural, homeostatic state. Fortunately the slow thinking here isn’t typically as severe as it would be during an Adderall crash.
  • Sluggish: It is very common to feel like a total slug for a few days when quitting caffeine.
  • Sweating: Some people may experience light sweats or even sweat profusely as their body gets reacclimated to functioning without caffeine.

Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22341956

Note: After ceasing ingestion, the caffeine stays in your system for around 1.15 days after your last dose.  As a result, some people notice most symptoms emerge within 1-3 days of stopping.

How long do caffeine withdrawal symptoms last? Timeline can vary.

Most people suggest that the brunt of the physical symptoms such as bad headaches and constipation will go away within the first 48 hours of withdrawal. In other words, once a couple days have passed since you’ve ingested your last dose of caffeine, most of the physical symptoms should subside. However, if you were a chronic caffeine drinker, it is certainly plausible that they would last longer. In general, withdrawal for most people lasts between 7 and 14 days to fully recover.

It should be noted though that any substance that your body becomes dependent upon for everyday functioning may have an even longer withdrawal. There are cases of people experiencing withdrawal symptoms well after 2 weeks. Much of how severe your withdrawal will be depends on your individual physiology as well as other psychosocial factors. It also depends on whether you withdrew “cold turkey” or with a standard tapering method (e.g. gradually weaning off of it).

Although it may seem as though you are going crazy during withdrawal, you’re not. Caffeine withdrawal is extremely common. It may be an unpleasant experience, but it typically isn’t nearly as severe as other drugs or withdrawal from alcohol. Caffeine has a relatively low abuse potential and is considered a pretty safe substance. While you withdraw from caffeine, plan a few days to overcome the major symptoms such as on a weekend or vacation break so that most of them are not plaguing you the following week at work.

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{ 183 comments… add one }
  • Tanya November 27, 2015, 10:18 am

    I’m so glad I found this list of withdrawal symptoms. I didn’t think I drank that much coffee (I never touch fizzy drinks and the like) so decided to just stop! OMG! Started with the expected headache but then progressed to flu symptoms (without the runny nose), shivers, sweating profusely, stomach cramps, the headache has changed to a stabbing sensation in the top of my head.

    I feel depressed and keep crying! I’ve been in bed for two days now, got up today but don’t feel much better really. Annoyingly I can’t even face a cup of coffee now, which might relieve some of the pain…please let this end…I may never go near caffeine again…

  • Patrick November 20, 2015, 4:10 am

    Two weeks ago I was swallowing 1,500mg/day of caffeine pills (culmination of a nearly 5-year ‘habit’). I am now “caffeine free” by which I mean around 150mg/day. I have been sluggish and achey this entire time, I sleep better… but only at the cost of waking up and wanting to sleep again. I keep considering quitting, but I have gone through all 29 circles of hell and trying to keep it to only black or green tea.

    This is beyond insane how hard this is. I quit nicotine cold turkey a few years back and withdrawals lasted about 20 days and bam… over. This caffeine thing is crazy, especially since I am still drinking what for a normal person is a lot. But 1,500mg/day… I know that cannot have been healthy. Someone encourage me please.

  • Jackie November 13, 2015, 8:30 am

    I found this article to be helpful, but it does underestimate how severe the withdrawal symptoms can be and what a damaging drug this is. It can take up to many months for the brain chemistry to adjust, if caffeine had been taken for a long period of time. The good news is that it can be done.

  • Tim November 3, 2015, 12:20 am

    Today is day 6 of not having 1 cup of coffee in the morning. I have been drinking for a relatively short 11 months. I quit once and got back to it again. This time is much more difficult. Day 1 I had a terrible headache and felt nauseous. Day 2 headache was gone but had zero motivation to do anything and couldn’t stay focused on anything. Today is day 6 and the motivation has been slowly coming back but there is some general brain fuzz.

    I can’t really stay focused on a task for longer than 30 minutes or so but I feel like that will change. I drank mostly for the focus and alertness it gave me. I quit just to not be tied down to anything. I crave coffee a lot because I want to be alert and able to get stuff done. However, I think that getting off coffee will be good in the long run and I will be able to get back to normal.

  • Nikki October 28, 2015, 2:20 am

    Today makes the 4th day that I’ve been without caffeine. I drank 2-3 espresso shots every morning for the last 10 years, ranging from 120 mg to 160 mg. Today is the first day that I have not experienced a headache. Day one & two left me with migraines. Yesterday, a mild headache. All days including today, I have been pretty unmotivated, plus sleep attacks in the late afternoons around 4 o’clock or so. Naps lasting 1 1/2 hrs to 2 hrs.

    Very groggy afterwards. After reading other posts I realized that my mid back pain that I’ve started experiencing yesterday on day 3 when I walk must be a withdrawal symptom. Unreal. Today was the first day I experienced brain fog. Being unmotivated, I reluctantly ran some errands today and noticed that my thinking was slow and off, in fact, so bad it made me feel awkward with the person I was interacting with, like the cashiers.

    I’m normally very together, but not today, it was way obvious to me, almost embarrassing. Anyway, like someone else mentioned, anything that puts your body through withdraw symptoms like these cannot be adding to your health. I will be sure to update soon, hopefully with some positive feedback.

  • Leandra October 27, 2015, 10:36 pm

    Quit October 20th 2015… Now October 27, 2015 and I am barely overcoming EXTREME NAUSEA. I’ve had NO appetite but I force myself to eat when I can. I threw up once from being so nauseous and got dizzy multiple times a day and heart racing like I was going to pass out. On the 3rd day I had horrible GI issues, my lower stomach was in excruciating pain. I decided to drink a soda (I only quit to avoid stained teeth, but I HATE SODA) I couldn’t take the nausea and LETHARGY, but that actually BROUGHT on my severe stomach pain.

    I had to bend over and hold my stomach because the pain was THAT bad. I couldn’t make a bowel movement. Nor could I sit comfortably. I’ve never had stomach issues ever! It was the constipation that was killing me alongside the nausea, back aches, arm aches and headaches..ugh! Who would of though caffeine can do this…def not me. I get in bed by 10 pm and don’t get to sleep until about 4 am and even then I am waking up every hour with back aches and headaches. I am exhausted yet my mind can’t shut down, my eyes are wide open.

    The horrible headaches and backaches tend to subside a little with Ibuprofen. The first few days I had zero energy while my normal energy levels are at 100. My body was soooo tired but I just couldn’t get to sleep. Today I woke up from a horrible sleep, considering I just wasn’t able to stay asleep with my head, back and arms aching so damn much last night. :( I don’t have nausea any more really but I’m scared to go about my day normally.

    I cheated and drank 1 CUP of coffee today AND yesterday because I just could NOT take it..I had to! I got back some energy which was nice since I hate being a dead beat and today after my morning cup of joe almost all of my symptoms are subsiding. I’m not planning on continuing my love for coffee, I just needed a little help from quitting COLD TURKEY.

    I went from thinking it was my PROZAC to possibly being PREGNANT, to having caught a VIRUS or maybe just side effects of my birth control until I RESEARCHED CAFFEINE WITHDRAWAL. Sorry for going on for so long…it’s just so horrible!

  • Carol October 22, 2015, 11:16 am

    Today starts day 8 without caffeine. I was a 2 liter a day Diet Coke addict. Still having headaches and lethargy, occasional joint pain and dizziness. I have been doing a 10 day green smoothie cleanse in order to kick the habit, so no sugar either. I may go back to caffeine, but only with tea. My real goal has been to kick the chemical in Diet Coke.

  • Vanessa October 19, 2015, 2:43 pm

    Day 15 after giving up cold turkey. Most of the headaches, chills, vertigo and grogginess have gone. However, anxiety attacks are still an ongoing problem, Iv never had them in my life, and it’s 3am as I write this, so clearly sleeping isn’t a happening thing. I’ve been taking L-theanine as a substitute for caffeine to help with the anxiety and it is helping but isn’t fixing the problem. Hopefully the end is near.

  • Chelle October 13, 2015, 7:48 pm

    I am on day two and feeling tired. I had a bad headache yesterday and my left hip felt like it was out of its socket. Weird. My reason for quitting is GERD. I was told to change my way of eating, so I am off soda and fatty foods too. I suffered through 10 hours of burning pain in my esophagus and throat due to acid buildup. I’ve experienced this before but not for that long and tums or aloe juice would help, not this time. So, I am onto an alkaline diet to reverse it.

    I use to have 2-3 cups of coffee a day and 1 dr. pepper at 3 pm, then home to 1-2 cups of iced tea. I am drinking aloe vera juice in the morning to heal my esophagus and throat and more than 64 ounces of water. I have taken migraine Excedrin for the headaches. My issues with sleeping are more from the acid reflux than anything. I am sleeping in a reclining position until this subsides. I wish us all success in kicking this habit!

  • Helen Clare October 5, 2015, 12:53 pm

    I’ve just got through my first week being caffeine free, I have awful long lasting headaches, feels like my head is in a vice, also flu like symptoms & lethargy. But I’m not giving up, I have been caffeine free in the past & I did feel so much healthier & calm too. Despite the awful headaches I have noticed improvements, my skin is more plump & clearer looking, my teeth are whiter, my breath doesn’t smell, my urine isn’t concentrated & last night I actually slept right through, can’t remember the last time that happened. So my advice to anyone is, keep positive, things will get better & it will be so empowering not having to depend on any substance.

  • Nancy September 21, 2015, 3:33 pm

    I posted here a few days ago about the progression of my symptoms over a week from trying to stop one, yes only one, cup of coffee per day. These were, in increasing order as the week went on, headaches, ice-pick headaches, nausea, loss of appetite, constipation, lethargy, severe insomnia, leg muscle aches and cramps to the point that I could find no comfortable position, depression, more depression and crying, and finally diagnosing myself as crazy and this is why nobody liked me and I couldn’t get along with anybody.

    Then the thought somehow popped into my mind, maybe this is all due to caffeine withdrawal? I searched and found this blog, thank you!!! I decided all of it was not worth getting off one cup of coffee a day, so that very morning I went back. This is the report of the results from going back: Everything, literally everything disappeared within less than an hour of drinking that one cup. I am back to normal.

    Sleeping well (no more than my usual sporadic insomnia), no muscle cramps, appetite back, constipation gone, headaches gone, nausea gone, normal energy and a “life is worth living” feeling. So perhaps for those trying to quit a lot of coffee/caffeine per day – why not taper down, as others have suggested, and settle on just one cup a day? This may keep you sane and feeling well and one cup per day won’t feel like a debilitating addiction.

    • mom March 20, 2016, 7:56 pm

      I am a one large cup a day coffee drinker, but combined with many stresses of life and probably some physical weaknesses, my adrenal glands are shot and coffee is, perhaps literally, killing me. I have had to take supplements to increase serotonin, and just the other day I found out that coffee makes a person pee out their serotonin (which makes us feel good, be happy, and sleep well).

      Caffeine also causes estrogen dominance, and messes with our hormones. Coffee also cross reacts with gluten, so if you are gluten intolerant (like me), coffee can cause symptoms. So one cup a day might be fine for some people, but not for me. I sure wish it was, but I’m tapering with decaf!

  • Nancy September 18, 2015, 11:56 am

    Thank you for this blog! I decided to give up coffee a week ago. I was drinking, no lie, only one cup a day, one cup. Sometimes I would have a cup of decaf in the afternoon, but only one cup of caffeinated coffee each morning. After a day or two I had ice-pick headaches, very alarming. I felt a bit nauseated and did not feel like eating. I’ve never been a good sleeper, but over the days I slept less and less.

    I would dose for half an hour, then wake up. But the worst was lethargy and depression. Oh, and I forgot, leg cramps to the point that there was no comfortable position lying down. Last night (it’s now 7 a.m.) I was lying there in bed not sleeping, drifting in and out, listening to the radio, and I started crying about Syria and the refugees and then cried more about hardly seeing my granddaughter and you-name-it.

    I had been crying and worrying about life all week, but last night was worse. I also started ruminating on all the bad things I’d done over the years (I’m 70, so it was a lot LOL), and I finally hit on the answer: I’m crazy, that’s gotta be it! With all this—legs cramping, headache, nausea, depression, crazy—I got up and searched caffeine withdrawal symptoms. Don’t know how this idea found its way into my brain. And I found ’em all. So my conclusion: this is not worth giving up one cup of coffee a day.

    I wanted to give it up not for any negatives about the coffee but just from the philosophy that I didn’t want to be addicted to anything, I didn’t want anything to own me. But right now the coffee is almost ready in my one cup French press, and this is why I could write LOL in the previous paragraph. I am going back. Better a cup of coffee a day (it’s not like it’s hard to obtain anywhere one happens to be) than muscle cramps, oh and I forgot constipation, crying in bed, not sleeping, and feeling crazy.

  • Cathy September 16, 2015, 4:58 pm

    I’ve been off caffeine for about 5 weeks now. I went cold turkey from 6 cups a day for about 20 years to zero. The first couple of weeks I thought I was going to die…headaches, dizzy, muscle aches all over. I’m still having headaches and I am so lightheaded I thought maybe I might be about to have a stroke but after reading some of the comments, I realize I am still withdrawing from the caffeine. This is the hardest thing I have ever done. I just want to feel better, not tired, no headache, no dizziness, no brain fog. I thought by now, everything would be better but honestly I still feel like crap.

  • Beth September 13, 2015, 11:23 pm

    Little over 30 days of being completely caffeine-free. I will admit there was one day where I had a bag of choc covered cashews and one other day I had a 1/2 cup coffee. The choc covered cashew bag consumption was preceded by an insanely stressful work week and the 1/2 cup of coffee was consumed after I left a 3 hr dental appt of having a crown inserted in my mouth.

    Aside from those 2 minor relapses, I’ve stayed strong on not having any caffeine. I gave up caffeine on 8/9 and today is 9/13 so I’d say 2 days out of 30 or so isn’t bad. I’m falling asleep a bit easier but still waking up early in the am, around 7:30 a.m. like clockwork, each day. My anxiety has dissipated considerably but it’s still there, and the cravings haven’t been at the forefront of my mind until today, really. Tonight I really feel like having some chocolate, and the next best thing that comes to mind is sugar.

    I know I prob need to load up on fruits or veggies or something, so my next step is researching how to improve my diet to further assist in my body’s healing. I notice tonight I’m looking for something to ‘top off’ the evening, if you will. Chocolate always had the effect of kind of topping off my evening in terms of food. I would have chocolate after dinner. Also, I was in the habit of getting Starbucks right prior to dinner, which was a really bad thing and had me completely wired and on edge.

    My days are no longer consumed by thoughts of when I’m going to have my next caffeine fix and I mostly notice the cravings strike when I’m feeling kind of down and depressed, like right now. That, and when I’m feeling bored. I always found comfort in coffee when I was bored or depressed, because it would divert my attention from my state of malaise, but it actually compounded the issue by making my thoughts race and causing anxiety.

    I don’t feel fully free from the addiction, but I’m slowly but surely getting there and am just trying to focus on my goal of optimal health. Caffeine affected my appetite, sleep, anxiety, teeth, digestion, mood, and energy level. I feel MUCH better without it, so that is reason enough to stay away from it.

  • Paul T September 9, 2015, 5:54 pm

    I’m on day five or six from about probably 300 mg a day, 2 or 3 cups of coffee a day no soda. I love the lack of jitteriness I have, and I think it’ll be great in the long run. I was thinking of it as a cleanse, but maybe I can go without. Ultimately, cutting sugar and caffeine will reduce mood swings by putting me on even keel. I’m certainly not waking up needing caffeine just to function after a few days.

    First couple days my head hurt and tired and some of those lingering symptoms especially lethargy, but I love the even feel. My biggest issue is last 3 days my back muscles tightened up like crazy, and it’s pretty painful and hard to move. Didn’t even connect the 2 things till I started thinking and read posts. I figure in the long run it’ll be good for my muscles too. Anything with such severe withdrawal can’t be good.

  • Mike September 9, 2015, 5:25 am

    Hi all, I quit caffeine cold turkey 2 months ago. It took a lot of back and forth trying to quit with taper off methods to finally get me to give in and go cold turkey. First few weeks were tough. No motivation, anxiety, depression, joint and body pain, mild fever, all the symptoms everyone else has listed. It also seems that feelings that I have been repressing or not dealing with have been coming to the surface over the past two months.

    I still don’t feel as good as I did after a good cup of coffee. I was sharp as a tack, had no fear, great sense of humor and could keep up a conversation with anyone. Things are slowly getting better. I am still a bit scatterbrained but this is improving slowly. I have started jogging more to boost my energy which is good..More time at the gym as well. I have been drinking 10 times the amount of water I used to drink. I feel more humble.

    This is not always comfortable at first but vulnerability is what connects us. I am definitely more patient, calmer, and have been meditation much more often. I feel its definitely the right choice though like most difficult life choices its not the easy route. It takes time, discipline and effort but the reward is a great connection to myself, and the people around me.

    • Matt November 4, 2015, 5:18 am

      Hello, I was just wondering how things are going for you now in regards to your caffeine detox? Hope things have improved and was just interested in an update. Thanks. Matt

  • Bill September 9, 2015, 1:34 am

    I got off of caffeine a couple years ago (and relapsed, and plan to taper off again), and found that the slow method of dtox worked the best for me. I think what I did was only buy decaf drinks and tea, but bought Excedrin with a regulated amount of caffeine, and slowly tapered off that. I never really had a headache.

    The benefits of being off of it? I was much calmer, I could think in pictures again (which I couldn’t before), music was far more enjoyable and I noticed nuances in it never heard before, and of course I slept better. In fact, I slept allot the first month or so. I stopped waking up early too at 4 am with thoughts racing.

    Any drawbacks? One major one – I gained water weight. About 5 pounds. Caffeine is just simply the best diuretic available. It does help wake you up too, but you crash, so it is counterproductive.

    So, except for the diuretic effect, there is really no benefit to caffeine. I may go cold turkey this time, but will see. I can tell you that as long as you are disciplined, the tapering off method can work. I can’t tell you, though, how many times I have wished for a caffeine patch rather than Excedrin. Wouldn’t that make it all easier?

  • Allister September 6, 2015, 7:24 pm

    Are there any positive stories out there about people withdrawing from caffeine? Has anyone given it up and now feels remarkably better? I have regularly drunk tea since I was 7, coffee since I was 10. I’m now 26 and suffering badly from anxiety, and the three cups of coffee a day habit needs to go. So I had my last cup 3 days ago.

    Fast forward to now and I am having the most excruciating headache I have ever experienced, I want to throw up, and I have slept more than half the day away through tiredness. But is there actually any light at the end of the tunnel? There are people here saying the symptoms are still there after 2 weeks. No way do I want to feel like this for another 10 days. Is it going to be worth it or should I just fire up the kettle and stay caffeinated?

  • Sally September 4, 2015, 11:26 am

    I don’t drink coffee but I was drinking between 3-5 375ml cans of Pepsi Max each day. After one too many weekends spent with recurring tummy problems I thought “it has to go!” That was 2 weeks ago. Last weekend I had severe tummy issues so was quite discouraged but a week later it’s much improved so hopefully that was part of the withdrawal process. Am I sleeping better? Yes and no.

    I tend to wake up more but I feel more rested in the mornings. I struggle in the afternoons which is how I started on the Coke/Pepsi bandwagon to start with. I’m hoping that will improve. Had some headaches but I never get headaches anyway so they were manageable. I find I’m craving sweet stuff but I figure that will settle down too. Overall I do feel better. I guess it’s a process!

  • Jacob September 3, 2015, 6:01 am

    I was trying to clean up my diet and went on a juice fast, so that meant no more Coffee. I thought I was doing my mind and body a favor. I wanted to detox and feel good again. Oh man was I wrong. The first day of juicing and no coffee I was lightheaded and lethargic. Day 2 same thing, all to be expected. It was not until day three did I really question what was happening to me.

    Anxiety went up I was getting horrible headaches and I had the nasty feeling of nervousness. Also the brain fog came along and I was so freaking tired. I Work in a restaurant and have been serving tables through all of this and training others at the same time, and all the while I’m trying to hide the panic attack I going through inside my head. And trying to stay awake because all I want to do is sleep!

    Day 3 to 6 I’m sad and I don’t know why but I have to put a smile on at work. I wanted to cry, I’m normally a happy person. This is when I look up all these symptoms and I come across caffeine withdrawal and it hits me! I found the light at the end of the tunnel. These were just symptoms. That’s a whole lot easier to swallow then thinking your losing your mind. I’m about 9 days in and all the effects are starting to lift.

    Brain fog still bothers me though and anxiety is still there but way more manageable then the hell I’ve been through the past few days. I’m still tired but that’s getting better too. I also stopped drinking alcohol and there are two things you use a lot when working in the restaurant industry and that’s caffeine and booze. But I still juice so cheers to your health!

    Also I started taking fish oil that is high in EPA, it helps with mood. It helps fight depression and that was enough for me I started taking about 1250 mg of EPA and I feel better. At this point I willing to try anything. And I came this far there is no way I’m going back to coffee. Not worth it.

  • Joel August 28, 2015, 5:23 pm

    I was drinking coffee almost daily and noticed that on the days I skipped I felt awful. Sometimes I even needed coffee in the morning/afternoon or even morning/afternoon/evening. I wasn’t feeling the effects like I used to. I could even drink right before bedtime and have no problem sleeping. My last cups were 8pm two days ago, and at 4pm yesterday I crashed, and took one of the deepest naps of my life. Woke up at 9, back to bed at midnight, I’ve been up since 7:30am today, but I haven’t done much. No headaches, just sleepiness and lack of energy and motivation. It’ll pass.

  • Aaron August 27, 2015, 8:58 pm

    I was a coffee drinker every single day for as long as I can remember, started freshman year in college and never, ever, missed a day. That would put it at 16 years of 1, 2, 3 or 4 coffees every single day… I’m currently on day 14 of no caffeine and this is no joke. I have had extreme bouts of anger, anxiety, and overall depression that actually peaked two days ago (day 12). I was just a total ***hole to my wife for no reason after work and I simply was not able to “snap out of it”.

    When I woke up the next day, I was in shock at my behavior and could not for the life of me figure out what had caused it. After reading these stories, I am starting to feel a lot better about that fact that I am not losing my mind, but that I may still be withdrawing from caffeine. I was very depressed yesterday (day 13) to the point that I could not get myself to go to work and had to call in sick. I do cardio exercise A LOT and even that could not bring me back to normal…I did a 1 mile swim and 20 mile bike ride, still came back depressed and tired.

    I napped for 1.5 hours, woke up, ate, still depressed. Interestingly enough, caffeine was an inflammatory food for me and I am long time sufferer of lower back and hip pain. Once I stopped caffeine, that pain was gone within days! Granted, I had ridiculous headaches that overtook the lost pain in those areas, but for me it has been well worth it. I will update this post as my caffeine quitting continues. Everyone’s posts were very helpful for me so I figured I would chip in as well, thank you!!

  • Kelsey August 16, 2015, 10:24 am

    I stopped drinking coffee about a week ago. I had no idea what I had just done to myself. The first day without coffee I seemed to be developing miagraine like symptoms on the left side of my head (mostly temple), I felt absolutely horrible and even went to my doctor who asked me if I had a history with miagraines and then said I seemed fine upon examination. I started to also become very anxious and sad? For no reason at all and my hands and feet have been twitching, I even contemplated that I was having a mental breakdown. Today I have just made the connection about stopping caffeine and feeling terrible afterwards. (Written one week in)

  • walter August 13, 2015, 8:30 am

    I’ve tried and failed several times. But I have managed to cut out all tea and reduced coffee to 2 heaped spoonfuls of grounds in the morning. My next plan is to reduce this to one spoon. When I have quit I got major headaches on Day 1 continuing for several days. Very drowsy and tired and brain not working well. No motivation. The brain fuzz continues (I think that’s my normal state!), and I can do nothing quickly. My life is dull. And I crave coffee. I’ve lasted a month or two at most (usually combined with a vacation). Then the first cup after a break tastes completely sublime, I feel fantastic, and I’m right back. I pity the heroin, cocaine and tobacco addicts.

  • Francis George August 2, 2015, 11:27 am

    Lots of discouraging cold turkey stories here. But it’s really not necessary. A slow taper over about a month or so, mixing caff with decaff, is painless and avoids tiredness and other symptoms. I’ve done it twice going from about 6 double espressos a day to nothing. I’ve tried two taper regimes based on the fact that the brain’s adjustment takes about 3 days when the dose is halved, which still results in some lethargy. Using filter coffee makes it easy to mix caff and decaff by sighted quantity. Halving every 3 days takes about a month to taper but I’ve tried a 2 day regime tapering by one third to avoid lethargy which works well. Using a wall chart has been helpful.

  • Jon July 22, 2015, 7:48 am

    I was drinking about 6 cups of strong coffee per day along with a couple of diet cokes, occasional red bull and pre-workout drinks before the gym each day (pre-workout drinks are loaded with stimulants). I started having panic attacks 2 weeks ago where I had elevated heart rate, felt dizzy, lightheaded, hot and sweaty, legs felt funny like it was a struggle to walk properly while I was felt dizzy dry mouth, whole body was on edge and I could not calm myself down, ended up at the A & E department as I thought I was having a heart attack.

    They took my ECG, vitals and blood tests and all come back normal. The doctor then noted the amount of caffeine I was having and said it was extremely high, too high and that it was that which was causing my attacks. I then went cold turkey and its been a horrible two weeks. Headaches, muscle aches, dizziness and anxiety attacks etc… I was literally waiting for the next attack which was putting me on edge.

    As the two weeks went on I started to feel a little better and the attacks started to go but return milder. Inside the two weeks cold turkey I have only had 2 attacks 6 days apart so I have put this down to my body adjusting to having no caffeine and my system cleaning out. I don’t plan on drinking caffeine anymore once these symptoms have gone as it’s just not worth the feeling of terror in these attacks.

  • Teresa July 20, 2015, 11:04 pm

    Day 5 without coffee and I am not feeling well. Why did I want to quit? I cannot recall in this brain fog. Oh yeah, for the all reasons above… thanks for your comments, they are an encouragement to me right now. Now I know why I have FLU symptoms, I even took my temperature this morning thinking I MUST have a fever.

  • Amy July 20, 2015, 3:31 am

    First solid day with no caffeine. Headache is EXCRUTIATING. I was dizzy & hot today. But seriously, if this headache stays this bad for another day or two I am going to collapse. It’s horrible. :-(

  • Shayne Warren July 10, 2015, 12:07 pm

    I am going through some stressful and anxious changes to my personal situation currently, so anxiety is high. Decided to change my diet in full to loose some weight, and also stopped drinking coffee, and replaced it with a Caffeine free herbal tea Rooibos (most superstores sell it), which is also a diuretic (flushes and detoxes your system). I could drink 15 to 20 mugs of black coffee daily. I have done this previously, 25 years ago when still much younger and on coke mostly and coffee mornings and night, probably similar intake of caffeine.

    This did not have any really effects on me other than a great weight lose in a reasonable time. Well this time 25 years on, much older and wow, what a shock. Stir crazy is not the word for it, I am on day 8 off coffee now, headaches are subsiding, but the anxiety and panic attacks are horrendous – never suffered these before. The headaches have fortunately not been to severe, but the rest is off the scales of sanity with the exception of cravings which I don’t have. This stuff – Coffee – which I have so loved is poison, should be sold with a Health warning.

    Drank coffee immediately before bed in the past and “slept”, however now I am off it, I cant get a full nights sleep 3 maybe 4 hrs, even when shattered, wake through the night in a pool of sweat, and in panic. Difficult to keep concentration and focus, eyes just want to close and sleep, but cant sleep. Just read this article after looking for the effects of stopping coffee, man if I had read this before I would have weaned myself off the stuff over a few weeks, but at 8 days in, there is no way I am going back to go through all this hell again.

    I just hope and pray that it is all over and done in a weeks time, this is not what I had bargained for. Ah, well this will certainly serve to keep me off the coffee in future, possibly once well off the stuff and recovered. I may try an occasional decaf Latte or cuppa chino, while out, but think that coffee has seen it last in my home.

    • Shayne Warrem July 24, 2015, 7:13 am

      UPDATE to the previous. Well, it is now day 23 of being off my coffee habit, and I am still suffering, not nearly as bad as in the beginning but still not over the withdrawals. Think I also need to point out at this stage, additional to my black coffees I would also have 2 or 3 large mugs of cappuccinos made with whole milk daily.

      So have come to the realization that not only did I stop the coffee, but also by default through stopping coffee, have also stopped sugar intake (1 & 1/2 teaspoons in a cup of coffee [30 / 33 teaspoons a day and also whole milk – 4 to 6 liters a week) as well as milk. Once I realized that I had by default cut out these two items, sugar and milk from my diet, I checked if there were withdrawals for them as well. OH BOY, staggering, yes severe withdrawal symptoms for both of these items.

      I figured that I should include a note on the fact that stopping coffee by default does have other knock on effects which need to be added to the equation, also that I was a heavy coffee drinker, daily and every day. I am hoping that the end of these “evil” withdrawals is very near, as it has been an extremely hard and challenging three weeks, Sleep, or rather the lack of it does not help with dealing with all the symptoms, I am still not getting a full night sleep, in fact in total I have had only one full night sleep a few nights back.

      Oh to go to bed and sleep through, and not wake in panic. If you don’t drink coffee, don’t start, and if you do, my personal advise is wean yourself off the stuff slowly but surely. If you have a heavy coffee consumption like I had, definitely do it slowly, very slowly, but get off the stuff, and remember that there are also the knock on effects as well by virtue of stopping the coffee you also stop sugar and milk, both of which have equally horrendous withdrawal, sugar the worst and longest lasting withdrawals. Good luck, stay strong and get off coffee.

      • Shayne Warrem July 29, 2015, 9:49 am

        UPDATE: Well today is day 28 (4 weeks) since I went cold turkey on dropping coffee, which also meant dropping sugar and milk. Am I clear? NO not yet. I am on my way to being over this, but I am still having anxiety attacks, not anywhere as severe as to start, but most days to some level for a period of time. I think the rest of the symptoms are subsiding, and have actually had 3 almost good nights of sleep.

        Can’t be long now and I should be totally free from these evil symptoms. Well worth giving this up as I think I am starting to feel better within myself when the anxiety attacks stay away. Don’t be put off by my accounts of this process, bear in mind that I was drinking 20 to 30 large mugs of strong black coffee, and cappuccino with full cream milk.

        Did my figures on this and looks like I was doing about 45 tea spoons of sugar a day, 1+ liter of full cream milk (8L per week) and of course all that coffee. This is gross excess for which I have paid. Get off the stuff, you will be better for it in the end, but have a support system around you, friends and family, to do it on your own as I have is so so hard.

        • A October 16, 2015, 12:51 am

          Great job! Sounds like you are working hard at it. Congrats. I am on two weeks of no coffee/caffeine, except for three decaf espressos I am ok with, because it’s still better than my daily one or two drinks (2-4 shots of espresso) a day. I am amazed at the symptoms I did not associate with the withdrawal, until I read this and other comments on various sites. My hips were aching SO BAD the first six days. I was having night sweats, waking up drenched. Extreme exhaustion. Luckily, I stopped while on a business trip, three time zones away. It was a good way to stop and change it up, while out of my daily routine.

        • S January 24, 2016, 4:04 pm

          Shayne – I wanted to thank you for continuing to post updates as you’ve progressed through this transition. To have the timeline explained and the changes is very helpful. I’ve read other comments from people who drink a lot of soda and had also thought, whoa, they are gonna feel the sugar withdrawal too… and you are right, your triple whammy combination meant you’d inadvertently set your bar really high. Congrats, and I think you should count this as a major achievement.

      • Matt November 3, 2015, 11:20 pm

        Hello Shayne! How are things now regarding your caffeine withdrawal? Was hoping to see an update! Hope all is well and thank you for sharing your experience!

        • Lee November 25, 2015, 12:39 pm

          Ditto what Matt posted.

      • Mike May 13, 2016, 4:27 pm

        This sounds exactly like what I’m going through. I quit coffee 4-2-16. Today is 5-16-16. I went cold turkey. I had a pretty major panic attack which was lead me to the realization that maybe I should quit coffee. The first two weeks were hell with brain fog, light sensitivity, muscle tightness.

        Slight dizzy and vertigo spells. But it was the increased anxiety that I didn’t realize was part of this too. As of today, I still get bouts of increased anxiety, but not at the intensity of the earlier weeks. Which actually is making it easier to cope and deal with anxiety. I’m still dealing with muscle tightness in my neck and shoulders.

        And I’m also still having very acute spells of dizziness along with sinus pressure. I used to drink the whole 1L French press through out the morning with a lot creamer which was super tasty. I do feel like each day is gradually getting better. But I thought I was going crazy because supposedly withdrawals last only 2 weeks tops. Reading these stories eases me knowing that there are people out there who’ve gone through what it is I’m feeling.

        • Mark May 21, 2016, 12:09 am

          Thanks for comment Mike, I’m on day seven and my anxiety is ridiculous. At 4 days out I literally had to leave a movie theater and go walk around outside because my heart rate went nuts and I thought I was going to pass out. Then later in the week I learned I didn’t get a job I applied for and the went into rage mode and finally started crying.

          Caffeine withdrawal is very real. I’m usually pretty even keel. Now I’m just exhausted and feel like taking a naps every few hours. I’m only on day 7. This is the worst.

        • Peter May 30, 2016, 2:00 am

          Could you please update how long it took you to get complete withdraw? I had experienced exactly the same, chill, cannot sleep, after slept a couple of hours woke up with panic and chill, now I am even scared to sleep… It had been about 6 weeks already I went cold turkey on coffee. I am over 60 years old and had consumed coffee for more than 20 years.

          Went to E.R. but could not find anything wrong, they released me for ‘weakness/dizzy’ and “vertigo”. After the first week, “vertigo” was gone, but fatigue, chill, panic attack kept coming. Anyone had the same experience?

  • Bob July 7, 2015, 5:13 pm

    Thank you all. Hearing from others helps a lot. I drank about a 6 pack a day of various caffeinated diet sodas for approximately 30 years. I was just no feeling right and decided it was time to give it up cold turkey. Day 1 I fell asleep really early and had a small headache. Day 2 Nauseous and more of a headache all day. Day 3 extremely nauseous and worst headache.

    Started telling my poor wife about my symptoms and she started telling me it’s all in my head. You can add anxiety now to the rest of the days. Day 4 little less nauseous and a little less headache. Start to notice mental “phase outs” as the strong physical symptoms lessen. Day 5 slightly nauseous and headache comes and goes. Begin to have periods where I can’t do anything. Days 2-5 had to seriously force myself to eat anything at all.

    Day 6, can’t stay mentally there. My visiting children are concerned, my wife tells me I’m crazy. Ratchet anxiety off the scale. Day 7, first day back in the office, multiple conversations with people who tell me about friends who quit and had a week of physical symptoms and a week of mental symptoms. Sounds like me so far. I calm down a bit. Forced mental focus comes and goes.

    By the way, I have had no trouble sleeping as I am exhausted at the end of each day. First heavy workout since beginning (did exercise every day and drink lots of water). Feel better, but then made chili dogs for daughter and self for dinner. Body is definitely not going to go for junk food anymore. Day 8, attacked the day, have been able to hold focus, barely, for an hour or two at a time.

    I think things are going the right direction but I am still anxious about it. I am hopeful that by day 14 all will be well. I travel for my job a lot, but had a window where I thought I could tackle this. Next travel is on day 16. Hope this gives hope to someone else. The mental aspects have been much worse than the physical for me.

    • Abby January 21, 2016, 2:48 pm

      The mental part for me was extremely big too really really bad anxiety! Thought I was going crazy for a spell… But in taking it one day at a time this is day 6 for me and it’s fair to say I’m feeling better today than I was 3 days ago.

    • Damo February 6, 2016, 9:50 pm

      It took me a full 2 weeks to clear the memory fog. I was wondering what the hell was going as I didn’t expect all that from dropping caffeine. I got a really sore hip out the blue and heaps of tension in the body and would never of linked that to caffeine without this blog. I’m so grateful for all the comments here.

      Everyone seems to post when they are at the height of symptoms and looking for help. It DOES get better. I found aerobic exercise helpful. I didn’t start till day 12 though. I love the barbell but the mental energy just hasn’t been there for that. Thanks all and good luck to those still on their journey. Cheers, Damo

      • Kelly April 21, 2016, 1:24 pm

        This is encouraging thank you! Day 5 and the mental fog is not fun! Great to hear that if I push myself to continue, it will improve! It just takes time. Dreaming of lattes though haha.

  • Catherine July 5, 2015, 10:05 am

    I’ve been drinking coffee regularly for over six years. The amount of caffeine in my daily life was enormous- 4-7 coffees, 1-2 energy drinks. I’m on my day 2. It’s hard to concentrate on anything, the headache is terrible, I vomit all day long, I cannot eat and I am very thirsty. I hope that this will pass quickly.

  • brian July 3, 2015, 11:39 pm

    Like Kris, I was drinking close to a 12 pack of Pepsi for at least the last 20 years! I stopped cold turkey just this last Sunday, so I’m on day 6. I have not really had many headaches, but let me tell you I’ve had everything else. I’m depressed, sad, anxious, irritable, the whole damn package. Second night, I thought I was having a heart attack, couldn’t breath, chest in pain, it sucked! Went to the doctor next day, just to be sure.

    They said nothing is wrong with my heart! Just thinks it was a extreme panic attack due to the withdrawal. Like Kris, I’m not hungry, and when I do try to eat, I eat very, very little. I am showering before I go to bed and when I get up because I sweat overnight and i’m not a sweater at all! This has been the most painful 6 days of my life. However, hopefully it will pass over the next few days, otherwise i’m cracking open a pepsi! Thanks for sharing everyone!

    • Gretchen January 17, 2016, 7:06 pm

      Brian how did you fare? I’m also on day 6 of no caffeine and my symptoms are the same as yours. Especially the no eating. It’s wreaking havoc on my body. How long until your appetite came back to normal? I feel hungry, but unable to eat. I’m also suffering from insomnia which I didn’t expect. I’m in hell.

  • Kris June 28, 2015, 7:45 pm

    I was drinking a 12 pack of soda or more every single day of my life. I stopped cold turkey 1 week and 3 days ago and I can’t believe the severity of my withdrawal symptoms. The first day without caffeine I experienced a mild headache and everyday since I have felt exhausted, muscle tension, severe migraines that not even 600mg ibuprofen could make go away, fatigue, super irritable, unmotivated, and even had a fever of 100.2 for a couple days. I felt like I had the flu.

    I didn’t want to eat, I was sweating insanely during my sleep where I would wake up and shower I was so wet, I’ve never sweated like that my whole life even if it was hot. I’ve been trying to understand the exact process of which your body returns to normal functioning without the caffeine. Again today is 1 week and 3 days cold turkey quitting after 12 or more sodas per day, and I finally have started to feel normal again.

    • Camila July 30, 2016, 11:47 am

      I quit caffeine cold turkey 13 days ago. I used to drink close to almost a liter of Pepsi/ Coca Cola every single day for at least 1-2 years (I’ve lost track at exactly how many years) I needed caffeine to function, but at the same time it would not keep me awake, it would make me exhausted. Due to having depression and anxiety for 10 years, the last few years I used caffeine to help me cope, especially with anxiety.

      But, 13 days ago I made a decision to quit cold turkey because of excessive weight gain and a little body shaming. (I am class 2 obese/almost class 3, which happened in the last 2 years). Although I have not had a craving for caffeine yet, I was very irritable and had diarrhea the first 10 days. Day 10 I did not leave the bathroom, of how much diarrhea. But, it wasn’t until day 12 that the withdrawal symptoms really kicked in.

      I started having headaches. Nausea, feeling like there were knots in my stomach, loss of appetite, fatigue, excessive heart beats, lightheaded and constipation. All together on day 12, I took over 2,000mg of Advil, tums, and omeprazole and nothing made it go away. I felt like I was literally dying and I had no idea why.

      I thought it may have been the fact that I didn’t eat breakfast, biked 10 miles for the first time in my life, and had a stressful day at work. I also take supplements and drink protein shakes. So, I tried eating but I could not find it in me to eat. At the end of day 12 I was getting ready to go to the ER because I was concerned as to what was happening to me.

      I didn’t go because I thought I’d ask google the “stupidest” question, which was “soda withdrawal symptoms” Needless to say, it was not stupid at all and caffeine withdrawal is kinda in a way serious. That settled my anxiety a bit and I was finally able to sleep…but for just 2 hours. It is the morning of my day 13 cold turkey quitting caffeine. I have kickboxing class for the first time in 2 hours and I’m afraid I’ll get really sick during it.

      But, I managed to eat a little bit of breakfast. So, fingers crossed that worst is over because I only feel mild symptoms compared to yesterday. Also, I can’t tell how how many times I lost my concentration to type this!

      • Stephanie Coomer January 20, 2018, 12:35 am

        Camila, I’m so glad to have read this. I had an upper respiratory virus and due to medication I was taking, made my Mt. Dews taste like metal. Ii was a 8-10 a day addiction and now ..none. I have been drinking sweet tea and water. I have had slight symptoms of dizziness and brain fog. No headaches at all which I can’t believe.

        But today, day 11, I feel terrible. Pain under right shoulder blade, slightly in the chest, diarrhea and just feel tired and blah! I will not go back to drinking Mt. Dews as I have drank 8-10 a day for the last 25 years. I’m sure that we will all feel like new people once the hard part is over!

    • michelle January 4, 2017, 2:05 am

      I feel the same way I am on day 3 and my head feels like it’s gonna explode. I’m tired and cranky.

  • Susan June 26, 2015, 9:16 pm

    I went 3 & 1/2 years caffeine free worked full time had real busy life. I used to drink 30 cups a day. Other than fatigue and some depression it was on. To took it back 3 years ago and have started and stopped 7 or 8 times. Back on now 50 percent wants to quit 50 percent doesn’t. It’s a roller coaster ride. So many family members depend on me and I have some depression and adrenal fatigue. -Susan

  • Danzo June 10, 2015, 11:23 am

    No caffeine for two weeks now. The problem is brain fog! It helped me focus and now it’s constant effort to stay on the ball. Has anyone experienced brain fog after 14 days? I wasn’t a heavy consumer, about 200mg/s a day – consisting of a sugar free Monster energy drink and a couple of cups of tea. Just fed up of not being able to concentrate properly! I’ve been drinking plenty of water and exercising regularly. Trying to get enough sleep as well. Help!

    • Andy March 3, 2016, 4:16 pm

      There’s a great book called ‘why isn’t my brain working’. Well worth a read. Can’t remember whether I read it in that book or elsewhere but people who experience degradation after giving up coffee may have an issue with the amount of oxygen going to the brain. There are plenty of tips in the book but one good herb would be ginkgo biloba.

    • Pamela Jones April 19, 2016, 4:59 pm

      It is day 14 and I have no energy and no motivation. Does anyone know if this is normal after 2 weeks? Will I get my own energy back?

  • Rachel June 9, 2015, 8:10 pm

    I quit drinking coffee during the day and allow only 1/2 a cup in the mornings. That was 3 months ago. I still crave it so bad! I know it makes me feel worse when I drink it – which is why I cut back in the first place – but my body/brain was hooked. I didn’t even drink a lot, one cup in the afternoon. But I would get so sleepy and sick feeling after drinking it that I knew I needed to cut it from my diet.

    I have suffered from adrenal fatigue and caffeine is the worst thing for it. I can’t smell it without wanting a cup. I can’t get up without wanting a cup. This has been way harder than my decision to give up a glass of wine a day – that only took a month to get over… I don’t know if this will ever go away!

  • Leigh June 1, 2015, 7:39 pm

    I went cold turkey a week ago to a six cup (very strong) a day habit. I was nauseous and vomited all day the first day and had a horrible headache. Head continued into day two but no more getting sick. Day 3 I didn’t feel comfortable driving still because I was light-headed and generally out of it. Day 4-8 doing better but still slow. Headache long gone. Hopefully, memories of this will keep me from returning to coffee ever again.

    • Ken June 9, 2015, 1:52 pm

      That’s the worst withdrawal story I’ve ever heard. I hope you kicked caffeine for life. I would hate for you to have to go through that again.

  • James June 1, 2015, 4:18 pm

    I’m considering giving up tea and coffee and also the dependency and preference of sugar and milk next for health benefits really. I started the gym a few days ago and now I also want to lose the fat, build muscle and be toned, and live a healthier more active energetic lifestyle. I have to say though I’m a bit uncertain after reading some of the comments on this page, understandably so I guess. Whether I should go ahead and go cold turkey or slowly wean myself off which sounds more functional and maybe necessary in order to start this process.

    Not looking forward to the headaches I remember a few years back when I tried to give up, I believe it was nearly a week of headaches. I had flu virus at the time, and because I lost my appetite and desire to drink tea I believed it was going to be easier to give up but as soon as my symptoms subsided with the flu I had the headaches from not drinking tea. It’s not nice!

    • Beth July 11, 2015, 5:13 pm

      I’m on day two and I’m doing OK. I had a moderate coffee habit of 2-3 cups a day. I have a bit of a headache and I’ve taken a nap in the afternoon each day. I am drinking peppermint tea and chamomile tea at night (both decaffeinated).

  • Carolyn June 1, 2015, 1:01 pm

    I used coffee as an anti-inflammatory and pain killer. I’m about a week out and I’m feeling the withdrawal and the pain I was trying to get rid of. All in all, I think steering clear of coffee is going to be the best plan for the long run. Coffee was severely reducing the quality of my sleep. If I get better sleep the aches and pains will probably subside as well.

  • James Lye May 31, 2015, 11:04 am

    Many years ago I stopped drinking coffee etc due to a hot summer and my body went into over drive. Before I knew what was going on I completely crashed. Memory problems, muscles all went calm slack. It took months to get back to normal. This time around I have the shakes constantly, the occasional headache, lack of concentration. Trying to bring myself down gently, but the shaking is the biggest problem.

  • Stacey May 29, 2015, 12:27 am

    I have quit caffeine just for the health aspects, I don’t drink it too regularly, or so I thought. I haven’t slept since I gave it up. I have been caffeine free since Saturday and I haven’t slept a full night since Friday night. It is the worst. I am prone to migraines so the headache is pain I’m used to dealing with, but not sleeping is killing me. Argh. It’s the worst.

  • Xemnas May 26, 2015, 9:23 pm

    I am without coffee for 4 days and it is horrible, mostly because i am suffering from major depressive disorder, so withdrawal just makes it 10 times worse. I am tripping heavily.

    • Brody September 10, 2015, 6:36 am

      I too suffer from depression I’ve never been diagnosed but due to trying to quit smoking in the past, and now energy drinks, I’ve REALLY seen depression (which manifests as aggression – even though I’m the least aggressive person I know) take hold. I’ve read that smoking masks depression, and I’m guilty of using caffeine for the euphoric high. The depression is what makes it incredibly difficult. Just hang in there though, and try to remember it’s just the chemical withdrawal talking. Best of luck! P.S. I can’t see dates of comments on the mobile website, so I have no idea when you commented.

    • Vic February 6, 2017, 2:00 pm

      Me too. Day 6 today cold turkey. Super low motivation, brain fog, depressed. This is amazing. But whatever, only the strong survive. Have to keep pushing forward.

      • KC March 1, 2017, 4:56 pm

        Hey Vic, I see you just posted this a few weeks ago. How are you feeling now? I have quit caffeine in the past and the depression/anxiety is the worst. After a good year off I let it creep back in and am cutting down now in an attempt to quit completely. I will tell you in the past when I did it the first few weeks were the worst but then it got dramatically better. Hang in there!

  • KSanchie May 23, 2015, 3:44 am

    It’s been over 7 days since I last had caffeine. I have been drinking coffee for nearly 20 years – having been a barista started the habit early. I decided to go cold turkey last Saturday. Last week I woke up to no coffee beans and was about to leave the house at 6:00 AM in my PJs to get some. That was when I decided enough is enough. I took 2 Advil Migraine and braced myself for the pain. I read as much as I could about the withdrawal and then slept all day on my first day without caffeine.

    I had no control over it. I was EXHAUSTED. Gastrointestinal side effects were near immediate. Day 2 was the worst. No amount of Advil was going to get rid of the headache. I couldn’t eat and I had an uncontrollable thirst. I easily drank a gallon of water. The vertigo kicked in and I was a moody woman – and that’s being kind. Think of a really, really super-sized hangover. The GI side effects got worse. Day 3 – continued vertigo and there was no way I could drive; I slept a lot and tried to get the motivation to work.

    OMG work was so hard. I had severe brain fog and zero focus. I started Lysine supplements that barely helped. Still had GI side effects and so increased my magnesium doses. Food was a disgusting thought but I forced myself to eat. Strange aches and pains started in my hip joints of all places! Days 4-6 – the vertigo is gone and my energy is getting better; no headaches -THANK GOODNESS – and my brain fog is improving. It’s still a chore to concentrate at work and the Lysine doses are helping a lot. My problem is the morning.

    I just can’t get any momentum. GI issues resolved. The hip joint and lower back pains finally subsided today (day 6). I will say that I had a few chocolate covered almonds today and felt the caffeine kick – my caffeine clock has reset. That made me happy. I know I’m on my way to total freedom soon. Life without coffee is truly a major change, but it’s nice to feel like the leash is gone.

    I only hope the lingering brain fog clears over the next week. For those trying to quit – drink water, try to eat, and take the Advil every few hours around the clock. Read up on the amino acids if you are a good candidate for those and hang in there!

    • Coach JR. July 3, 2015, 11:44 pm

      Thanks for taking the time to post your experience. I’m on the tail end, of a week without caffeine. Have always been a BIG coffee drinker. Decided to kick the habit, and wow…the headaches have been dull and constant. Like a hangover headache. The desire to eat has vanished, so I force myself to eat. GI issues as well. Going to continue to push forward. Hoping that freedom is near. Thumbs up!

      • Sara August 17, 2015, 1:52 am

        Day 7 no caffeine here. I thought I’d pipe up and say that I got the aching hips too. Actually it was like my body from the waist down was in a vice. Very unpleasant and made sleep nearly impossible. That was worst on days 3-5 and I know it’s caffeine withdrawal, as it happened last time I went cold turkey too (a few years ago; I relapsed). Today I’m just tired but determined. I’ve heard it can take months to experience the full benefits.

    • Shukila November 25, 2015, 2:22 am

      I’ve been a coffee drinker since I was about 20 years old and I’m now 56. I drank about 6 cups of coffee a day. I recently found out my adrenals are over worked and the coffee was just exhausting me. Adrenals produce cortisol a hormone that releases under conditions like waking up in the AM…physical exertion or the flight or fight response. Too much stress or caffeine can deplete your adrenals causing burn out.

      When too much cortisol is made it sends the message to the liver to produce glucose to be stored in your cells for future energy. The problem is if there is too much glucose made your pancreas has to kick in and make even more insulin. If it cant keep up the pace your cells becone insulin resistant. The sugar doesnt get used but stored as fat. Who would think that over taxing the adrenals with caffeine could cause this metabolic hamster wheel?

      So this past Friday I had my last one cup as opposed to 4-6 per day. I went to the gym and when I came out I had a blaring headache which continued over the weekend which was also followed by shaking, nausea, loss of appetite and GI problems. The headache was so bad yesterday which was Monday that I thought I had a stroke of some kind! I decided to get through it with some Advil which barely touched it but I noticed a very bad stiff neck and the pain was at the base of my skull and wrapped around to the forehead.

      Still have it. I can’t wait until this is over! this is actually going to be my 4th day and I hope after a week this awful headache will start to finally cease all together. The shaking has subsided but still nausea and GI stuff. I think more water and more patience is needed.

    • Kelly January 31, 2016, 8:53 pm

      Wow! I am on Day 7 Caffeine Free Cold Turkey! Day 3 headache was the worse. My hips also ached I didn’t know why, I even went and had a massage. Seems to be better today. I still get a dull headache daily and take Advil. I am experiencing some depression and low motivation but I am optimistic this will clear soon. Kelly

    • MRiley September 16, 2016, 1:41 pm

      Thank you for your comment about the hip pain. I am on my 5th day of withdrawal and the aching hips started on the 3rd day. I have been searching the internet to see if this was a withdrawal symptom and you were the first to confirm my suspicion.

  • April May 21, 2015, 7:29 pm

    I am a long time coffee drinker that started hardcore in college. It amazes me how something that you don’t think of as a drug can incorporate itself into your life. I decided to go from coffee to black tea uncut, to take the edge off. Still tired from it though… looking toward better days.

  • michael May 6, 2015, 9:58 pm

    UGH! I tried weening down and had horrible headaches like my head was going to explode. The headaches lasted for 1 month and finally I just drank 2 cups of coffee and the headaches were gone. I cannot live with permanent headaches. Better to just drink coffee. Overall I just felt like dog crap the whole time (maybe 4-5 weeks).

    • Ken May 8, 2015, 3:06 pm

      Michael, 6 weeks and still having headaches. Not as bad as they were, but good gosh this is insane.

    • justDave March 15, 2016, 6:03 pm

      It’s been about a month for me and I’m still suffering from high anxiety and the occasional bout of dizziness/lightheadedness. I’m going back to drinking a couple of cups per day. This is nuts.

      • Renee October 15, 2016, 2:28 am

        Me too Dave… Crazy and I only drank 1 cup in the morning.

  • paul March 30, 2015, 12:54 am

    Day 6 of my Coffee come down 400-600mg per day and still feeling lethargy and aches but headaches only lasted for two days or so. I’m not much of a lounge lizard, normally pretty active but yesterday I got home from work and did a few things and just lay on the lounge and watched TV? Pushing myself through my workday as I know there is light at the end of the tunnel. I can definitely relate to Thomas’s last sentence.

  • Thomas March 24, 2015, 5:36 am

    3rd day of gradual coffee withdrawal and slowly taking it down to zero. There really is no benefit in doing this, other than trying to get rid of dark circles under the eyes and to see how it will affect me overall. I’ll try it and see how it goes, but really all of my progress in life was during my early coffee drinking days. Today I feel nothing. I don’t feel happy, sad or anything. My mood has completely flatlined and I feel like doing nothing but watching Netflix.

    • Lady September 12, 2015, 4:36 pm

      This is 100% how I feel. I was just doing it to keep my teeth from discoloring, but I’d rather pay to get a whitening treatment than go through this.

      • Matt December 27, 2016, 12:46 am

        I am watching Netflix right now on day one with a splitting headache.

  • mARK March 23, 2015, 10:01 am

    I already have anxiety problems and was drinking coffee all day. I cut down to 1 per day and feel very tired and my anxiety is much worse after 2 days.

    • Lee November 25, 2015, 12:25 pm

      Me, too, Mark, me too. I went from 1 per day to none, and wow, is the anxiety hard to bear. I hope you kept strong and that you are doing so much better now.

  • Christine March 14, 2015, 8:59 pm

    I’ve stopped drinking energy drinks, the withdrawal is excruciating, my head is going to blow off. Advil isn’t even touching it, trying to drink lots of water. I will never touch another energy drink ever!

    • Willis March 16, 2015, 1:35 pm

      I have the same experience Christine. Today is the 6th day that I have been without caffeine or energy drink. I’m still suffering from much headaches. The pain moves from the top of head to the back of my head. It’s difficult for me to get any sleep. May the good Lord fully recover us from this very soon.

      • Vic February 6, 2017, 6:54 am

        Me too. I am on my fifth day of withdrawals and this thing is serious. Incredible headaches, brain fog, sleepiness, totally tired, lethargic, no motivation, depressed, my body hurts, watery eyes, looking and feeling like I’m hungover. But I will not quit. I hate that I have consumed a substance that is not making me feel this way. I cannot let this defeat me, I have to defeat it.

    • BabyGirl November 25, 2015, 1:52 am

      I take magnesium for headaches on a daily basis and if you don’t, it won’t work.

      • Mark October 28, 2016, 4:32 pm

        If you have low levels of magnesium, then taking a magnesium supplement can help with headaches. Most people do not have low levels of magnesium, and would see no benefit from taking a supplement for a deficiency they don’t have.

        • Lee MD January 9, 2017, 1:03 am

          Actually almost everyone develops Magnesium deficiency over time probably as a result of soil depletion. Magnesium may test normal in blood but is depleted in tissues. Old people in hospital almost always test low. I recommend everyone supplement with Magnesium Citrate at least 400 mg a day. May get loose bowels at first but that is due to general depletion.

    • Toby December 29, 2015, 6:11 am

      I am a self proclaimed caffeine addict. I easily consume 750mg plus a day. This is probably low in estimate. I quit cold turkey. I probably should have tapered off with 20/20 hindsight. I have had debilitating headaches and pretty much every withdrawal symptoms in the book. If I have any advice for people who are going to quit is will power.

      This is my 6th day and I’m still having excruciating headaches and it has definitely affected my performance at work. I will never take this much caffeine again. Well that is what I say now…lol. Good luck to any body who is a caffeine addict and who is trying to quit. P.S. the reason for quitting was that energy drinks were taking a toll on my health I coupled these with coffee and caffeine pills throughout the day.

      • Ray Martinez February 5, 2016, 12:54 am

        I am on my 6th day and I have consumed pre-workouts for the gym, coffee, and red bulls on the daily. I have cold turkey’d my caffeine usage and it has been painful. I don’t have a desire to take caffeine it’s just been brutal with pressure throughout my entire head. Went and got hooked up to the EKG and results came back normal.

        I just feel slightly dizzy and only stable when I lay down. Tomorrow is day 7 and I feel I will be better around the 10 day range lord willingly. I will say my dizziness has decreased. I hate this feeling and sometimes just think about maybe getting some iced green tea to help because these symptoms make me feel like I am having brain issues and balance issues.

        • Renee October 15, 2016, 2:26 am

          About 8 weeks ago I had sever anxiety after drinking my typical 1 cup of morning coffee. My husband insisted it could be dehydration because I don’t drink enough water throughout the day. I happened to have a hydration powder you mix with water and felt 100% better. I decided to go half and half w/ decaf and regular coffee.

          Then maybe 3 weeks ago I decided to do just decaf. I went into full anxiety mode and my blood pressure through the roof. I am still feeling slight lightheadedness, and balance issue. Could this possibly still be from no caffeine??? Weeks later????

        • Jen Rox Hughes November 18, 2016, 7:51 pm

          I went into a natural acupuncturist / Chinese herbalist (not Chinese) and said, make me healthy as a horse! He took my pulse, said, do you have headaches throughout the day? I say no, never. Well cuz I drank BUUKO caffeine from matcha, hot chocolate and tea funneled in all day at my desk joy (right by the kitchen, put some whip w/sprinkled mint maple sugar).

          Anyways, he pokes me with some general kick start to life acupuncture and but a short time later I am down hard with flu like symptoms, rapid heart rate and so what do I do? Up my caffeine, of course. Nope, my body said we’d had enough so it’s low/no caffeine now and that is that. I am happy you actually went in for an EKG cuz that’s how scary mine has been (and I’m a dance fitness instructor so I am in good shape).

          Now I am on the week mark and it’s a miracle to be sitting here. So much muscle soreness, fatigue, oh and the headaches, I had been a junkie for some time. I am impressed by all these folks who are going for it or not. We live once! Blessings all!

        • Paulaya January 31, 2017, 1:25 am

          Ray I just quit coffee 3 days ago and feel dizzy like I am having balance issues too. So weird. I hope it’s the coffee and not some brain issue as I am a healthy 38 year old woman. How long did yours last for?

      • Mark October 28, 2016, 4:44 pm

        I have quit caffeine at least 25 times over my life; sometimes it would last only a few days and sometimes a few months. The most recent time I quit was several years ago, so I have hopes this time it will be for the rest of my life. I’m also an alcoholic, but haven’t had a drink in over 20 years now. Definitely for me, it is much harder to stay away from caffeine than it is to stay away from alcohol.

        One thing I’ve definitely noticed is that the withdrawal is less severe each time I have quit. The problem I have had in the past is that I always felt like I could return to caffeine and keep it under control; just one cup a day. Each time, though, I quickly returned to several hundred milligrams of caffeine every day. Caffeine is just something that I am better off completely without. Just like with alcohol, I cannot hold myself to small doses that are not a problem, I just go all out and drink way too much caffeine. I just have to live without it.

        The past several years without caffeine have brought me improved health, attitude about life, sleep, ability to concentrate, and numerous other benefits. I can’t believe how strong the pull is for the drug, and how many times I returned to it in spite of knowing how negative it is for me.

  • Alex July 10, 2014, 9:34 pm

    Caffeine is more likely to cause diarrhea by speeding up movement in the body of food. If you talk to some caffeine users, they will tell you it let’s you down, and that may be because folks usually drink coffee but are not drinking it like water in which they’ll take a sip, and 1 hour later take another sip. It’s interesting, how some folks caffeine can make them sleep.

    I think it may have to do with the dose of caffeine, but it’s hard to tell, perhaps if a person is very tired, coffee help’s relax them. I think tiredness can cause anxiety in a caffeine user, but not necessarily the caffeine itself in all circumstances,although stimulants are known to increase anxiety. In addition I wonder if there are other substances in coffee that can alter mental health.

    I do know that green coffee extract contains compounds that can help with metabolism and diabetes, although roasting destroys most of it in coffee. I also wonder if other factors are at play, the temperature of coffee, taste, having it with baked goods, milk, coffee in some instances is becoming like wine. If caffeine is so desirable, how does alcohol which is a depressant become desirable also or benzos? It’s a wacky world worth understanding.

    • Bob October 16, 2014, 11:17 pm

      You sleep after drinking Coffee because the caffeine exhausts your adrenal gland.

      • esther July 28, 2016, 10:44 am

        Is that why I fall asleep? I drink to stay up but I fall asleep instead. I’ve been drinking coffee for 10 yrs so far and now am trying to quit. I feel really sleepy throughout the day and cannot feel the motivation to exercise at all. I am not sure if I should really quit since I love exercising… but without drinking coffee I am so unmotivated… sigh, what to do.

        • Susanne August 18, 2016, 6:36 am

          Any kind of addiction is worth quitting and is worth all the withdrawal symptoms you have when you do quit. Pray to God for guidance, patience, and prrserverance to quit. He will help you succeed.* : ) ♡♡

          • Michelle October 31, 2016, 3:06 am

            Thanks Susanne! I’m going through withdrawal right now and it’s hard. Thanks you for your encouragement. I will lean on Good to help me.

    • Izzy December 1, 2015, 1:36 pm

      Also caffeine can act as a way of self medicating for mild ADHD. I used it in this fashion for many years. I would actually become more calm and focused on moderate levels of caffeine. Too much would make me very sleepy and too little and I was very easily distracted and couldn’t concentrate. I stopped using caffeine because I did not like the way that in large doses it increased my anxiety. I have an anxiety disorder and was sick of it being exacerbated.

      • Mark October 28, 2016, 4:21 pm

        Izzy, that is unusual. I also have ADHD and caffeine is the worst thing for it. I have problems concentrating as it is, but with caffeine it is practically impossible. When I have no caffeine in my system (and not in withdrawal) my concentration and ability to complete a task is much improved.

        I’ve researched the link between caffeine and ADHD and most of what can be found agrees with what I see in myself. Of course every person is different, so even though regular consumption of caffeine is bad for ADHD in most people, there certainly exist exceptions like you. Now I’m talking about daily caffeine intake, and its negative impact on ADHD and the ability to concentrate.

        For a person who usually does not consume caffeine and maybe once a month has a cup of coffee… that person can see an increase in productivity and concentration. Definitely for most people, however, regular daily caffeine consumption causes decreased ability to concentrate.

        • K December 1, 2016, 11:53 pm

          This is not unusual at all – caffeine and nicotine are the most commonly used substances to treat ADHD as they are the most readily available. Like Izzy, many people gravitate to them when they are undiagnosed. That is common sense as both are stimulants. Just because something did not work for you does not mean it did not work, to some degree, for most other people. That is the same case for prescription stimulants though they do tend to work better for most people.

    • Johan De Silva July 18, 2016, 4:23 pm

      “Caffeine is more likely to cause diarrhea by speeding up movement in the body of food.”. I don’t believe so. What you are experiencing is something in coffee combined with milk that effect a small group of people like myself.

      • Luna Sid December 25, 2016, 8:47 pm

        I don’t put milk in my coffee and coffee tends to make me go after I drink it. Coffee is a diuretic and it increases peristalsis in the intestines that causes people to have bowel movements quicker.

      • Loa May 4, 2017, 5:12 pm

        You have no idea what you’re talking about, Johan da Silva.

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