Gransnet forums


Caffeine withdrawals.

(38 Posts)
Crystal46 Thu 15-Apr-21 18:29:32

I wonder if anyone can provide any tips for dealing with caffeine withdrawals?

Today is the first day without the beloved strong coffee I have become dependant on for many years, and I have a headache and am even dopier than usual.

I made this decision - probably not forever! - because I realised yesterday that all sorts of physical niggles I was beginning to notice were very likely a sign that I was over-indulging and my body needed a rest. When I told my husband he wasn’t at all surprised!

SueDonim Thu 15-Apr-21 18:33:36

Maybe reduce it rather than go cold turkey? I can be a bit oversensitive to caffeine so we use half caffeinated/half decaf. You can then taper it down.

Fleur20 Thu 15-Apr-21 19:03:27

My absolutely blinding headache lasted for three days when I went cold turkey...was drinking 6 - 8 mugs of strong black filter coffee a day.
I drank gallons of tea, water, fruit juice and tried to keep as busy as possible.
Within a week I felt so much better, more energy, better sleep and very proud of myself!!
Good luck.... and stick with it...

BlueBelle Thu 15-Apr-21 19:08:07

I always use decaf and don’t taste any difference

BlueBelle Thu 15-Apr-21 19:09:30

‘Gallons of tea’ are full of caffeine too fleur

Fleur20 Thu 15-Apr-21 19:17:37

Bluebelle...I know...but nothing like the coffee I was drinking.. and some of it was herbal/fruit teas...
I am now a reformed character, one mug of coffee a day before 6pm and sticking with more longer the bottled stuff 😊 and some really nice Pukka teas.

Casdon Thu 15-Apr-21 19:22:56

Coffee would be the last thing on my list if I had to give up my vices. I don’t find Decaf is as good, even freshly ground, it doesn’t taste the same, and I hate tea. I’m down to two mugs a day, achieved very slowly by cutting down from about five or six cups, I have them both in the morning as that’s when I’ve found headaches develop if I cut down too far. It would be very easy to have a third, but I stick to cold drinks after that.

Amberone Thu 15-Apr-21 19:31:54

Lots and lots of water/squash/herbal tea to rehydrate you and wash it out of your system as soon as possible. Sleep as much as possible. OTC painkiller if necessary.

Many years ago we had free coffee in my office - if one person went for coffee they got it for the whole team, so we were drinking it all day long.

After someone told me that I was addicted I decided to prove them wrong and give it up. Result - bad, bad headaches for a week. Couldn't stay awake in the office - by lunchtime I had my head on the desk. Took about 2 weeks to get back to normal, although the headaches only lasted a day or two. Now only have one caffeinated per day, and one decaff.

Amberone Thu 15-Apr-21 19:34:49

A description of what happens to the body with caffeine

When you stop drinking coffee, you deprive your body of adrenaline and dopamine, hormones that act as natural stimulants and keep you awake. Instead, a flood of adenosine—a hormone responsible for rest and tiredness—rushes to your head, causing a change to your brain chemistry that results in a headache.

Blossoming Thu 15-Apr-21 19:35:34

Drink plenty of water.

BlueSky Fri 16-Apr-21 00:01:00

Surely you don’t need to give coffee up altogether and certainly don’t need to go cold turkey! Just reduce it, alternate with tea that has much less caffeine and or with decaf if you like the taste. It could possibly be harmful to stop it suddenly, similar to alcohol to a certain extent.

Crystal46 Fri 16-Apr-21 01:03:38

Thank you so much everyone for your helpful and supportive replies ✨

BlueSky, Amberone, I helped to ease the discomfort today with an Anadin Extra tablet, which contains caffeine. Fleur20, I can certainly understand how bad that headache must’ve been! Well done for sticking with it.

Luckily I have a favourite decaf brand which is as good as a lot of the caffeinated ones.

Somehow or other the tiredness will hopefully pass. Maybe walking a lot as well as drinking water etc. I’ll have to find out!

DiscoGran Fri 16-Apr-21 08:32:17

Crystal46, which decaff brand is your favourite? I have tried many and still prefer lidl's own.

dogsmother Fri 16-Apr-21 08:45:59

Interesting thread. I love a coffee and have over the last six o4 nine month’s started to wean down, I needed to mix the decaf with the caffeinated at first as nothing tasted quite right. It was worthwhile though as I sleep better and generally am better for it!

Kim19 Fri 16-Apr-21 08:51:45

I've moved from coffee to drinking chocolate. Haven't noticed any physical difference but perhaps because it happened gradually by whim rather than design. Don't even know if chocolate contains caffeine. Must check when I get downstairs.

Katyj Fri 16-Apr-21 09:26:57

I gave up coffee a few years ago, actually by mistake , I bought decaff and didn’t notice the difference, apart from the headaches and tiredness didn’t know what was up with me, until I realised two weeks later,
seems daft now.
I decided to carry on, but then realised I was missing it so much, my mood had seemed to take a nosedive too.
I drink coffee now, but have the last one at 3pm. A little of what you fancy in moderation does you good, plus coffee supposedly has some health benefits.

sazz1 Fri 16-Apr-21 10:54:01

Change to instant coffee and mix jars of decaff and normal coffee first. Then gradually add in more decaff over a few weeks until it's pure decaff.
Caffeine is addictive and causes bad headaches when you stop suddenly HTH

Gwenisgreat1 Fri 16-Apr-21 10:59:47

instead of decaff coffee, try Barley Cup tastes similar and much cheaper.

glammagran Fri 16-Apr-21 11:02:45

In my 20’s and 30’s I also drank 4-5 mugs of very strong filter coffee a day, a habit picked up from my mother. It made me jittery and gave me palpitations. I cut down over the years to a couple of mugs a day both taken before 12pm in our Sage bean to cup machine and all is fine. I simply cannot imagine not coming to in the morning without my coffee. Have loose leaf tea in the afternoon and ginger teabag in the evening before bed.

Tina1957 Fri 16-Apr-21 11:04:02

I too have given up caffeine after drinking it for many years,because of a health issue. I don’t think it tastes any different and feel so much better.Good luck to you

icanhandthemback Fri 16-Apr-21 11:09:22

Last time I gave up caffeine, I suffered more severe withdrawal symptoms more akin with long term diazepam use. I had a severe headache for a few days but the jittery feeling along with depression lasted for a much longer period. I didn't even realise what it was until I started drinking coffee again. It has rather put me off ever doing it again although I now limit my intake to couple of cups a day first thing in the morning. If I did have to stop drinking coffee, I would cut down very slowly.

icanhandthemback Fri 16-Apr-21 11:11:41

glammagran, it was my bean to cup machine that made me start really enjoying coffee. Like you, I simply can't imagine starting the day without such a delicious cup of coffee.

Daffydilly Fri 16-Apr-21 11:15:12

Definitely don't go cold turkey. Take it steady, reduce gradually, even if it takes weeks.

Jan51 Fri 16-Apr-21 11:15:19

There was a question to a doctor on a tv program recently ,(can't remember which one) and the advice was not to just stop but to cut down gradually over a coupleof weeks or so.

leeds22 Fri 16-Apr-21 11:21:01

No need to go go cold turkey, just reduce your caffeine gradually. I now have only one caffeinated coffee, in the mornings. And I don’t trust cafes/restaurants to actually give you a decaf coffee.