Caffeine addicts: Do you periodically go cold turkey?

I do.

Most weekends I try to get by with little or no caffeine. I’m not sure why I do this to myself. Maybe I’m scared that if I keep having my 4- 5 cups of coffee/tea daily over the weekend then pretty soon I’ll need 8 cups to stay awake.

Part of me says this is ridiculous, that I should just have as much as I want all weekend, and then if there’s a problem down the road, I can adjust accordingly. And, in the meantime, I’m just making myself feel really uncomfortable, falling asleep at Saurday night movies, etc.

How do the rest of you deal with this? What’s it like to never cut back?

I’m highly dependant on coffee, but I realise after a while that when I’m overdoing it it causes mood swings, so I try to cut back, and limit myself to only drinking it in the mornings. I don’t ever want to have to cold turkey it, because I can’t face the headaches, and because my morning capuccino feeds my soul. Although caffeine headaches are nothing compared to the complete psycopathic rage that overtakes me when I try to give up chocolate.

Tried it once and on the second day I literally vomitted, the headache was so bad. Of course, at the time I was drinking like 4L of coke a day(!) and it might not be so awful now that I only go for a couple cups of coffee.

Hell, I honestly can’t make it past noon without coffee; the ensuing withdrawal headache brings me to my knees. As Raygun99 says, they are so bad that I am nauseous.

Nope, no cold turkey for me.

That said, I haven’t noticed an increased “tolerance” over time. But that might be because I drink a whole helluva lot of coffee. But coffee doesn’t keep me awake anyway, and I drink it into the wee hours of the morning.

Depending on how many cups is a couple, probably not. There’s a lot more caffeine in coffee than there is in coke.

I frequently go cold turkey - not for periods like a weekend, but for several months at a time. I’m rarely a serious caffeine addict - typically a mug a day, occasionally two - but occasionally I feel the need to `reset’ my system, so I stop drinking it for a while.

I’m trying to do this now. Up until last Wednesday, I would down a half-liter Mountain Dew at work. Sometimes two.

I would like to lose some weight and figure if I ditched all that sugar, it’d be a good place to start. I still drink Pepsi at home, but I’m going to start backing off it as well.

Now at work, I have started to drink water.

A few years ago, I went cold turkey on soft drinks, but didn’t have any nasty side effects.

A few years ago a friend talked me into fasting for the first day of Ramadan. I typically get up before dawn, so I had some coffee – then nothing for the rest of the day. No water. No coffee.

It was interesting. I was cotton mouthed most of the day, but come night I was ready for something to drink. Unlike my moslem friend, I broke fast with a beer. Guess I’m going to hell.

Being a semi-stoic, I think that it is good for you, to purge yourself of the desires, being weak, I don;t do it often.

the last time was when they switched coffee at work from ok, but not great coffee to undrinkable sludge. So no (or very, very little) caffeine for a few months. After about a week, or so, the pain goes away.

I’ll probably give it up this week as I’m doing long, long drives this weekend. If I’m unused to coffee, it will keep me awake. Right now, I can have a double shot before bed and not feel a thing. (A week may not be enough - a month is, but can’t go back in time now, I’ll have to settle for a week.)

Yes. I go from extreme to extreme, where I avoid it all costs some periods of time, and other times I’ve brewed a large mug full of espresso every morning.

I drink very little caffeine right now, maybe 1 or 2 cups with half-decaf a day.

I’ve done cold turkey several times, sometimes for a year or so at a time, I’ve also cut back to a strict one cup a day (when I was having a little high blood pressure.) Once the headaches are gone, I have no physical issues with cutting it back or cutting it out, but I enjoy coffee too much to want to quit entirely. I definitely don’t cut back on the weekends, nor do I drink excessively more than during weekdays. I don’t feel my caffeine consumption is a problem.

Wow. [Little kid]Grownups are WEIRD![/Little Kid]


After a month or two coffee just doesn’t taste good.

Two days of the resulting withdrawal headache makes it pleasurable again…for a time.

I gave up coffee once, for a few weeks in the summer between college and grad school. I had been drinking 3-6 cups a day, and one day I just stopped.

I spent the next three days addicted to Tylenol and mostly lying in bed, miserable. But on the fourth day I got up and was fine. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised to find that my mood and energy level stayed about the same all day…I had assumed that the typical day was full of peaks and valleys, but it turned out that was just the caffeine talking. Without caffeine, I felt remarkably steady and consistent.

The drawback turned out to be that without caffeine, I needed no less than eight hours of sleep per night. I would get sixteen good hours awake, but then crash entirely. Once I started grad school, my workload didn’t permit a full eight hours sleep per night…or so I saw it at the time, anyway (this was about 15 years ago). So, back on coffee I went.

Nowadays my normal intake is 4 cups a day: 1 after each meal and maybe another one mid-morning. Lately, though, I’ve redistributed the dose: I have a cup in the morning, then take a thermos to work. Through the working day, about every 60 to 90 minutes, I pour 2-3 ounces in my cup and drink it. The result is the closest I can get to the uncaffeinated steadiness I briefly knew. I still have a cup after dinner, though.

Sometimes, if I don’t have coffee by 11am I get sick headaches. I mean debilitating, ruin the rest of the day headaches. Even with asprin/advil, I’m a wreck the rest of the day.

Every now and then, I’ll sleep in on the weekend, wake up past my coffee window and the rest of the day is shot. When that happens, I know it is time to feather back my use for a while.

My new rules are 2-3 cups before 1pm and no coffee after that on the weekday. On the weekend, I can drink after 1pm, but not after 4pm.

Writing about this makes me want a cup of coffee.

Once I felt it was getting way out of hand for me, I had just changed careers into the IT industry and realized I was drinking between 8 - 16 cups of coffee a day. I was having severe withdrawl headaches on the weekends so I decided to not only cut our coffee but all caffeine; chocolate, softdrinks, tea etc.

I started on a long weekend, because I knew it would take time for me to even function. Sweet Mother of Cod was I sick. I quit for 3 months and then started slowly again. Ever since I have limited myself to a cup or two…maybe three cups 'o jo a day.

I honestly think the last time I went cold turkey was when I was in hospital with pneumonia in 1996.

I generally drink only two cups of coffee a day, maybe the odd cup of tea later. But I don’t consider my addiction problematic, so I see no need to do anything about it.

Last time I quit caffeine I ended up losing weight and walking around beaming like a “look better, feel better” advert for a low fat breakfast cereal. I switched it for water and although I did have the three days of headaches, the relief once I was off it was remarkable.

I can’t remember why I went back. Just felt like a cup of coffee one day a few months later, I suppose. Now I’m enslaved again but I plan to ditch it as soon as my final exam is past.

No. I see no reason I should.

Worst thing I can see is it’s apparently “implicated as a contributor to osteoporosis in the elderly and other vulnerable populations”…


I typically “de-tox” from things like coffee, cigarettes, weight loss supplaments and herb. Thing is, I develop a tolerance to these things, quickly. If I’m doing coffee regularly, within a month or so I’ll need more to achieve the same level of “awake”. With cigs, I’ll go from smoking 1 a day in the evening to smoking 3 or 4 throughout the day w/in a month or two. Same with weight loss supplements. With herb, I only smoke once a week or so, but I’ll notice after a few weeks it takes more and more to have any significant effect.

So once I get to a level I don’t feel comforatable being at (more than a couple cups of coffee for a nice caffeine buzz, more than 2 cigs a day, ect.) I’ll go cold turkey for a few weeks to bring down my tolerance or in the case of the cigs, to break the whole dependency thing.

My own little way of keeping my various addictions in check. :cool: