What's a good coffee substitute?

No addictions is clearly preferable to both. I use caffeine sometimes and only when driving a long distance–and that is in the form of caffeine tablets.

Yes, exactly. I used to be in that situation myself. I couldn’t function in the morning before I had a cup (or two) of coffee. Then I gave it up, and now I wake up alert and ready for the day, without any coffee craving. In fact, I don’t even like the taste the coffee any more.

With coffee addiction, you wake up with sub-standard alertness, and you have to drink coffee just to get back to something like normal functioning. Coffee reduces alertness overall and in the long run. There’s a cost to it, like any drug.

It’s that simple, though many people prefer not to believe it.

Well gosh, now I’m just depressed. Maybe if I just drink black tea on days I’m feeling really bad?

Oh, I can’t use anti-histamines any more. They knock me loopy for the next twenty-four hours. Completely “durr hurr whazzit” non-functional. (Which really pisses me off, because I used to be able to take them with no side effects- and then one day, I dunno, my body chemistry flipped a switch or something).

If you’re going to go the tea route, I’d suggest an Irish Breakfast Tea; they tend to be fairly strong, and among the higher caffeine levels among teas. I’m personally partial to Barry’s, an Irish brand, but it may or may not be easy for you to find – our local grocery store has it in their “imported foods” section, but Chicago has a pretty high Irish population.

Mountain Dew. Get the diet variety and save yourself the sugar effects.


I can quit whenever I want.

Not me. #chasingthedragon

Modafinil: Less rush & crash than coffee, lesser side effects and potential for withdrawal. It doesn’t trigger euphoria so little addiction potential.

Exercise: A steep hill for someone with chronic tiredness syndrome but may be worthwhile. The exercise doesn’t have to be running a 5k. Something as simple as doing squats can help.

It may be because the formulation changed. When they moved Pseudoephedrine to UTC (And now in some states, prescription) quite a few brands just quietly changed their ingredients around. Do you remember what you used to take?

Can you get that though? I thought it was only allowed for narcoleptics and extreme sleep disorders? (and I’ve never understood why, if what they say about it being non-addictive is true.)

I do know that the pro-drug “Adrafinil” is available, but it’s a supplement, so hard to find a responsible supplier.

Off-label prescription allows physicians to prescribe for non-traditional uses. Quite often, a drug will be intended for one thing but end up being effective for a related but otherwise quite distinct use; Famously, Viagra was first researched as a heart medication.

If it’s effective for narcoleptics, extreme sleep disorders and allows a US soldier to be effective while sleep-deprived, its possible utility for chronic fatigue syndrome is worth taking a look at.

Why it’s more difficult to get than worse drugs: Because often, large organizations with a lot of inertia are stupid. Also, people tend to fear what’s unfamiliar more than what’s familiar; Think of how many people are more afraid of pot than alcohol and cigarettes. In my case, I had to first take Ritalin and then Vyvanse (similar to Adderall) before being allowed to try Modafinil and only because I asked for it. That’s not because of price, 100mg of Modafinil costs 10 cents. Yet Ritalin and Vyvanse are most definitely speed and are much more prone to abuse and withdrawal. For me at least, Modafinil is milder than coffee in its ups and downs.

Adrafinil as a supplement and responsible suppliers: Research your options then experiment with them on a gradual, methodical basis.
I don’t recommend Modafinil as the primary coffee replacement. That would be exercise. Yet I realize that for most of us, especially those with chronic fatigue, trying an exercise regimen without a little help from our friends may seem impossible.

I’ve tried fl-modafinil and hydrafinil from a reputable supplier, but they don’t do much for me. But then neither do conventional antidepressants. Even ritalin only helps a little, and then I need larger and larger doses with less effect. I’ve tried it and given up on it a couple of times.

However, I’m getting very good results with bromantane.

Bromantane was developed in Russia in the 1980s and has been well researched there. It’s unusual in that

• it has almost zero side effects
• it is not addictive
• it does not become less effective with time

It also won’t give you a quick ‘high’. You have to take it for several days or weeks to start getting the effects. But my experience is that it actually works, and makes a real difference. I feel more alert and motivated during the day, my depression is gone, and I sleep well at night.

It’s a prescription drug in Russia (for general fatigue, anxiety, depression, and mental ‘fog’), but seems to be unlisted and generally available everywhere else. It’s banned as a performance enhancer in professional sports.

Sudefed? Or whatever was around the house, I guess.